Thursday, December 11, 2008

Does This Make Me Look Operated?

What do Sharon Osbourne (56), Vanessa Williams (45), Jennie Garth (36), Daisy Fuentes (42), Brooke Shields (43), Simon Crowell (49), David Hasselhof (56), Linda Evangelista (43), Janice Dickinson (53), Lisa Rinna (45), Lori Loughlin (44), and Courtney Cox (44) all have in common?

Fewer wrinkles!

It's not a coincidence that there has been a slew of Botox "confessions" from Hollywood celebrities in the last few months. It coincides with Allergan's (the manufacturer of Botox® Cosmetic aka Botulinum Toxin Type A) marketing push launched in 2007 and formatted as a hybrid public service/infomercial/giveaway featuring well-known personalities.
Olympians Mark Spitz (58) and Nadia Comaneci (47) both gave lecture tours on “Your Personal Best” this fall. Virginia Madsen (44) hawked Botox with her mother in "Freedom of Expression."

By her own admission, Madsen got the job by a slip of the tongue in an interview shortly after the surprise success of her Oscar-nominated film role in Sideways (2004).

But it is really just stating the obvious: Aging Hollywood faces have help from knives and needles.

Short of the kind of admissions currently being featured in magazines, how do you know who's telling the whole truth?

It's all in the ears.

Rhytidectomies do the heavy lifting and offer the most clues. In a traditional facelift, an incision is made in front of the ear extending up into the hairline and down around the bottom of the ear and then up behind it, usually ending in the hairline. (For an excellent pictorial tutorial of the actual surgery, go here.)

Shall we play I Spy? I spy with my little eye....operated auricles.

A pixied earlobe is the distorted result when the reattached lobule is pulled down and forward onto the cheek. A fine example is Micky Rourke's (56) left ear; both are shown. A competent facial plastic surgeon will preserve the shape of the lobe you with which you were born. Otherwise, a big earring is the answer.

Poor scar placement and poor incision planning can be covered up with hairstyling– less so if you are David Gest (55). Over time, John Cleese's (69) aging facelift has relaxed into something appearing fairly natural, but his misplaced post-auricular scar in probably still very visible. (Check out the big kiss scene in Fierce Creatures, 1997).

The pre- and post-auricular skin of the ear is specialized: it is thin and nonhair-bearing. In some (especially men) the facial skin does not match identically with the ear skin. Removing this patch of pliable, hairless skin can have unnatural shaving your ear.

Perhaps more subtle is temporal hair loss or the sacrifice of the tuft of hair at the upper junction of the ear and face. As with Sophia Loren's (74) right ear, it can give a man or woman the appearance of wearing a wig.

The incision can go behind the tragus, that little cartilaginous bump in front of the ear hole, or in front of it. Female stars like Joan Rivers (75) usually opted for behind, in order to camouflage the scar. Poorly handled, the natural definition/indentation in that area is lost, blunting of the facial-ear junction.

Sometimes the tragus itself is distorted and pulled forward by the tension of the lift and/or the thickness of the redraped skin (this settles out over time as it has for Madonna, 50).

And whose operated ears do I Spy here?

After a traditional facelift, some of these stars may appear wonderful in photos, but as soon as they try to move their faces they look a bit Frankenface. The old-school operated look is something smooth and taut, but not young. The new look is all about volume, not subtraction. Volume is the very essence of facial youth and next-generation surgery is all about adding it.

New Feature FM107.1 on Demand - audio archive

Did you miss hearing Anne flesh it all out with Kevyn Burger on-air? Use this link to find the FM107.1 audio archive of Knifestyles broadcasts by date (second hour). Step one: select the date shown on the blog posting; step two: click on Kevyn Burger; step three: click on second hour. Enjoy!

I Spy answers:


Anonymous said...

Hi Anne. LOVE listening to you on the radio!
I'm about to get botox for the first time. I'm 38 and have a line in between my eyes that's driving me insane - I can't take it anymore!
Might you be willing to recommend a place to go have this done? I know it's no big deal, but I've seen enough bad botox to be terrified.
Thanks in advance for any recommendations. Signed, Furrowing in Minneapolis...

ANNE said...

Ummm, gosh, flattery will get you everywhere...or at least the name of the person who does my Botox: Bill Joy, RN @ (612) 799-2135.

martinkorben said...

anne, dear --

i saw this picture online last night and couldn't help but think about your most recent article:



ANNE said...

Why do I think that halo misplaced?

Good call on the photo and great resolution. What you're seeing is a post-facelift inflammatory reaction on the skin in front of Madonna's ear. With excessively thin tissue (no subcutaneous fat), any tension or wounding can result in dense inflammation, red and stiff to the touch. When the inflammation recedes there may even be some permanent alteration in pigment (either blotchy dark & smudgy or sometimes lighter). She may have even experienced some hair loss in the temple tuft, hidden by the big frame of her eyewear.