Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Cosmetic surgery over 50 and inhuman perfection

AFTER
Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret after cosmetic surgery

Face lift, chin and lip implants, fillers, chemical peel, botox, hair colour, and hair extensions, followed by professional makeup and a photographer with good lighting. And to think, you only saw me less than two weeks ago. That was fast, right? The miracle of modern science.

BEFORE (photo I posted here less than a year ago)
Melanie Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret before cosmetic surgery

I'm glad I know photo editing so I don't have to do the makeover for real to see the AFTER because, despite the wrinkles and sags, I'm okay with my aging face, although some days much more okay than others. I still catch glimpses of myself in window reflections and mirrors and wonder, who's that? WTF?! And walk a little faster.

But I keep telling myself over and over, I'll never be as young as I am at this very second. Deal with it. Revel in it! It's not the package that counts - it's what's in the package. I repeat: IT'S WHAT'S IN THE PACKAGE. Sigh. Those frickin' mantras.

Here they are again:

Mel Kobayashi and new younger Mel Kobayashi on Bag and a Beret

So what did I do? Apart from keeping my original nose/eyes/brows and basic facial structure?

enlarged my chin 
enlarged my mouth 
smoothed the wrinkles
erased the shadows
coloured my eyes green
changed the tint
added glam and skin-smoother filters 
blended two wigs 
recoloured my faux-fur jacket 

I used to have contact lenses that exact green - they caused quite a stir whenever I wore them and I stopped. Plus, they were not comfortable. I also think I might have repositioned my entire head or stretched it or tilted it (can't remember, I was lost in the moment).

My partner O and I both agree that the AFTER looks slightly creepy, no doubt due to my editing technique. There are probably apps these days that do all of these things with one tap. I know there is a skin smoother and lip plumper app. I often see the smoothing filter on IG.

It's also doubtful that these effects could be achieved even with extensive surgical/cosmetic interventions, but it was great "trying" them out.

Would I ever get a "procedure"? Never say never. I think it's important to feel good about ourselves.

But the search for perfection is pervasive!
And unwinnable.

Did you know that some popular Instagrammers are simply cgi figures, not real humans at all? Their perfection has won them (their creators) millions of followers in some cases and lucrative sponsorship deals. Is this where our search for perfection ultimately leads?

The following are all examples of hugely successful non-human influencers on Instagram.

lilmiquela






An LV ad with a fake human here (below).

Who needs humans anyway?

I do. You do. We all do! Why this rush to do away with ourselves? Heh.

Sigh - again. I haven't booked any procedures yet, but I suspect they will grow in both ease and frequency of application for all genders. This is a topic for another time. I just farked that photo and thought, wow, that's pretty weird. That new me probably speaks fluent French. Heh.

And because this is also a style blog, I'm sharing this next photo, something I wore yesterday, which I can also link up to Patti at Not Dead Yet Style and her Visible Monday, and Catherine at Not Dressed as Lamb and her #iwillwearwhatilike. I'll see you there!

Mel Kobayashi of Bag and a Beret, wearing black in the stairwell

What do you think about cgi influencers and our obsession with perfection? Another question: once you achieve perfection, what else is there? The search, the process, is where all the good stuff happens.

That's all for this week. I've responded to your comments from the last couple of posts if any of you are interested.

Until next time!




43 comments:

  1. Erk creepy. Perfection is a ridiculous concept. Who actually benefits from it I ask? Certainly none of us. You are perfect by a much more useful definition of the word - the perfect you! <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you, madame. I don't think there is such a thing as perfection, which is why people tend to shop so much. Elusive, ridiculous concept.

      Delete
  2. Like MrsC said, you're already the perfect Mel. I agree with you and O that your "after" pic has lost its humanity (want those green eyes, though), and I sighed with happiness when I saw the Before. Phew! You're still you, gorgeous and 50-something and real.

