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BUSHELL ON THE BOX: Ghoul den age of TV.


THE new series of Cosmetic Surgery Live raised some eyebrows. It also lifted cheeks, sliced open guts and tortured more privates than a sadistic sergeant-major.

Anal bleaching, last year's big news, seems positively quaint compared to the freakish procedures on display this week.

Alexandri Barbosa, a barking mad Brazilian, had his manhood sliced open and "widened with the skin of the dead." (What's the sales pitch? Stay harder longer with rigor mortis?)

A lunatic lady-boy had his face pulled away from his skull as part of an op to look "more feminine" (pity they can't try that on Kaye Adams).

While "Live in LA", Tammy had "a bra made out of her own skin". At least it won't shrink in the wash.

We saw buttock implants, vaginal tightening, and people hacked open like meat on a butcher's slab. We also had a good look at the world's biggest plonkers - Vanessa Feltz and Dr Jan Adams.

Five market these ghoulish images as a public service. They're just letting us in on all the latest hip ops, they say, with a nudge and a wink. It's all a laugh, innit? Well no. Not really. It stinks. Their gushing, uncritical approach is deeply suspect. Gruesome Vanessa and her excitable sidekick are cheerleaders for the multibillion pound cosmetic surgery industry. And they're basically peddling a lie.

They play down the risks and plug the myth that happiness can be bought, that "reconstruction" will make you a better human being.

But consider the evidence. "Tomorrow," trilled Vanessa, "how porn star looks can get you ahead." Cut to a shot of a crazy Yank with barrage balloon breasts - her own personal silicone valley.

Lola Ferrari from Eurotrash had the same absurd implants and they killed her.

Freakish operations, largely inspired by the Brazilian transsexual scene, underline the obscene waste of money and medical know-how we see here. Butt implants, breast augmentation for men, sexier bellybuttons...

THIS has gone beyond vanity. It's plain nuts. (As opposed to the synthetic ones offered to female-to-male gender-benders in Florida.)

Whatever happened to diet, exercise and self-esteem coaching?

Cosmetic surgery can't be stopped - people can spend their dough however they like. But when one third of teenage girls "want" surgery, this shallow craze should be questioned long and hard.

Or in Alexandri's case, long and wide.

-THE case against excessive cosmetic surgery in eight words: Jackie Stallone, Michael Jackson, the Bride of Wittgenstein...

-ONE woman was subjected to "a mummy makeover". It worked OK, but on the downside she has to keep the bandages on for 3,000 years.


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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Apr 17, 2005
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