THE RISE OF THE HUMAN BARBIE?

As advances in cosmic surgery take women ever closer to the aesthetic appeal of an inflatable sex doll, the idea is beginning to take shape that perfection may not be quite as desirable as the word implies. For one thing the standards for perfection are forever shifting and next to impossible to predict, trout lips may well be all the rage today, but tomorrow’s tastes might demand something a tad less overt, butt implants may have to be reversed as the trend moves from padded derriere towards butt-less chic, breasts will have to be raised, lowered, augmented, or deflated, according to the whims of public convention. 

The perfect woman will not be born; she will be made perfect by science. She will be a unique bio/silicon hybrid with all the imperfections of the flesh surgically removed, a new Eve for the digital age, slick, superficially flawless, with sex appeal in synthetic spades. But by becoming dependent on a mass mediated idea of beauty, we run the risk of losing our own organic sense of femininity, we stunt our emotional growth, both as women and human beings, with the result that the parts will be judged without reference to the whole, we will be female by committee, beautiful by decree, no spontaneous expression of womanhood will be tolerated unless its first been lab tested on animals and then run by special focus groups in the Mid-West. 

It’s hard to imagine that certain parts of our bodies will not decompose, that our accessories may well achieve the kind of immortality the rest of our bodies can only dream of, lying in the dust of our remains, alongside pacemakers, prosthetics, and metal nipple rings, will be giant silicon-filled bags resembling alien tumors, and perhaps tomorrow’s grave robbers will start a thriving industry recycling these parts and selling them back to the general populace. Second hand beauty will still be beauty, the same way knock-off fashion can still be considered fashion. 

But be warned, plastic women are an evolutionary dead end; they will not pass on their perfect good looks to the next generation, although they may pass on their surgeon’s phone number, but what is absolutely guaranteed is that daughters will inherit their mother’s acute lack of confidence in the hand nature has dealt them, and all to the advantage of the cosmetic’s industry which, lets face it, has never been slow to capitalize on female insecurities.  

The perfect woman will not be cheap and what you see will have to be maintained and upgraded. The following is a taste of costs to come.

  • Procedure                                                                Cost*
  • Breast Augmentation Silicone/Saline                  $4,500
  • Breast Lift with Augmentation                             $7,500 – $8,500
  • Breast Lift                                                              $6,500 – $8,500
  • Breast Reduction & Lift                                        $8,500 – $10,500
  • Blepharoplasty (with fat grafting)                       $2,500 – $6,000
  • Facelift                                                                   $10,000 – $14,000
  • Rhinoplasty                                                           $5,000 – $7,500
  • Brow Lift                                                                 $1,500 – $3,000
  • PAL (power assisted liposuction)                        $2,500 – $7,500
  • Abdominoplasty                                                     $6,500 – $10,500
  • Brachioplasty                                                         $4,000 – $6,000
  • Implants Silicone                                                    $1,600
  • Implants Saline                                                       $800
  • Anesthesia
    (depending on length of surgery) 1-5 hours       $500 – $2,200

*Costs do not include VAT.

Beauty is becoming a high-stakes, winner-takes-all business, but what is it leaving us with, a generation of unhappy women with high maintenance costs and no way to separate their own needs from the needs of the industry?

Does anyone realize that the Mona Lisa, once the perfect ideal of feminine beauty (and all natural might I add), wouldn’t even get a modelling contract in this day and age, we’re moving away from all things natural, we’re heading into a world where the future of women is no longer assured, where beauty is in the eye of the machine, and everything else is second best.

Cripes, it almost makes me want to cancel my four o’clock facial.

JUDITH CHAMBERS   

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