    We're all only going in one direction, unless Science creates the Way-Back machine. Let's revel in it, indeed. xox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yip, forward, onwards, ho (in the archaic sense). The after pic is gross. The green eyes are freaky, but intriguing, and I felt immediate relief when I saw the before pic. I might like to try coloured contacts again... Thanks, Patti.

      Delete
  3. Weird, creepy, scary. Love the real you the best. You are THE BEST! No doubt you had fun in the process though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, Barbara, I definitely had fun! Especially manipulating the mouth. Hahaha! And trying on some pretty wild hair. I have enough wigs in my closet now to play with, including that yellow one I got when we were shopping. xo

      Delete
  4. I have a friend who reminds everyone that the end of the Birthday song asks how OLD are you. Well at 62, I believe that if you are liked and others wish to spend their time with you, then you must be beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True words, so true. I'm 56 and I don't feel particularly attached to the number but it provides comfort to those who ask I suppose. I bet you are still beautiful and rocking in your way at 62!

      Delete
  5. The interesting bits of life happen around the edges, where things are in constant flux -- not in the middle, where everything is pretty much the same.

    Aging keeps us constantly at the edges, where young blends into not-so-young into ancient. If we always strive to seem to the world as if we are young, we are missing out on an interesting life.
    Plus, NO ONE is fooled by your jet black hair dye job, great-great-great- grandma. We can see where you missed a spot. You've hidden the glorious mass of silver that we''d all envy, if we could only see it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, yes, I agree that dancing around the edges is the electric part. I stopped colouring my hair a few years ago, what a relief. Now when I look at colour I veer towards the blues, pinks, and oranges of the wash-out hair gels. I haven't bought any yet. Usually nobody is fooled by fakery, even filters. Thanks for this comment.

      Delete
  6. there's an ad on TV here (USA) that's on almost as much as the political ones, that's for some kind of filler/lip plump treatment. It's shinny and full of "fierce" woman. It's pretty scary to watch, the message seems to be...use this, look like this or be a loser. But there's an up roar because of a female Dr. Who doll, which is "objectifying"? Pardon? Isn't telling girls over and over again that looking fake is good, but playing with a doll is bad the wrong message?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really freak with all this crap. Dr. Who doll as objectifying? Really?!! I don't get any of it sometimes, or maybe I do, which makes me freak out even more. Thanks for this info. Maybe those lip plumper ads are in fact political ads.

      Delete
  7. Perfection is boring. I have a cousin who is a brain surgeon and she doesn't look a day over 18. She is ridicously beautiful despite not working on it. What is sad is that some people will invest all their efforts into achieving a certain look and will never achieve it. Why not be a brain surgeon instead? or a nurse or s teacher? Looks are not only fleeing, there are not always attainable. Education on the other hand, always pays off. Some women couldn't care less about their looks, but they end up looking amazing. Others loose themselves in search of the forever elusive physical perfection. Not everyone wins the genetic lottery...and in the end an intelligent gaze is what is really attractive (to other intelligent people at least).

    ...love your all black look.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree wholeheartedly. It's what you do with the insides of your package, not how your package looks. Education is critical, especially for women who are so often judged superficially. When the looks go, then what? Brain power and an intelligent gaze have long-lasting and strong attraction, definitely. Thanks for sharing this.

      Delete
  8. That "perfect" you looks like she just murdered a bunch of people.

    No, I prefer the un-creepy Mel who is absolutely gorgeous because you are YOU. Your perfection is so much more than what any CGI can produce. Your beauty is in part your physicality, but those things sparkle with life and friendship because you are first and foremost a unique human being who embraces life and creativity. And it's your humanity that makes me admire you and call you friend.

    Gah...this is such a great reminder, Mel. I don't want to be a creepy robot.

