Arianna’s in a huff over plastic surgery

At a luncheon last week, held by the National Osteoporosis Foundation to honor my friend (and “Chief FOF Pundit”) Barbara Grufferman, for her work to promote women’s wellness, I sat next to a senior writer for HuffPost50, who is years away from 50.

“I’d like to do a piece for your site on the new face of plastic surgery,” I told the writer. Ever since we created a section on faboverfifty.com, featuring interviews with leading plastic surgeons across the country, I’ve learned a great deal about how we age and about the spectrum of treatments now available to make us look the best we can.

“Oh, Arianna (Huffington, the founder of Huffington Post) is against plastic surgery.  We won’t cover the subject, ever.  She believes women should look natural as they age,” the writer shot back, as if I had cursed right smack in the middle of the Pierre Hotel.

“What a ridiculous attitude,” I answered, at which point I noticed the 40+ something woman recoil at my definitive response against an “icon” of our generation, and her boss!

“That’s just my point,” I continued. “Plastic surgery today is not like it was even a decade ago, when women had their skin pulled up and back so far and so many times they could no longer smile.  Women now want to look natural.  They also want to look the best they can for their age.”

“They want to look younger,” she answered, touting her boss’s attitude.  “Nope,” I persisted.  “I know I’m never going to look like I did at 40, or even 50, but I sure want to look as good as I can at 65.  Why do I want to have jowls, droopy eyelids and cheeks, and a neck that shouts ‘gobble, gobble.’ When I was your age, I vowed I’d never have cosmetic surgery.  But now, when I see how I looked before a chin implant, liposuction on my jowls and excess skin removed from my eyelids, I cringe.”

It amuses me when women like Arianna, who wear layers of makeup and dress to the nines, make pronouncements about the evils of cosmetic surgery.  It’s their prerogative not to want work done on their pretty little aging faces, just as it’s their prerogative to be Democrats or Republicans, pro or anti-abortion, vegetarians or carnivores.

I respect the plastic surgeons I’ve interviewed, every single one of them. And I love the partnership FOF has developed with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  I love when the doctors teach me about collagen, the SMAS layer of our skin, why our breasts sag and the important role our eyes play in how we look.  I love their passion in wanting to make women look good.  Plastic surgery used to get a bum rap. “Years ago, you either had an upper and lower face lift or did nothing,” said Dr. Kevin Tehrani, one of the surgeons I’ve interviewed. “There were no other options.”  Today, there are new non-invasive procedures and more sophisticated surgical procedures.

Yes, plastic surgery can be expensive and not everyone can afford it.  What we spend on our hair, makeup, clothes, accessories and jewelry every year all adds up, too.

We’re not going to stop aging, at least in my lifetime, but if we can give it a run for our money, I say:  “Count me in!”

P.S. I know there are bigger, more important issues to discuss today, like the impact of the Presidential election on Medicare and Social Security; the economy; women’s rights and unrest in the Middle East. But I will leave those discussions to places like the Huff Post. I like to hear Arianna’s opinions on those subjects.

21 Responses to “Arianna’s in a huff over plastic surgery”

  1. Victoria says:

    Geri, kudos to you for standing your ground and getting your point of view across. To each his or her own. Although plastic surgery may not be right for some it is right for others. It’s a very personal choice and one shouldn’t be judged for it. I’m over 40 and do whatever I can to look the best I can. At this point I have no desire for plastic surgery, but I use my red light therapy unit as often as I can 🙂

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  2. Mick says:

    If your roof was caving in, wouldn’t you fix it? If your car was 55 years old, would you do some body work or a paint job on it? Forheavensake – why wouldn’t you fix the little things that can maintain your personal attractiveness?

    Arianna needs an eyelift. She appears like she might qualify for one that would improve her vision. That hooded cobra look she is so sanctimonious about has got to be interferring with her peripheral vision.

    Vilifiying plastic surgery doesn’t make you noble or somehow “better.” It just makes you seem old, both mentally and physically. That 40+ writer you talked to is only 10 plus or minus years away from re-evaluating her own sagging facade. She will fix it, too – make no mistake – they aren’t fooling any of us.

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Well said, Mick. Many women do feel they’re “better” or noble” when they diss plastic surgery. It’s actually amusing when you think about it. Barbara Walters, who is one smart cookie, looks fresher and more beautiful than our friend Arianna, and she’s 20 years her senior. Arianna is going to be one gorgeous 80 if she keeps up her sanctimonious attitude.

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  3. BelindieG says:

    She’s a lying hypocrite who’s had Botox and fillers for years. Maybe not actual surgery but everything but. Honestly, this is a woman who got rich by having people write for free–why would anyone believe her about anything?

