Beauty Junkies

Categories: Beauty Books
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beauty junkiesBeauty Obsessed?
I just finished reading the book “Beauty Junkies: Inside Our $15 Billion Obsession With Cosmetic Surgery” by Alex Kuczynski, a New York Times reporter and freelance writer. If you’re fascinated by plastic surgery/cosmetic surgery, cosmetic medical procedures, and America’s obsession with achieving eternal youth, you will like this book. The book is not extremely entertaining, since there is so much detail about the history of beauty and plastic surgery, and there are so many facts and figures that might bore a lot of people. I was drawn to this book because I saw Alex on TV, and she said that she’s never planning on getting Botox or other cosmetic Dermatology or cosmetic surgery procedures again. I bought the book to see why, and I hoped to gain some deeper insight into why I am so concerned about aging, and how I can stop my own obsession with it.

There are stories about people obsessed with cosmetic surgery and Botox (aka “pretty poison”), which I love reading about because I feel mild compared to these people! I’m scared of surgery, so until I start seeing major things going wrong on my face or body, I won’t consider surgery. The book contains lots of horror stories about procedures going wrong, so it’s crucial to find a skilled doctor that is board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Alex touches on my personal pet peeve – society’s new obsession with a fake Pamela Anderson/pornstar symbol of beauty – breast implants, hair extensions, trout pout puffy lips, chicklet white teeth, and super tanned skin.

Spoiler alert
Alex and I do share a similarity in our outlook on beauty – we don’t deem ourselves obsessed with beauty – we just want to look good for our age, and this requires “maintenance.” However, towards the end of the book, Alex realizes that she is indeed obsessed with beauty, and she is a beauty junkie. She starts out by getting Botox, photo facials, microdermabrasion, Juvederm, and spends all of her money on these procedures. She takes her obsession a bit further when she gets liposuction and an eyelid lift. Finally, her obsession nears rock-bottom when she attends her friend’s funeral, but runs out halfway through so that she can keep her coveted appointment to try Restylane in her lips for the first time. An adverse reaction (which I’ve never seen at my Medical Spa) leaves her with grotesquely swollen lips, and she can’t speak for several days.

Since writing the book, Alex has sworn off Botox, Restylane, and cosmetic surgery. She found the whole beauty obsession to be distracting, while not producing the goals she sought – happiness and satisfaction. At this point I am still a fan of Botox and will not swear it off anytime soon. My ultimate goal is to be happy enough with my looks and the aging process so that I don’t feel the need to prevent wrinkles and prevent aging. I would like to not worry about my looks and just be happy with myself and my accomplishments. I’m not there yet…

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7 Responses to “Beauty Junkies”

  1. Naomi/beautywriter Says:

    Loved your honest insight into the book! I agree and, as a beauty writer, I too used to be a HUGE beauty product junkie (never plastic surgery, though – too scary!)…that is, until I learned how many dangerous toxic, petroleum-based chemicals I was slathering all over my skin every day (head over to the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database at ewg.org to see what I mean). Now, I’m a natural beauty junkie always looking for pure, organic ingredients as or in beauty products as well as companies that support us, the earth and our children’s future. Plastic surgery, cheap chemical lotions, soaps, haircare and cosmetics and fake-looking makeup, breasts and foreheads that don’t “smile” just won’t cut it anymore… How about we wake up and get a new obsession with being who we are: we can still enjoy the beauty of massages, facials, changing hairstyles and other spa/salon services without damaging our health in the process! What do you think?

  2. sylviaG Says:

    oooh this sounds like a super good holiday read – I’m going to get it thanks for the input..I totally am addicted to beauty!

  3. Jeni - Savvy Skin Says:

    I have been to that ewg.org website and it scares me!!! However, I am personally not against regular cosmetics that aren’t organic or natural, since I am not afraid enough to stop using them. From everything I’ve read, even natural cosmetics still aren’t really natural, and I don’t think cosmetics are more harmful for me than other dangers in the world like pollution, global warming, second-hand smoke, etc. However, I am always researching, so I might change my mind one day, given more information.

  4. Angela Julian Says:

    Thanks be to those who don’t smoke! Smoking damages skin, nails, hair, lungs and anyone else around them who chooses not to smoke!

    I AM PROUD TO BE A NON-SMOKER! This is why I will look and feel younger longer!

  5. Bec temp Says:

    Although I don’t consider myself a beauty junkie, I have embraced everything up to surgery. I just blogged an article on my site about plastic surgery.

    I will have to give this book a look-see.

  6. Bec temp Says:

    I will have to read the book.

  7. Carrie at In the Hammock Blog Says:

    The book sounds very interesting and I loved your review!! It’s very interesting that the author has sworn off more surgeries.

    I found your blog through the blog carnival at outnumbered mama’s blog :)

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