    Hugs,
    Sherry
    http://www.petiteover40.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Yes, she does look like that. The smoothers in the "after" have smoothed out everything that I find interesting in others too. Blech. Those cgi IGs really freaked me out. I thought, really? xo

      Delete
  9. Who wants to be perfect, anyway? That edited version of you is beyond creepy. Imagine catching sight of yourself and seeing that! xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha! Yes, if I think going by windows now can be, ahem, arresting, I can't imagine what it would be like as the creepy woman. She belongs in animation as a villain. My perfection is imperfection. xo

      Delete
  10. I much, much, much prefer the real Mel to the super edited one. She looks like a deranged serial killer, you look like someone I'd want to go for a beer with. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a consensus about the deranged serial killer look. Maybe it will become a thing. Hahaha. I'm glad the farked image came out badly. xo

      Delete
  11. I agree with Sherry and Vix...that altered version looks like she eats baby kittens for breakfast.

    I will admit that I get rid of some bad shadows in my photos sometimes and veins. I feel like I'm turning into a map with different coloured roads, ragged mountains and splotchy deserts all over my skin. I really dislike it.

    Learning to embrace the changes isn't easy. Health issues concern me more than esthetics though as it is the health that ultimately decides how much we are able to enjoy life as we age.

    Suzanne
    http://www.suzannecarillo.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, I think I look a bit like a cat in the after photo so if I ate baby kittens for breakfast, that would make me a cannibal?!!

      I like your metaphor of face as topographical map. Hahaha. I've seen you in real life and you look even better than your photos - love that real human version.

      And yes, health is crucial no matter what we look like. Preoccupation with looks in general can be a distraction from the real things that count. xo

      Delete
  12. I'm thinking the completely fake "beauties" are a pretty logical extension of popular culture's current beauty goals. If you live somewhere (as I do) where many women are natural, seeing made up women looks really weird and plasticky. The cgi stuff is just a little bit further along that highway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always wonder who decides, who really decides, who the beauty role models will be. I don't think it's the viewers; it's the people behind the curtain. Natural has value beyond any of this stuff. The hearts are what count. They always are. Thanks for your comment. I think we'll see more of those cgi accounts down the road, too. Thanks.

      Delete
  13. No, weird! Let is Just be ourselves! Much better, with wrinkles and saga and all!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Please don't touch up, fill, smooth, or Botox the real you. This whole perfection thing can get one down I must say. And I'm usually pretty happy with me as I am. Probably more happy than I was at age 27 when I looked a hell of a lot better! The idea of tinkering with cosmetic surgery scares me... what if it's just a slippery slope? How would one feel when the face doesn't match the neck and body anymore? Ickkk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to try it. I'm so pleased with the big fail. I love the word tinkering in this context. And there is not much talk about how it actually feels to have a sloshing layer of something under your skin, that extra pull when you smile. I think that would bother me most. I am trying to focus on the doing aspect of myself than the showing aspect. So far, so good. Thanks for this comment, Susan.

      Delete
  15. Do you remember that Twilight Zone episode where a very beautiful woman was receiving her cosmetic surgery in a dark O.R., where the surgeon's faces weren't visible? The ending revealed the surgeon's pig faces. The patient was beautiful but simply didn't conform to the accepted norms of attractiveness... I LOVED Rod Serling and I really think that many of my values evolved under his tutelage.
    There are so many beautiful things about you Melanie. Face farking is a cautionary tale at the very LEAST. Love, Jude

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I LOVED that episode. And remember the one where the girl turned a certain age and she had to choose which model she wanted to become. She looked ordinary and decided to stay that way. The model family and doctors were aghast and I think they sent her "away." Don't worry, no face farking here. But can I use masking tape? Thanks, Jude xox

      Delete
  16. Oops, somehow my first reply didn't take
    Anyhoo, what I meant to say is the real Mel stands alone and magnificent!! (I admit I have played around with that face smoothing app; nowadays I may use it on my nose once in a great while as I am very pore-y) :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, that was a massive face smoother dose I took there. Massive. Hahaha. With each pass, I gasped a little. In the end, I cringed. Hahaha. Nothing wrong with smoothing. We are in charge. But I hope we don't end up with thousands of cgi "people" on IG. Yikes!!! Thanks, Carol. xo

      Delete
  17. You always look completely wonderful to me and you are so funny and witty. In short, you are Da Bomb in all your realness! Alli from Canberra, Australia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Alli! You are just sailing into spring there. Sigh. How lovely. And we're not even into winter here yet! Gaaa! Thank you for this lovely comment!

