We must increase our bust (and color our eyes, smooth our skin, etc.)
Old beauty was a crapshoot and a waiting game: You started with a few billion genes, donated by your (hopefully good-looking) parents and prayed for the best as you watched your breasts develop (for women) or not (other), and hair grow in the right places.New Beauty says, whoa, why take chances? New Beauty is a new glossy magazine devoted to the idea that every last micrometer of the body can – nay, should, if not must – be altered to perfection. A Caucasian, North American ideal of physical perfection. One wouldn’t need even one hand to count the nonwhite models among the peachy-skinned, dewy-eyed, firm-breasted, perfectly proportioned women gracing the pages of New Beauty. At 200-plus pages, New Beauty is fatter than the current Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, and just as scintillating.Thumbing through the magazine – published by Sandow Media, based in Boca Raton, Fla., the warm-weather, East Coast version of Aspen – it’s easy to see why cosmetic surgery has exploded. Who wouldn’t want to look like one of these models, sitting on rocks, or at the edge of a lake, gazing off into the bright, limitless future. Why not fix your teeth in a dental day spa (which sounds so much better than a dentist’s office); shape your breasts, fix your nose, repair your skin, tighten your tummy, enlarge your lips and improve that damnable skin you happened to be born with? It’s all covered in New Beauty, whose chapters – “I Want Whiter Teeth,” “I Want a Sexy Butt,” “I Want Luscious Lips,” etc. – casts the average-looking in the guise of a 5-year-old in a candy store.For those more accustomed to old beauty magazines like Eating Light and Shape, built on the idea that good looks and good health are more than a quick fix, New Beauty will be alarming. There is one page – page 38 – devoted to the idea that feeling good comes not from surgery, but from simply taking care of yourself. The Beauty Brief page pitches such foods as broccoli, walnuts, oats and salmon as keys to good physical appearance.The facing page, on the other hand, is a big advertisement for Bissinger’s chocolates, which presumably are not good for you. But after a 20-minute liposuction session, does it really matter?Stewart Oksenhorn’s e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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