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Marbella: The Place for Plastic Surgery

Aug 4, 2008
Clinics like the Molding Clinic offer "health tourism" for people who want to look fabulous. The Molding Clinic is known for its non-surgical, signature facial rejuvenation treatment, called the Molding Mask. The clinic is also known for the premature death of Nigeria's first lady.

In 1995, Stella Obasanjo died following a surgical cosmetic procedure at the Molding Clinic, aged only 59 years. She died post rather than during surgery. Her death added to the still rising number of untimely deaths linked to plastic surgery.

Plastic surgery has become mainstream. It might have been just as popular a generation or two ago had it been as readily available then as now. On the other hand, are we really justified in calling our elders so daft as that?

All surgical procedures carry a risk, cosmetic surgical procedures included. So why do so many people choose the surgeon's scalpel? The beach and poolside views of Marbella may hint at the answer: Image is everything.

Everyone in Marbella has at least a spray-on tan. There are a lot of surgically perfected bums, midriffs, and breasts. It's not a guilty secret in Marbella. And it's generally all out on view. A whole generation of children are growing up under the misapprehension breasts are afraid of the dark.

And what's wrong with free hanging breasts? Nothing, except we're not talking free hanging, free slipping, or free spreading anything. We're talking bottoms you can rest your crisps on, and breasts that arrive ten minutes before the rest of the body. But here's the crunch: There are long-term consequences.

It's not just the upkeep of these sculpted bodies - implants must be replaced and wrinkles re-injected. Today's skewed view of beauty means fewer people are happy with their natural selves. It also means people are dating other people, who, without surgical aids, might be only averagely or even below averagely attractive. The upshot is ugly future generations, greater surgical needs, and even less chance of considering the greater picture.

But it's easy to be flippant. And what really is the problem with a nip here and a tuck there?

Marbella may again point to the answer. As a visitor in Marbella, you are at first intrigued and at last bored. You grow bored with the view, but also as bored as everyone on view. When we become idle, it seems, we become unhappy. And idleness is not just the pastime of the most privileged rich: It encompasses all of us who are at a loss in a society whose cogs we do not turn. Powerless and irrelevant, our bodies float through life like driftwood. What to do but surgically enhance them?
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