I remember in my tweens, riding in the back seat on the way home from church and telling my mother that when I became an adult, I would get a nose job. My mother said something along the lines of, “Well, when you’re an adult, you can make that decision.” I took that as her being supportive, her being sympathetic to my plight of having been cursed with what plastic surgery Web sites call an “ethnic” nose — my father’s nose.
I never did get rhinoplasty. It’s not that I’m against plastic surgery. No, on the contrary, I love it. My freshman year of high school, I listened enthralled as my English teacher described how a surgeon had peeled down her face to chisel off a calcium deposit on her forehead, and then pulled her face back up like he was making a bed. Plastic surgeons, good plastic surgeons, can perform miracles.
A few weeks ago, I was forwarded a fun list: The Most Desired Features. Patients of plastic surgeons Dr. Toby Mayer and Dr. Richard Fleming bring in glossy pages torn from magazines. Give me Angelina lips, patients say. Beyonce eyes. Cheeks like Heidi Klum.
I can’t imagine tearing a nose out of a magazine and taking it in to a doctor the same way, in high school, I walked into a hair salon at the mall and asked for a “Rachel.” But women do tear noses out of magazines, and last year, the noses most torn out belonged to Katherine Heigl, Amy Adams, and Michelle Williams.
Dr. Mayer and Dr. Fleming take note of which celebs’ features are most requested — they’ve been tracking this for the past 10 years — and put out their annual list.
I have spent far too much time the past couple of weeks thinking about the list, studying the list, surfing the web for photos of celebrities, contrasting Robert Pattinson’s jawline to George Clooney’s. I have spent far too much time building a Franken-man.
The rule was simple: I could only use most-desired parts. Not since junior high, when I wallpapered my bedroom with “Beverly Hills 90210” posters from “Tiger Beat,” have I spent so much time thinking about which pretty boy is prettiest. But here he is, my Franken-man.
He has Josh Duhamel’s nose, James Franco’s eyes, Will Smith’s chin and jawline, Wentworth Miller’s lips, Johnny Depp’s cheeks, and Matthew McConaughey’s body.
This is not the way plastic surgeons operate.
In a conversation with Dr. Mayer, I asked him if he could show me on a computer what I would look like with a different nose. He said no, but his son, who is great with computers, could. Being a good plastic surgeon and being good at Photoshop are two different things.
Dr. Mayer suggests that if you want to get an idea of how you will look with plastic surgery, you should look at your plastic surgeon’s work. For example, if you are considering plastic surgery from Michael Jackson’s doctor, look at Michael Jackson; I most certainly don’t want a nose job from that guy.
I’m over wanting a nose job at all.
Last year, I traveled to Armenia to see the country where my grandfather was born. On the first day of my vacation, my guide pointed out the car window to The Mountain of Ara, and began telling me a legend. Ara the Handsome is the Armenian equivalent of Adonis, the prettiest of pretty boys. An evil, Assyrian queen named Shamiram (also known as Semiramis) was so captivated by Ara’s Photoshop-good-looks that she tried everything to woo him away from his wife and country.
Shamiram wasn’t good with rejection. She decided that if she couldn’t have Ara, no one could. She wanted him dead, so she declared war on Armenia, and after Ara was killed in battle, she had his body placed on a mountaintop. Some sources say that mythical dog-like creatures licked Ara back to life, but others say that Ara’s body became part of the mountain.
“If you look,” my guide said, pointing to the mountain’s peak, “you can see the nose.”
Ah, the nose. The most desired nose.
To check out the complete list of Most Desired Features, visit www.hollywoodshottestlooks.blogspot.com
Mariel Howsepian digs black coffee, fairy tales and a man in coveralls. She lives in Santa Monica and can be reached at Mariel_Rodriguez@antiochla.edu.