Carine Roitfeld’s La Panthère Ose and the impact that editorial has on me and my views about elective plastic surgery.
I made no secret of the December 2010/January 2011 issue ofVogue Paris, guest edited by Mr. Tom Ford himself, was by far the best issue of the year. Carine Roitfeld and Tom Ford are an editorial dream team and therefore a complete delight for the reader. One of their most bizarre editorials from the issue, “La Panthère Ose,” features Crystal Renn post-plastic surgery as styled by Madame Roitfeld and photographed by Monsieur Ford. Knowing how beautiful Crystal is only serves to amp up the shock of seeing her recovering from what I view as pointless operations.
Wearing emerald green Gianvito Rossi sandals and a Carinesque zebra print by Azzedine Alaïa, it is easy to be seduced by those perfectly toned legs and rich-chick jewels but not even a beautiful Lanvin silk scarf can distract from Crystal’s bandaged visage as she recovers from a full face lift and nose job. I have seen the documentaries, I know the bandages!
As we progress through “La Panthère Ose,” poor Crystal just gets worse and worse. Following the full face lift, we see the beautiful model recovering from a breast augmentation. There she is, gorgeous figure, with her boyfriend (and yes, I mean “boy”) washing her. One can only imagine her pain and her fear. Why do we put bodies through this? Yes, Vogue Paris is distracting us with high fashion pieces but the reality of post-surgery remains the same for the average person. The toy-boys, a well-placed can of Diet Coke, and the bling-bling lend credence to my theory that this woman is looking for something to make her feel complete and relevant: a younger man who despite the pick of younger women wants her, a skinny figure, because in her world that’s the only way to be sexy, and most of all, luxury items to keep her feeling like a goddess, all whilst covered in bandages. Oh the irony…
Few images are as powerful and disturbing as Crystal lying back with the blood from her eyelid lift clearly visible and swollen lips as she holds her head and chest in pain, whilst her boy toys attend to her every whim, including ensuring she is wearing just enough Chanel N°5 — vital post-boob lift treatment, of course! Her eyes captivate me and her true fragility is exposed. I feel some connection to this image, some need to share it as I feel like her eyes are asking “How did it come to this?” — I wish I had the answer.
Wearing a silk and python Altuzarra dress and posing with a Tom Ford clad hunk, a scary looking, plump lipped, and feline eyed Crystal shows off her new look much to the horror of the viewer. Gone are the youngsters; she has her new face to make her feel good now. Her sunken cheeks and raised hairline only add to the severity of the look. Ladies, is this really attractive to you? I know people have plastic surgery but nothing pushes me farther from the surgeon’s knife than images like this. Imagine what the real thing looks like.
Carine went to great lengths to produce a story so tragic it is almost comical. The relationship among wealth, style, self-worth, and cosmetic surgery is constantly questioned here; how can one be stylish when bandaged up like a mummy? The main question I feel the editorial poses, and one very relevant to all ages, is “How can we understand the beauty of Lanvin, Hermès, and Cartier, yet be blinded to our own natural beauty?” Honestly, I have no idea but I hope that long after my wrinkles become more apparent, I will always view elective plastic surgery as unnecessary and so very unglamorous.