Give Me a Lift! Thoughts on Plastic Surgery Apps

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Can I have a moment of your time? I know there’s tons of content here at the Clyde Fitch Report and much of it, if I may say so, is compelling stuff: concerns about plays by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwrights being censored and updates on arts advocacy issues and ethics in cultural journalism and an annual poster competition on the arts.

Bu listen, this is really important as well, so please pay attention.

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It’s about plastic surgery.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking: “Boy, he’s really gone off the deep end this time” Or maybe “Did Leonard forget to go to his therapy appointment?” (I don’t go to therapy — maybe that’s the issue.) Or maybe it’s the more eminently rational question, “What does plastic surgery have to do with the CFR’s mission as the nexus of arts and politics?”

It doesn’t. Yet one of the more glorious aspects of running a blog is that sometimes something comes screaming across the transom, touches a nerve and makes you want to write about it. Not rant, not to be brutally negative, but just write. This is one of those cases.

It’s an app for plastic surgery.

The other day, I received a press release about this app (what is that? hint marketing?) and it made me laugh.

Witnesseth:

Plastic Surgery? – There’s an App for That!

New Application Allows User to Perform Virtual Plastic Surgery on their iPhone

We all know that our phones are not just “phones” anymore. And now among millions of things, we can even perform plastic surgery!

With the new “Dr. 90210” smart phone application created by Dr. Payman Simoni, one of Beverly Hills’ most sought after facial plastic surgeons (Simoni Plastic Surgery), users can now virtually give themselves cosmetic procedures like nose jobs and facelifts with the touch of a finger!

By simply taking a picture or using an existing photo, one is able to tweak their nose, give their neck some virtual liposuction and/or tighten their eye area etc.- the possibilities are endless! Thanks to the specialized technology featured in the app it’s really simple, and not to mention fun!

Once finished, the modified photos can be shared with friends and family and the user can even set up a virtual consultation with Dr. Simoni himself.

There was also this at the bottom of the press release, which I found probably legally necessarily but still hilarious:

***Disclaimer — The virtual plastic surgery tool is to be used for illustrative purposes only. Results of actual plastic surgery will vary. This app is not intended to provide or replace medical advice and should only be used for informational purposes. If you are considering cosmetic surgery please consult a qualified physician***

Please don’t get me wrong. Plastic surgery is fine. Actually, it’s so much more than fine: After a close friend of mine took a fall recently at a work event, plastic surgery literally sewed him back up such that you wouldn’t know what happened to him unless he told you — and that was all of three weeks later. Plastic surgery is a medical miracle. Just yesterday, in fact, the Martha Stewart doggie-head-butt calamity made the news. (Thanks for the photo, Martha.)

But I’m wondering if everything on earth needs a damn app. OK, sure, I suppose I could sit in my living room and give myself to-die-for cheekbones, but must everything be on a hand-held and must everything be at our fingertips? Where does this end? An app for colostomy bags? Anyone who knows me knows I’m a total convert to the wired world. But I’m not interested in a world in which everything is wired.

It’s not as if this app is for plastic surgery as a concept, either — it’s really disguised as an ad for one particular doctor. Good for him for thinking of it and marketing it, but somehow it makes me want to ask if society itself needs some work.

UPDATE: One should always do some research before one starts to write. Turns out this isn’t the first app, by far, for plastic surgery. Click here and here and here. Plus there’s iSurgery. Isn’t that swell? Or should I say swollen?