This past year when I turned 50, I started saving for a Lifestyle Lift. Not that I need one – not right now, at least… but somewhere down the road I just know I’ll want one. The first time I watched that infomercial, I was hooked. Those women look freaking fanTAStic! I’ll bet they have great AFTER stories, but since I always have my TV muted (I can’t tolerate the horrifying, paint-peeling, nails-across-a-chalkboard sound that is Debbie Boone singing You Light Up My Life), I’ve never heard them.
Instead, I imagine each woman telling me about how that Lifestyle Lift changed her life, making her feel younger and sexier than ever before, and how she hasn’t eaten out in months since her husband can’t control himself and they always end up turning around halfway to the restaurant because that guy of hers is just gonna D-I-E if he doesn’t have his way with her RIGHT NOW, and that – other than the permanent matt on the back of her head from all those bom-chicka-bow-wow mornings in the sack – she’s never been happier.
I really like those women on that commercial because they all seem like someone I’d share a cuppa coffee (or vodka) with. They’re just regular women who wanted to turn the clock back a few years and now look great as a result. Better yet, they still look like themselves. Yup, I wanna be a Lifestyle Lift Lady.
But before I saw the commercial, I never, ever, ever would have considered cosmetic surgery, no matter how crinkly and saggy I got. EVER. Not because of the procedure, or the cost or any personal hangups I might have about changing myself. Those are all sensible reasons to mull over before elective surgery of any kind, and I’d certainly give them serious thought.
The REAL reason I’d never have cosmetic surgery is Meg Ryan.
A few years back, Meg Ryan was stinking adorable. Beautiful, in fact. Then she underwent a few procedures that she later described in one interview as ‘a bit of freshening up.’ Pulleeeze: if that is freshening up, then the Titanic disaster was a minor leak. Meg doesn’t look younger, she looks scary - as though she was intentionally disguising herself so that Harry would never find Sally, let alone want to meet her. When I saw Meg on TV speaking happily and confidently about how she looked right after that surgery, I knew that this went far beyond our culture’s perverse issues with beauty and self esteem. Oh yes… it was much more than that.
It was the aliens.
Okay, maybe it initially sounds ridiculous. But go with me on this for a bit…
Have you ever noticed how most people who’ve had plastic surgery look the same? Pick up any People magazine and you’ll see what I mean. That same shiny complexion, those deadpan, zombie-like smiles, the canned high cheekbones, those creepy wax lips… It’s because they’ve been replaced by another species right after general anesthesia. Go ahead and mock me. But this is exactly how the Invasion of the Body Snatchers starts. At first, I thought maybe it was more of a Stepford Wives sort of thing that was happening, but those things are not robots – and they don’t look at all like the people they’ve replaced… so that theory quickly went straight out the window.
And it’s a classic alien invasion as well. It’s a known fact to any regular watcher of the SyFy Channel that aliens infiltrate slowly over time, while most of us aren’t paying any attention. It’s only long after they’re in control and nothing more can be done that people will wake up and wonder, hey – how come I’m the only one I know who doesn’t look like LaToya Jackson?
(By the way, you’d better start paying better attention to People magazine because soon as someone’s been replaced by an alien, they write a story explaining that the physical difference is due to a ‘bit of freshening up.’ It makes the rest of us feel as though it’s okay they look so freakish. But to them, that article is a birth announcement.)
Think about it and you’ll realize that I’m on the money with this. Any sane person who would pay to look like what poor Meg Ryan does now would have screamed hideously when they pulled off those post-surgery bandages. I mean, come ON! She looks exactly like Jack Nicholson’s Joker from Batman – they could be one of those separated-at-birth spoofs! But according to Meg herself, she was thrilled with the results. My guess is that if she said anything at that moment it was probably something like we are the Borg… we will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own… resistance is futile. The real Meg would have sued the surgeon and won. Heck, by now, it would have been a Lifetime movie. But the alien Meg didn’t, because she is no longer Meg.
Man, do I hate being right.
Although I am frightened by this realization, I do find comfort in living on the east coast. I know that most of those aliens live in the Hollywood area and won’t be making their way out here for a while longer. But sooner or later, plastic surgery may be just as popular in New England and my lovely Lifestyle-Lifted face won’t help me blend in. My flat, un-inflated lips and matte complexion will give me away and they’ll come for me, just like that girl on The Twilight Zone who is forced to undergo plastic surgery to live in a world where it’s required, because looking like everybody else is paramount to happiness. They’ll make me choose between two looks – probably Bruce Jenner and Meg Ryan… and I’ll have to choose Meg.
Nah… not even Meg Ryan would choose Meg Ryan.
Poor Meg. She should have settled for a Lifestyle Lift. Not that it’s gonna do me any good with those aliens eventually coming for me. Well, at least I’ll look fantastic until then.
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