La Panthère Ose by Carine Roitfeld


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.


  1. Pat
    7 March 2011 / 18:23

    Is this the YOUNG American model??????????

    • Milla
      8 March 2011 / 12:02

      Yes!! I think she’s around 25-26! I just love the statement this editorial makes.

  2. 8 March 2011 / 14:17

    That is really disturbing…

    • Milla
      8 March 2011 / 19:17

      Very. I’m really proud of Vogue Paris for doing this editorial and hope that other people will see the depth of the images as well. Keeps the ole mind ticking!

  3. 8 March 2011 / 18:22

    I agree with you, Milla. As I get older, I hope to age with the sophistication and classic beauty of a woman who appreciates herself and the life she has. That people take a chance on so many things with the decision of elective surgery is a very scary thought indeed.

    • Milla
      8 March 2011 / 19:21

      That’s it though, isn’t it? This is deeper than vanity – one can die from any operation, so to actually choose to put yourself (and your loved ones) through that is so disturbing, and bloody selfish.

      Thank you for your wonderful comment as always.


  4. 8 March 2011 / 20:45

    Hmm. Actually I dislike the pictures intensely, but I get the irony. Milla have you read Naomi Woolf’s “The Beauty Myth” because it is an interesting read – the author is critical of the fashion and beauty industries (there is a whole chapter on cosmetic surgery) as exploitative of women. At the end here Renn is the “iron maiden” – this unachievable standard of beauty that “regular” women cannot conform to; so us “regular” women often punish ourselves for the failure to achieve it. Actually now I’ve thought I quite like the irony aspect of this. Also Renn, with her eating disordered history, makes it all the more interesting to look at.

    • Milla
      8 March 2011 / 23:09

      The book sounds so interesting (hello Amazon!). Crystal, I feel, was the only choice for this.

      It’s as simple as magazine covers with beauty we cannot even imagine staring up at us. The power of professional make-up artists, hairdressers and good ole photoshop to consume us and have us Googling ‘botox’. At 29 years old, I can say “no thanks” with confidence but as I age, will my strength diminish? The magazine with their “how to” features only make me feel worse. Ironic.

  5. everydayglamour
    9 March 2011 / 22:25

    I hear a lot of women say unequivocally that the best years of their life start at age 50, which makes sense if life experiences help us grow into better people. Invariably, I find these women to be beautiful. They have a self-assuredness and happy glow about them.

    I don’t know how I’ll feel about my looks in 10 years, but I hope it’s good! I can understand moderate amounts of plastic surgery–I don’t see anything wrong with it. At the same time, though, I see women who really overdo it. I see it every day! And it is kind of sad.

    • Milla
      11 March 2011 / 14:52

      That sounds about right; the older we become to more confident we become in who we are. I wouldn’t want to be 18 years old again. No thanks!

      I think the problem is that people become addicted. No sane woman looks at these images and thinks “I want to look like that” but a little nip here and there followed by hundreds of positive comments on serves to push you closer to having more operations. It’s a vicious path but once you’re on it, I imagine it’s hard to leave.

  6. 10 March 2011 / 11:57

    …and scary too! How many women (& men I suppose) die or have complications from plastic surgery. Somehow we’ve made this socially acceptable. My family doctor is doing this now so if I bring my child in for an illness I’m reading the pros and cons of getting botox all over the waiting room. The cons scare the hell out of me (your throat may become frozen and you may have difficulty swallowing???). Interesting topic Milla!

    • Milla
      11 March 2011 / 14:56

      People die from “routine liposuction” and anything can go wrong. It’s not just celebs (remember Usher’s poor mother died after one of these ops?), it’s a regular woman with a job, friends, a husband and children. I’m not a mother so I don’t know for sure, but I cannot imagine putting my life at risk, and my children’s life with a mother, just for a boob job. It’s not to judge but I honestly do not understand.

      Botox scares the beep out of me. It’s poison! Why on earth would I choose that? Does that really happen, your throat can freeze? Holy moly! Wow…


  7. 10 March 2011 / 14:34

    The editorial’s statement is powerful. I think its intent is more shock than anything else (why else use Renn in it?). It is a clever commentary on people who go too far but I do think there is a healthy segment of the population who do this. I have a friend who already gets botox and it looks great (granted she is a smoker and had wrinkles beyond our natural years). My mother actually had a facelift and while the recovery is pretty intense she is happier for the procedure and looks great. I recommended a vacation, she went facelift, but at the end of the day it make her happy and looks natural. Is this for me, nope, but if it makes someone happy I say God bless!

    • Milla
      11 March 2011 / 15:21

      That’s Vogue Paris for you, or at least it was…

      The fact that you may die when having any operation scares the hell out of me. Of course I want to look and feel great, but one never knows what the results will be.

      How long did your mother take to recover? I’ve seen documentaries and so of the women are in so much pain, they cry.

  8. 17 October 2011 / 19:06

    it is a great statement of hers and very brave to portrait that in an Vogue Editorial, very brave … I love all natural beauties! xoxo

  9. 17 October 2011 / 19:09

    I love that we are provoked and worried about stereotypes ..

    (this was so well written, bravo)

    and as in all things, small and fine is nice as an option

    • Not Just Another Milla
      1 May 2013 / 10:09

      Only just seeing this comment! Merci beaucoup !

      Lately, I’ve been thinking more and more about cosmetic surgery, and not in a positive way. I don’t watch television but from what I’ve seen in magazines and newspapers, more and more women are opting for this. Obviously if they’ve just had a little botox done, you may not be able to tell but I’ve seen women as young as 45 with eyes, lips and cheeks done just strolling down the road. It’s judgemental but I can only imagine the pain and insecurity they must have felt to resort to such extreme measures.

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