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Preying on the superficial …

We subscribe to Westchester Magazine, a monthly that comes out here in New York. The back page is always a Q&A with a local person. This month’s features David Palaia, the attending surgeon in plastic and reconstructive surgery at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mt. Kisco, N.Y.

Here’s how the Q&A opens …

Q: Do you think our society places too much emphasis on appearance?

A: “I think there’s a process of natural selection that favors looking your best when it comes to finding a mate, a job or being succesful—it’s in our genes to be that way. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Of course, there are people who take it too far, but most people use plastic surgery appropriately.”

To be blunt—are you fucking kidding me? Natural selection? It’s in our genes to be that way. I don’t think it’s a bad thing? Really? Really! Just so I understand, Doctor Palaia—looks matter more than anything, and that’s OK. And it’s OK if people are hired based on looks, because it’s natural. It’s in our genes, so if you were, unfortunately, born ugly, well, tough shit—get plastic surgery. Otherwise you probably won’t succeed, because good looks=winners.

I don’t know David Palaia, and I don’t care to. But I do know his profession, and I consider the business to be akin to Division I basketball coach. It’s gross and yucky and nasty, and leans heavily on the physical insecurities of people with money to burn.

Personally, I like wrinkles. I like scars. I like imperfections, and I don’t want people brainwashing folks into thinking that we all need to be improved. I’ve personally been to places in this country where everyone has work done—and it’s disgusting. Foreheads like sheets of plastic. Skin pulled back like a bow. Permanent grins.

Give me old and sagging any day of the week.

Any single day.