Have You Heard? A Defined Jaw Has Never Been More "In Vogue"

Facial features are not trends.

Jan 29, 2014 at 9:00am | Leave a comment

I opened my inbox last week to a shocking email from a publicist for a Madison Avenue plastic surgeon, hoping I'd do a story about their new "must-have" beauty procedure -- SHAVING DOWN YOUR JAW TO LOOK MORE LIKE A CELEBRITY!
Here's the actual email I received. (I don't want to give this plastic surgeon any free publicity, so for the purposes of this post, I'm going to replace the doctor's real name with Dr. Fartface.)
"Hi Alison, 
According to Dr. Fartface, top NYC facial, plastic and reconstructive surgeon, the defined jaw has never been more in vogue. 
From the Golden Globes to Sundance, angular jawlines have been ubiquitous on the red carpet as of late, and a surgical procedure to recreate that square jawline has spiked in popularity among Dr. Fartface's patients.
“Many patients are opting for jawline augmentation, which permanently embeds an implant into the rear portion of the jaw to add definition à la Ms. Sandra Bullock,” says Dr. Fartface.

This is the actual photo that accompanied the press release. Note the helpful white line drawn on the star's chins, in case you don't know what a jaw is.

"The ‘Golden Proportion’ explains why we perceive a strong jaw to be attractive,” says Dr. Fartface. “This unique ratio is accepted globally as the standard in beauty. It describes the ideal relationship regarding length and proportion within individual facial features or the relationship of different features to one another."
I’d love to work with you on a story about the latest trend in female aesthetics, using Dr. Fartface as an expert.
Best, Dr. Fartface's publicist"
I Googled "golden proportion," and couldn't find anything. I'm assuming Dr. Fartface might be talking about the "golden ratio," this moronic 2009 study about the importance of facial symmetry in beauty. 

Image via Golden Number. Pi/science/beauty/something snore. 

According to this ridiculous "golden ratio" study, neither Angelina Jolie nor Elizabeth Hurley qualify as beautiful. So maybe don't listen to that study. I'm not sure exactly what the hell Dr. Fartface is going on about here.
A specific shape of jawline is not a "ubiquitous" red-carpet presence. No facial feature (or any other body part, for that matter) is an "aesthetic trend" -- and certainly not a specifically female one. The reasoning for the procedure suggested in this press release is maniacal, vaguely psychotic, and incredibly insulting to anyone with even half of a functioning brain.

Yo. How's my jawline?

There are plenty of reasons why one (male OR female) would get facial surgery, including congenital deficiency or facial trauma. And yes, some people do choose to undergo jaw augmentation surgery for purely aesthetic reasons. Which is totally okay! It's their choice! But let's be clear: absolutely nobody undergoes a $5,000.00 procedure to implant some random plastic into their face thinking they are going to come out looking even remotely like Sandra Bullock. How is this even being presented as a thing? It is not a thing. Nobody is doing this.
What could Dr. Fartface possibly do for an encore? Advocate the complete removal of our necks and the replacement of our eyes with ping pong balls?
It's like we are all collectively being subjected to a real-life version of A Clockwork Orange's Ludovico technique, eyes propped open with tiny specula while wearing a straitjacket, forced to watch endless tape loops telling (and showing) us what's "wrong" with our bodies.

Screenshot from 'A Clockwork Orange', a Columbia-Warner film, via Wikipedia.

My reaction to all this is the same as Alex's in the film: it makes me want to barf continuously and uncontrollably. It would have been 70% less offensive if Dr. Fartface had come right out and said, "Hey, pig, what's wrong with your gross face?"
For f*ck's sake. Nothing is wrong with your damn jaw. Carry on.
I'm on Twitter: @IveyAlison.
A POSTSCRIPT, 6 p.m. PST: A reader just sent me this insane news story about a Korean doctor who has built "bone towers" in his office, using the removed jawbones of hundreds of patients. Talk about a house of horrors.