I was considering breast implants until I read your column on the potential side-effects. Recently, I read that casting directors are seeking actresses without plastic surgery. Does this mark a new trend? — Inherited My Dad's Rack
There were some stories about a Pirates of the Caribbean casting call for extras with breasts that came from Mother Nature instead of Dr. Finkelstein. A handful of casting directors then chimed in that plastic surgery is out. Of course, it's always been out for some (picture Meryl Streep and Judi Dench sitting around pondering, "To DDD or not to DDD ...")
While this reported trend in looking natural seems part of the trend toward grass-fed beef, hemp lingerie and "Hey, you crashed your Prius into my electric golf cart!" — it's good to remember that there's a trend in the media to come up with trends. The truth is, the really scary women — those who look like they couldn't get in to see Dr. Finkelstein so they booked Dr. Frankenstein instead — are mostly found at Hollywood parties. (You don't see women going into the feed store in Montana with trout pouts.)
What's out everywhere is visible plastic surgery that makes you notice the surgery instead of the girl. Contrast those tiny little things who had two rogue planets bolted to their ribcage with Kate Hudson, who recently went from pretty-well flat to a politely perky C. You'd never know, except she's a movie star, not a salesclerk at JCPenney: "Breaking news ... massive oil spill in the Gulf, and Kate Hudson has new boobs."
A whole new bald game
I've noticed some things vanishing from the North American landscape; namely, phone booths, drinking fountains and pubic hair on women. Phone booths I understand, drinking fountains I chalk up to cost of upkeep, but why the hair down there? — Bemused
Trends in hair removal seem to follow trends in fashion. Starting around 2000, ultra low-rise jeans were in, but looking like you had a furry little pet peeking out from them was not. With the growth of Internet porn, and porn culture merging into mainstream culture, women started wearing underwear the size of a postage stamp. (If a woman doesn't at least prune the edges of the hedges she'll look like she's wearing a doily over a bearskin rug.)
Many people favor going mowed or bare because it seems "more hygienic," and because you don't have to make your way through the bramble to get to the good parts. There are men who are creeped out by a woman in her 30s who looks like she has yet to hit puberty. But according to my research, most women under 30 at least trim, and a good many opt for totally barenaked ladyparts. Many men, especially younger men, trim, and a few go for the full-bare "boyzilian." Eek.
Some women and men are even making the hairless downstairs a permanent thing with laser hair removal. They seem to be forgetting that fashions change. Just as all those ugly '70s styles came back, the 'fro down below could eventually be in again ... good news, I suppose, for people who sell press-on goatees and dermatologists in the business of installing hair plugs.
One week, my boyfriend of four months was telling me he loves me and planning our vacation, and the next, he was saying he was overwhelmed with life stressors and needed to be alone. Not long afterward, a friend who's online dating showed me a guy's profile, and guess whose it was! I want to scream at him, "Grow up, put on your big boy pants, stop being a coward and treating me like a stupid female." — Irate
If honesty were actually the best policy, people would use it more often. In a mob hit, instead of making up some ruse involving fresh cannoli, they'd say "Tommy, come over, we're gonna garrote you." To make tough situations easier, we all lie or tell just enough of the truth to get the point across: "It's not you, it's me." No need to get into the hurtful specifics: "... and how I hate the way you look, smell, talk, and chew, and that weird snorting thing you do in bed."
With either one, the takeaway is the same: "It's over. Move on." Much as you feel you deserve the truth, having it isn't always the best thing. It's his half-truth — "I need to be alone" — that sets you free (to find somebody else), and the whole truth — "I need to be alone to write up my JDate profile" — that keeps you too busy screaming he's a patronizing coward who buys pants in the little boys' department.