I almost didn't get a chance to blog about "The New New Face" by Jonathan Van Meter, New York's cover story for August 11, 2008. When David first told me about it, I immediately imagined the QW (remember that poor magazine? anyone have a scan?) cover from around 1991 that deliberately showcased Madonna's face mid-sentence looking 45 instead of 33. Instead, the cover is fairly chosen, showing a radiant Madonna from the TriBeCa premiere of I Am Because We Are. The focus isn't on surgery run amok, it's on the concept of a "new face" that mirrors the traditional "new bag." That the item is permanent (well...) gives the article a slight Brazil or Death Becomes Her slant, but it's a brilliant piece of pop cultural journalism.
Skillfully identifying the traits common to the new new face ('wide open eyes, big baby cheeks, juicy—but not too—lips, defined and angular jaw, plumped skin and an overall heart-shape effect to the face'), Van Meter approaches the subject without snark and not without empathy for women, and in particular famous women, in a society where youth is the object and there's enough money around to seek it.
I'm not a fan of plastic surgery; it depresses me. I was—this is embarrassing—kinda crestfallen when it dawned on me that Madonna had had some a couple of years back, and really annoyed when I caught a glimpse of her just prior to Hard Candy's release, when her brand-new eye surgery and face fillers had yet to settle. Now, I can handle it. And I think she looks amazing when she has not just had her cheeks reinflated within the previous few weeks. But still...
Tell you what—there is no way on earth I ever want to look 60. But I'd rather look 60 than ever look like that man. And if Madonna, with her brains and beauty and amazing eye can go in and see this person and take his advice on her skin, then all hope is lost for what she'll look like in 10 years
Another skin luminary cited is Dr. Pat Wexler. Described as "a vision of creamy-white linelessness" who "doesn't look a day over Miley Cyrus," Wexler looks hideous to me. And fat. Not to be cruel, but if beauty is your business and if you'll do anything to keep your face looking amazing, why go to pot below your taut jawline?
The best part of the article is that he persuaded Madonna's publicist Liz Rosenberg to dish surgery over lunch...after the jump...