Each week our no-holds-barred beauty blogger Grace Gold picks apart a hot topic beauty story. It's our version of an op-ed...with lipstick, laser treatments and liner involved.
By now, we're all used to the Hollywood stars who swear—despite the fact that their cheekbones rise higher and lips look fuller with each passing year —that they've never "gone under the knife." Perhaps most famously, Sophia Loren claimed her graceful foray into aging has never been nip-and-tuck assisted. She told People magazine a couple of years ago, "I don't believe in having work done, because then everybody looks the same." If that's true, I'll have one (or three) of what's she's drinking. But I have a feeling it's only served in a plastic surgeon's office.
One of the most entertaining tales of a public figure dodging cosmetic surgery suspicions, however, comes not from Hollywood, but instead out of the Egyptian Parliament. As reported by Mohamed El Dahshan of Foreign Policy, parliamentary member Anwar el-Balkimy discreetly slipped away on Feb. 29 to a private hospital in Cairo that caters to the wealthy elite. The mission? Operation nose job. All went as planned, except the lawmaker realized the sudden change in profile would likely be noticed by others—particularly by fellow conservative Salafis, who comprise Egypt's religious right and are known to strictly prohibit such perceived indulgences as dancing and entertainment. And, yes, plastic surgery applies.
At this point, Balkimy decides to do damage control by contacting the media firsthand. Except, in a foolhardy attempt to cover up the rhinoplasty, he announces he's been carjacked by violent assailants who not only robbed him of thousands, but attempted to murder him, resulting in surgery that left his face swathed in bandages. He files a police report, checks into another hospital, and even makes a television appearance from bed to reveal the mummy-like white strips cocooned over his face.
After a criminal search launched and a highly-publicized procession of hospital visits from notables that even included the opposition party's leader ensued, an investigation exposed the truth—nose job and all. The lie cost Balkimy his seat on Parliament, after members held him accountable for hoodwinking officials and the public.
But Balkiny was right about one thing: He had reason to anticipate much ado about his nose.
According to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASPS), while 13.8 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the USA in 2011 (both invasive and non-invasive, like Botox), a whopping 47 percent of women and 51 percent of men say they would negatively judge another for electing to have a procedure. And this coming from the country that leads the world in plastic surgery.
If you had something "done," would you conceal the fact, or be open about it?