      Delete
  18. Although I had some "work" done as you know, I still have a lot of wrinkles and blotches. And I am not going to do anything about it anymore. What I had done suits me fine and I would do it again. But please don't make me look plastic. Because there is so much fake in the world, so much photoshopping, there is a big need for truth. In the end I think people will prefer truth. And if the majority doesn't, then I still do.
    Greetje
    PS, you in your black outfit: that is perfection.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right? Plastic is plastic, although some people like that, almost like it's a badge of privilege or something. But we usually get used to it and it becomes less of a thing. Truth is important, I so agree, but even that is under siege these days - "truth is not the truth" ???!!! You always tell it like it is, and in a funny way that makes you so wonderful. Thanks for your comment. Yeah, that black outfit made me feel very Audrey Hepburn. xo

      Delete
    2. So glad you are replying again. Mwah.

      Delete
  19. Yeah, that photographically altered version of you is creepy. I don't want to spend time with her at all. I see a lot of women who have had work done whenever I go to New York, and there's always a weird thing that happens around their mouth. Would I ever have something done? I don't know - I would have to have extra money lying around and it would have to be something subtle enough that people wouldn't be able to tell exactly what I had done, just that I looked fresher and brighter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, so we have deranged, kitten eater, mass killer, and just plain creepy. So I'll cancel my appointment at the clinic, SHALL I?!!! Hahaha. It was a fun exercise. I was glad I was turned off by the results.

      It was disappointing at a photo shoot where the makeup woman said, relax, relax, I said I AM relaxed, thinking, those are WRINKLES. When you can't afford fillers anymore, doesn't that stretched skin just bag even more than it would have before? Inquiring minds want to know. I'll rely on makeup for now. I'll never say never except today. xo

      Delete
  20. I guess it depends on what one's definition of "perfect" is. Those CGI models look like CGI models. They don't look "perfect". That photo of you scares me. Looks like something that one would find in the book of Female Serial Killers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I studied Lilmiquela for a while when there was controversial about whether she was real or not. In this example, she looks fake, but in some, not so fake. They've done a really "good" job on her.

      I totally agree, it's up to someone's definition. I don't like perfection - I like rough edges, that's where the beauty is. And yes, everyone agrees: serial killer. Hahaha!

      Delete
  21. I think this kind of fake perfection is disturbing but fascinating too!, it's part of our actual cult to any instagramable thing. Authenticity is becoming so strange nowadays!, but I think that there are still people who look for it! genuine people who love crooked surfaces, edges, mixed textures and unflattering unappropriate clothes which lots of personality and Art!! That's my kind of Perfection!!
    besos

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love your blog and this is my first comment! We all suffer from the effects of fake perfection. I took my BF's daughter to lunch this week. She has horrible acne and is suffering so much from a lack of confidence. We romanticize youth and forget how tough it was on us. I remember having acne like hers and was fortunate to have figured out a good treatment plan. Just to have had the ability to clear my skin then was enough to make me feel thankful that I have a "normal" complexion now. I can't imagine cosmetic procedures nor would I spend the hundreds of dollars on products that women are influenced into buying. In some respects, having bad acne from my 20's to 5O's gave me a better perspective on what to be satisfied with. I try to help younger women I know to understand that the perfection they see is manufactured and to learn to work within the parameters of reality. It just gets harder with the examples you have shown!

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...