Not-so-fantastic plastic on reality TVComment on this story
Some are spurred on by Hollywood’s culture of ‘picture perfect’ and others succumb to the pitfalls of vanity. Debashine Thangevelo caught up with Dr Terry Dubrow to find out more about this fad and how Dr Paul Nassif and he step in to help after things have gone horribly wrong on E!’s Botched…
PERFECTION has become the holy grail for women (and men) using Hollywood’s culture of flawlessness as their compass.
But plastic surgery can be a double-edged sword. It can boost confidence by correcting “problem areas”with a tummy tuck, a boob job or rhinoplasty. On the flip side, going under the knife too often does more harm than good. The results can can cause plummeting self-confidence and unhappiness.
On E!’s reality series Botched, plastic surgeons, Dr Terry Dubrow and Dr Paul Nassif, attempt to help reverse procedures that have gone horribly wrong.
On the origins of the series, with season two being shot in the US, Dubrow shares: “Dr Nassif and I have been friends for a long time and have both done plastic surgery programmes. So we have a lot of experience in plastic surgery and television. In our practices, we noticed a lot of people who have had major plastic surgery problems.
“We thought a cautionary tale to put on television, where we spend all this time trying to reverse bad plastic surgery, would be helpful. And we approached the producers of The Real Housewives series, which we both worked with, and they picked it up.”
Dubrow explains what drives people to seek out surgery in the first place.
“There are two reasons. One is that they are used to seeing celebrities in Hollywood who are genetically so perfect. They are exposed to it in magazines, television and movies.
“The new culture is to try to look as good as you can and they strive to do that. Plastic surgery is okay to make minor changes, periodically. But to try and achieve perfection – like the theme song for Botched – is a mistake which can lead you down a very dangerous path.
“It can become an addiction. If you have a body disorder like dysmorphia then you will never be happy. Of course, we try to avoid patients with that psychological abnormality. We have this saying in plastic surgery: ‘the enemy of good is better’. And we try to tell people to be happy with where they are at.”
However, before these surgeons try to correct any surgery they need to establish a few things.
Dubrow explains: “First, you want to ensure they are psychologically stable for surgery. You have to work with these people and make sure they have realistic goals and expectations. Yes, there are a number of cases that are so far gone we are unable to fix it.
“How we deal with them is say: ‘Look, we might be able to make this better. But we might also make it worse. Are you really prepared to take that risk?’
“For a lot of these patients, this is their last hope for a return to ‘normalcy’, as we call it. It is a very scary area for us as it is high-risk and challenging. You have to be extraordinarily careful.”
He says one of their biggest concerns is when a patient has had a lot of surgery in a particular region like the nose or face, where the blood supply to that area is so impaired that operating one more time could see the entire area “turn black and die”.
“I have seen an entire nose fall off and the entire side of a face turn black and die.”
Unfortunately, these are the frightening realities their patients grapple with.
Coming up this season, Dubrow says there are some really crazy requests like people wanting to look like various celebrities.
As a teaser for next season, he offers: “We are seeing patients who have had body modifications. People with forked tongues, weird ear procedures, wings on their back and horns on their head. That’s very challenging.”
• Botched airs on E! (DStv channel 124) on Sundays at 10pm.