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    • Geri Brin says:

      Hi Belindie,

      Gotta give her credit for letting all these writers think she’s doing them a favor…and getting away with it for so long.

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  4. Dr Rhys Branman says:

    I have to go with Arianna Huffington on this one. People exercise to keep looking good, not only to stay healthy, they dye their hair, and how is waxing, dying, cosmetic dental work, manicures and pedicures somehow more natural than cosmetic surgery? It is not only women who are seeking cosmetic surgery either. More and more men are seeking surgery to stay competitive in the job market. You are correct that there are so many non-invasive techniques now, that cosmetic surgery has taken on a new meaning, not to mention how surgical procedures have matured. IPL photo facials, Ulthera, and Thermage are just a few non-invasive techniques I could mention. There is nothing wrong with women, and men too, preserving their looks.

    Dr. Rhys Branman
    Little Rock Cosmetic Surgery Center

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    • Dr Rhys Branman says:

      I would like to retract that comment! I obviously meant to say I agree with Geri. I think I was confused because I did not see her name under the title of the post, and caught no last name. Very sorry! I am posting what I meant to say as a new comment. Geri, please feel free to delete the previous comment if you like.

      Rhys Branman

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      • Geri says:

        Hi Dr. Branman,

        Won’t delete your previous comment because it was so well said. Just as long as women know you’re on my team, not Arianna’s 🙂

        Geri

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  5. Susan says:

    Surgery, like anything else, is personal choice, and should be made by the individual, not society, friend, or family member. Plastic surgery is expensive, can be painful, and is not a decision to take lightly.

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  6. ctgal says:

    I am right with you too. I also have terrible genes when it comes to aging. I am 61 now and do not look it. I had some plastic surgery also, eyes, neck, skin pulled back a little. No one knew it. Unfortunately, loose skin runs in my mother’s family, and I have it big time. It’s already loosening, and it hasn’t even been a year since the surgery. I didn’t want to be pulled tight, but I should have. It’s already falling and I have some turkey neck back. And we cannot afford another, unfortunately. And I lost weight too, afterward, and that didn’t help. So be careful and fully analyze before you jump in.

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  7. Greetje Kamminga says:

    I totally agree with everything you said. I have very unfriendly genes when it comes to aging. And I had plastic surgery done (eyelids, lower face and neck) and liposucked my waist. Still look my age or just a bit younger, nobody sees that I have surgery done and I am very, very pleased with the result. Looks really natural.

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  8. Christine says:

    Well, I can tell by her colored bleached and straighten hair that she does do a LOT of maintenance. I’m sure she can afford the best estheticians in the universe….but i bet in the next few years, despite the botox she certainly has had done… that those hooded eyes will be lifted soon.

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  9. Kimberly says:

    I am in my 50’s and would love to try the new “face of plastic surgery”, but alas, it is so expensive. I have heard that some of the LifeStyle lift surgeons offer a payment plan thru a loan company. Do you know anything about this LifeStyle Lift? I know that it is very important to pick the correct surgeon, but that is about it! Thanks, Geri!

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    • Suzanne says:

      There is a credit company called CareCredit and if you agree to pay off the borrowed amount within a specified amount of time there isn’t any interest. I totally understand what you’re saying about the expense – after I went for the consult I started debating – should I spend this kind of money on myself or should I put it toward something “practical” like a kitchen remodel – that sort of thing. I just turned 58 and while people I know say they’d never have guessed it, I am personally not happy with the drooping jowls I’m beginning to see in the mirror. I finally decided I really wanted to do something just for myself for a change – I just scheduled my SMART lift (a variation on the LifeStyle lift). The results will last “forever” unlike an injection of some type of filler (or even an updated kitchen!). Once I decided, I felt an immediate flood of relief and all doubt was erased – I know this is the right thing for ME.

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  10. Joan says:

    I am OK with getting older. But if you can do something safe, I want to look my best.

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    • Geri says:

      Hi Joan,

      My sentiment exactly.

      G

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  11. Erin Duggan says:

    All women want to look their best…and if they want to look “younger,” isn’t that their own personal choice??? I happen to agree strongly with Geri, I want to look natural. But again, isn’t how I both perceive and attain that up to me? The more information we all have and the better educated we are regarding the options available to us, the more empowered we “FOF’s” are. That’s what I’M in favor of…not of having someone (who may or may NOT have yet stood in my shoes) decide what I should be exposed to for me. PLEASE revive the “new face of plastic surgery!”

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  12. Donna says:

    I pretty much dislike everything about Arianna Huffington. I don’t think she’s EVER had one thing she’s written that I actually agree with, including plastic surgery. I say let’s help nature out in any way that we are comfortable with!

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    • Geri says:

      Bravo Donna. Bravo!

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