Photography show provokes questions about plastic surgery

August 6, 2012

Photography show provokes questions about plastic surgery
Photography show provokes questions about plastic surgery

A new exhibit in Los Angeles, “A New Kind of Beauty,” showcases the work of photographer Phillip Toledano and examines the creation of beauty as a result of plastic surgery. Toledano photographs men and women who have had multiple plastic surgery procedures. The Huffington Post reports that the subjects were chosen because they are surgical looking, some are transgender, and, in many cases, it is difficult to pinpoint the subject’s gender.

In the show catalog Toledano suggests that we are at a turning point because plastic surgeons can transform appearances and, perhaps, even create a new beauty standard. His subjects have each had multiple procedures such as nose jobs, eyelid lifts, breast and pec implants and collagen injections.

Many, including the Daily Mail, found perfection in the photographer’s lighting, composition and printing, comparing them to 17th century court paintings by a Dutch master and dubbed them “Botox Botticellis.” 

One Beverly Hills plastic surgeon remarked in The Huffington Post, “The skin tones are so desaturated that they no longer look lifelike, but rather something in between an old painting and the sallow complexion of an ‘undead’ vampire.”

Ultimately, the plastic surgeon thought that the photos provide a voyeuristic view of sad social outcasts. “These photos do not demonstrate a ‘new beauty’ but rather an unwavering attempt to create historic standards of beauty in those who do not have that potential.”

Much like what image-manipulating software, Photoshop has done to the ideal of beauty in popular magazines and ads, the artist questions if plastic surgery will allow us to physically mold and change our bodies to reflect our views. 


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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