The Nose Knows

nose job surgeryIt was all very hush-hush. Cosmetic miracles began with Hollywood celebrities. When baby boomers lined up in the 1950s and 60s for “nose jobs,” plastic surgery went pop culture.

It remained hush-hush. Doctor’s offices had private waiting rooms. You want the world to see a new you but you don’t want them to know they’re seeing a new you.

Perfect time for the stealth procedure – technically called rhinoplasty - was between high school and college. Lots of baby boomer girls dashed off for the summer to visit “distant cousins” in distant places. Parents quashed pregnancy rumors. One could change hairstyle and make-up, get a deep tan and lose weight to camouflage the change. Kids are still growing into themselves at that age. You suddenly look bitchin’ and who can figure out why?

Candidates voted overwhelmingly for same look: a slight slope and narrow bridge. Some cut to the chase and ordered a “Protestant” nose. The procedure appealed to those with “Mediterranean” profiles and became especially popular among Jewish girls. “You had your bat mitzvah and got your nose done,” a New York doctor reminisced.

Surgeons gently reminded patients that results are not passed on to children – so be prepared if “my little Margie” turns out to resemble hook-nosed Aunt Martha rather than cute-as-a-button Mommy.

breast augmentationThe next big thing: “breast augmentation” or the “boob job.” Before silicon evolved into a chip or a valley, it was the stuff of implants. Legendary San Francisco topless dancer Carol Doda shot from modest a 34B to a bra-bursting 44D, becoming the poster girl for new possibilities. Saline produced the first “bouncy” breast.

Today, an array of cosmetic procedures is available: face lifts, liposuction, tummy tucks, butt enhancements, lip plumbs, “pec” implants and ?? In the Brave New World, young and old, men and women, men who want to be women and women who want to be men go “nip and tuck.”

Trivia Factoids

The silicone breast implant was banned in 1992. Others methods quickly took its place. Over 300,000 “augmentation” operations are performed each year in the U.S.

There is a small but expanding market in reverse nose jobs, especially among mid-life baby boomers.

Terry Hamburg writes Baby Boomer Daily about the exciting and revolutionary baby boomer years.

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