December 3, 2009

They (the powers that be) want to put a tax on cosmetic surgery. Or really elective procedures for cosmetic benefit, including breast implants, tummy tucks, teeth whitening and B. It’s been cutely called The Botax. Ha! It originated as a way to help alleviate the cost of a new health care plan. It’s estimated to generate $6 billion a year. That’s a lot of money (a lot that’s coming from mostly women).

I heard about this tax while in L.A. – Beverly Hills to be exact. Unsurprising, as Beverly Hills is the cosmetic surgery capital of the country, people are up in arms. What was surprising however, was how openly the news anchors were for cosmetic surgery. Granted, I was watching a local news station. But the general attitude of the various reporters I saw (all female) was that after a certain age – cough, 40 – it was inevitable that you’d get some work done. I’ve never been in a place where it was so openly accepted and expected.

It’s a sad realization – one that makes me never want to live in L.A. It’s a place where people try to achieve eternal youth – where it’s so normal to have cosmetic surgery that you think everyone does. When you are 40, you shouldn’t look or act like you do at 20. You should be bringing something else to the table. Maybe wisdom or acceptance that even without lifts and tucks and smoothing, you can still be beautiful. Women just need to accept aging (and men should accept women’s aging too).



  1. Well said!
    Although I do think that women getting “some work done” has little to do with men, just like women buying handbags/boots has nothing to do with men either.

    • I don’t think it’s quite like handbags/boots. While fashion and accessorizing might be more about impressing other women, looking younger is not. The article I link to – I think – mentions that having work done helps older women compete with younger women for jobs. Women are judged significantly more than men when they age. Not saying it’s a purely male mindset – I think lots of women are biased against aging women too – but I think it’s a big factor.

      • Hmmm… never thought of it this way before. It’s worth pondering.

  2. what’s really twisted is that this tax is specifically going towards healthcare. to be upset that you have to pay more for a boob job to fix that bit of sagging so that someone else can have have lumpectomy/mastectomy/chemo just to stay alive and to live in a world where that’s not fair is pathetic.

    • Agreed.

      Also glad to see you commenting!

    • It’s not too different from the cigarette tax paying for healthcare. Or the gasoline tax paying for road maintenance. If people stop doing the bad thing, the tax revenue stops coming in. It’s maddening.

  3. It’s not just LA, it’s anywhere where people spend most of the year mostly naked. When I lived in Miami, I used to constantly hear commercials for cosmetic surgery on the radio. Also, Rio in Brazil is the plastic surgery capital of the world. When it’s normal to wear thongs to the beach, cellulite becomes the devil.

    We don’t know what will end up in the final bill, but I hope this ultimately reverses this ridiculous trend we have in this country. There’s nothing wrong with looking old. I think it looks awesome. I love photographing old people. And if it becomes too expensive to get plastic surgery – then only the starlets will do it. And if no one else does it, then perhaps the bias against older women goes away, because no one can look younger except the unexperienced.

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