As for why it sometimes goes wrong or looks odd, I’ll add that we have an innate ability to recognize balance, and that includes the human face. When we look at cases of bad plastic surgery, it isn’t that it was always bad. For example, Megan Fox started off very lovely, and got great plastic surgery to enhance her already-stunning looks. The after picture was taken during her transformers days, circa 2009, after rhinoplasty and lip fillers.
Without a doubt, she still is good-looking, but you can definitely tell something’s off. Though her new face is composed individually of parts that make a very beautiful woman – full lips, round apple cheeks, eyebrows on fleek when put together, they simply don’t work.
And the reason is simple: Beauty isn’t only about having the right parts; it’s about how each feature plays off one another. Say you want a smaller, straighter nose. So you whittle that down. But now, your eyes and lips don’t seem right. And so you adjust those too. What this does is to send you down a path of unnecessary plastic surgeries or aesthetic treatments – each alteration results in more that you need to fix.
Going back to proportion, one important thing that a good cosmetic surgeon has to keep in mind is that beauty is in the balance. When a patient asks me to correct one feature on the face, that’s the easiest thing to do. But I always have to consider if the ultimate face result is going to look harmonically. And there lies the challenge.
A bad, plastic result occurs because of many reasons. Aside from body dysmorphic syndrome (BDD), the pressures of looking good, patient lifestyle, insecurity, culture and the greed for beauty, one important factor is the surgeon’s incompetence.
Determining what cosmetic procedures or aesthetic treatments can and can’t be done safely is, in the end, the surgeon’s call. I personally always have to make sure that it is a reasonable operation and the patient has appropriate motivation and knows what he/she is getting into. But that concept is not always appreciated or promoted.
Media play an important role on that. The Media promote quite often more the money-guzzling surgeon who had great PR but went into to business only for the cash and messed up people’s faces, and less the true professional cosmetic surgeon that quietly did his/her job and achieved fantastic results.
Patients come into my practice with different expectations. Some of them want less and some other more. Age, gender, pre-existing skin conditions, they all play a role in the final result. Patients express their wishes but they cannot evaluate the outcome. This is my call. I am responsible to know in advance if the final result of the treatment or surgery will look natural, harmonious, balanced or not. And for that, you can never do too much. In aesthetic medicine and surgery, the rule is one: Less is more.
I believe that I represent a new generation of cosmetic surgeons: A generation that had enough of the exaggerations and mistakes in cosmetic surgery of the past. We have though to give some credits to cosmetic surgeons of 30 years ago. They introduced a completely new field, the one of aesthetic surgery, which changed dramatically the life of a lot of people unhappy with their appearance. For that though, they had to experiment, do sometimes more than necessary or obey the patients’ wishes more that medicine and this is why we ended up with a lot of ugly, unsymmetrical, “plastic” faces and bodies, that we still see on the street.
A good cosmetic surgeon has to be able to say “no” to unnecessary aesthetic treatments or cosmetic surgeries. I catch myself quite often saying “no” to young women wishing for huge lips or very big breasts, when I know in advance how bad it will look. I believe, my role, as cosmetic surgeon is to consult and advise patients for a natural, aesthetic result, not just follow their wishes. And most of the times, it works. After all, this is why they come to you as an expert.
In general, I think that cosmetic surgery or aesthetic treatments can go wrong when the surgical goals are too aggressive. In my practice I typically advise patients to go for enhancement that are subtler and try to have a more natural appearance after the surgery or the treatment. I believe that this approach has been pretty successful and my patients have been pretty happy.
Plastic surgery really wasn’t meant to be used to enhance beauty. Plastic surgery was generally used when you had a serious accident. Whatever the accident was, the part of your body that was severely injured, plastic surgery was used to put your body back together again. As near normal as possible.
Cosmetic surgery has to do with Aesthetics. It does not only have to do with medical or surgical skills. It demands automatically that the cosmetic surgeon conceives the meaning of Aesthetics, of Beauty, of Harmony. I believe, I always had and I have for sure developed through my job my perception of what looks beautiful. And I realise every day, real Beauty goes along with natural results.