Thursday, April 20, 2017

Extreme vanity? Or just good business?

magnifying glass
image credit:  By Penarc - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

 $800 vials of Botox. $475 Genesis laser treatment for pore tightening. $1,200 Titan laser sessions to firm the jawline.

This New York Times article about a LA derm to the stars seemed OTT on first reading, but it also made sense.

Would you want your pimple to be seen in hi-def around the world? Your sagging jaw line?
The lines around your eyes? Sexy—supposedly—on men. On women, not so much.

Most of us wouldn’t much like it but most of us—lucky for us—don’t depend on our looks to earn a living.

What would you do if you were a movie star and your million-dollar paycheck were at stake?
Or what if you were a working actor—but not a star—who was looking for next job? Would you have some “work” done? A touch up here and there every now and then?

If you care about paying rent and putting food on the table, getting first crack at hot scripts, or just landing your next role, of course you would. Ditto for TV personalities, news anchors, C-suite executives who need to look “rested” and alert, ready to meet the next crisis or challenge.

All of which reminds me of my now-retired derm who told me that, when he was in med school, he wanted to do something that would help people feel good and so he chose dermatology. His father, an orthopedist, went ballistic. “If it didn’t involve a saw and hammer, he didn’t think it was medicine,” my derm told me.

His father kept bugging him until my derm finally lost patience. “If you don’t stop, I’m going to go into psychiatry,” he threatened his father.

Who, from then on, ceased and desisted railing against dermatology as a career choice. Ultimately proud, no doubt, of his son, a talented clinician who effectively treated the array of skin sensitivities I had inherited from my father and the only derm able to heal a friend’s persistent and extremely irritating rash of mysterious origin.

I love glimpses into other worlds! Do you?

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