How Happy Are You?
A Walk on the Wild Side of Munjoy Hill

Have Some Liposuction With Your Massage

Most of the marketing email that arrives in the Time Goes By inbox amuses Crabby Old Lady. The writers like to dress up their form letters with a little chumminess – first name in the salutation - and then structure the letter so the blog name can be dropped in halfway through the sales pitch. They often end with an overly familiar closing, as though the flack and Crabby have been best friends for a decade or so.

These “personalizations,” intended to flatter readers into thinking they have been singled out as important trend setters, are dead giveaways of second-rate PR tactics and Crabby usually dumps them straight into trash.

But two days ago in a PR email suggesting that retirement lacks "glamour," a sentence caught Crabby’s eye just as her finger headed for the delete key:

“How about getting pampered with a massage, a facial, or perhaps a tummy tuck?”

Say what? Crabby’s double-take was so swift it nearly spun her head off her neck. Certainly, she’d read that wrong. But no.

The friendly flack continued:

“My client, a Los Angeles-based surgical and wellness center not only offers breast augmentation/reduction, tummy tucks, and liposuction, but also aromatherapy treatments, foot reflexology, face-lift massages, and much more.

“All spa services can be paired with cosmetic surgery to assist the body in its natural healing abilities.”

Oh, yeah, Crabby will have a little liposuction with the manicure.

When, Crabby wants to know, did surgery – you know, that procedure for which they put you under anesthesia which can be administered only by trained physicians and then cut open your body so you bleed and if the surgeon doesn’t know what he’s doing you die – become synonymous with harmless, feel-good, relaxation techniques?

This is dangerous territory, equating surgical procedures – which are always life-threatening – with hippie-dippie, so-called “natural healing abilities” induced by the aroma of ylang-ylang. This is how far American culture’s hatred of the outward signs of aging has gone and Crabby Old Lady is not the first one to notice:

“Still, Dr. Rothman worries that these tiny procedures may create a demand for serial liposuction in which patients come to view surgery as a maintenance technique, like fitness.

"’We already have a model for this with Botox and Restylane, where people go to their doctors every few months to get another shot whenever they feel like it,’ Dr. Rothman said. ‘Maybe liposuction will become like a gym membership where you pay a doctor $10,000 for the year and you can have as much surgery as you want.’"

- The New York Times, 15 June 2006

Until this email arrived, Crabby Old Lady would have thought stopping by the spa after work for a massage and tummy tuck was a TV comedian’s joke about Hollywood lifestyles. But she also would not have believed, until last week, that the U.S. Supreme Court would uphold no-knock police intrusions into private homes.

Both are abhorrent developments and each in its own way has the potential to kill.


WOW. Great one, Ronni. Susan

That is unbelievable for sure. I have been surprised how lax the standards are for who can give botox injections. To start with it amazes me anybody is willing to inject poison into their body-- supposedly safe or not-- but to think you'd let the equivalent of a beauty salon operator do it, surprises me even more. The dread of old age really becomes a disease (seemingly a national one) but instead of treating that irrational fear, the solution people go for is to put on masks which fools nobody-- least of all old age itself.

Great and informative post, Ronni.
I happened to see this morning on the Today Show a segment about Botox...and I about choked on my coffee. NOW they are giving Botox injections to decrease SWEATING. Yes....sweating! If one feels they're sweating excessively....why, my goodness, just pop over to your friendly Botox dealer, get an injection in the axillary area and poof! NO more sweating. Hmm, seems to me sweating was good for the body to rid itself of toxins.
Society is going more and more insane, in my opinion!

Unfortunately, I'm one of those people who has to deal with excessive persperation on my scalp and face. If it's over 70 degrees, and I'm active, I'll have to deal with sweat. So, I can understand the lure of a possible solution. Still...I wouldn't do it.

I can't believe the length some people will go to look young. Personally, I think that we need to spend more time talking about appropriate diet and exercise, and forget all the surgical solutions!

Thanks for the post. It sure opened my eyes.

Cosmetic surgery is one of those things that I cannot even start to understand. I am soooooo scared of physical pain that the idea of voluntarily submitting myself to it, just to get fewer wrinkles or whatever, just doesn't make sense to me.
Great post Ronni.

I am on the fence on this one. I mean it makes me seem so superficial...but then I also would look so good. I think this blending of surgery and spadom will continue to merge as surgery becomes safer and people become that mud puddle across my street.

My experiences with medical personnel allow me to suspect anything goes if it is "routine procedure" I can't quite pick for discouraging between this kind of practice or the no- knock policy...
Both are frightening

It would be interesting to see a list of all our individual rights that have been taken away in recent years of which this no-knock policy is just one more example.

As a people who believe in the rule of law, we are hard-pressed to correct the errors in judgement of our highest court in the land.

Unfortunately for us, their decision reflects the attitudes of our current administration, which is not, and repeatedly has not, been motivated to act, in the individual citizen's best interests.

As for the medical procedures...
is it too much to hope that most women care enough about themselves and are smart enough to not subject their bodies to such serious surgeries, much less in an establishment of that sort?

As if the health dangers presented with such surgeries aren't enough, such businesses encourage belief in the unacceptability of the aging person's physical appearance.

That's why I continue to believe our discussing aging as it really is, to dispel all the myths, to set the record straight on all aspects of aging, as well as the acceptability of our normal gradually changing appearance, is so important for all ages to know.

Thanks to Ronni whose posts not only convey that message so well, but they also serve as a catalyst for me and any others who want their voices to be heard on the topic. Hopefully, more and more people will read this blog, comment, and disseminate this message.

I am a young senior citizen. Very youthful in attitude, demeanor, walk, attitude. Sometimes I feel as though it is a curse, because my body belies my age. However, my comment is directed to excessive perspiration. Ever since I went through my changes at approximately age 46, I have suffered, endured excessive perspiration in the scalp, face, neck, under the breast. I will begin to perspire profusely after 5 minutes (no exageration) of excercise. I am literally drenched in perpiration. If I try walking after 1/4 mile I'm drenched in perspiration. So, this is not vanity, it's limits my activity. People will actually ask me if I am okay, because of the extreme perspiration in my head, neck, face, behind the ears, etc. They are concerned that I may pass out. I would consider botox if it would eliminate this perspiration. Is there anything else that I can do. I'd like to live a relatively normal life, without looking like a sweat hog.

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