As the number of people going under the knife swells to a record rate, the subjective idea of human beauty may be hitting a fork in the road. Angelina’s iconic lips and Pam’s gargantuan breasts are no longer illustrious one-in-a-million traits. Developments in plastic surgery have made it possible for the average person to have just about any part of their body nipped, tucked, and otherwise altered to superstar standards. The prevalence of major plastic surgery patients in cities like Hollywood and Los Angeles have triggered the idea of a different type of beauty—one that takes pride in the decidedly “worked-on” look. Phillip Toledano’s photography exhibit, “A New Kind of Beauty,” showcases the appeal of so-called “Botox Botticellis” in all of their plastic glory.
The exhibit consists of a series of Renaissance-style portraits, characterized by dark backgrounds and silvery, glowing skin. Each subject has had a substantial amount of work done on their face and body—a brief once-over shows signs of facelifts, fat injections, lip implants, breast implants, liposuction, cheek augmentation, and a great deal more. Many of the subjects are so surgically altered that it’s unclear whether they are male, female, or transgender. Regardless, their facial expressions and stances look rigidly defiant of their unconventional appearances. It’s as if they know that their portraits will be met with negative reactions.
The razor-sharp cheekbones and inflated lips will come as a shock to some. But a quick look at Toledano’s gallery proves that the photographer is intent on offering his viewers much more than sideshow thrills. Toledano points out the power associated with creatable beauty. What choices will we make, now that the fate of our appearance rests in our hands? And do the choices that we make regarding plastic surgery show our true inner selves, or strip away who we really are? Toledano also introduces the interesting idea of human-induced evolution via butt implants, eye lifts, and other surgeries.
A number of familiar faces show up in Toledano’s work, including famous Hollywood hairstylist Steve Erhardt. The eerily taut-faced Erhardt has had over 37 procedures, including ten lip implant surgeries and 7 liposuction surgeries. Erhardt, who began getting work done after moving to Hollywood, said that he is often approached my strangers who beg him to stop the surgeries. But Erhardt carries on, despite the rift it’s caused with his loved ones. "When my grandmother and stepsister died in a plane crash, I had a face lift,” Erhardt told People. My mother just died, and I think I'll get a cheek lift. The world just cannot see me this down. I don't want to look sad and old."
When used with some degree of discretion, plastic surgery is a powerful tool that can be used to improve your self image, social life, and other important aspects of your life. Plastic Surgery Portal is dedicated to connecting patients with board-certified plastic surgeons with experience in body contouring, anti-aging, breast augmentation, and more. Contact our representatives now to schedule an in-depth consultation with a surgeon in your area!