16 AUG 11 @ 10:24AM BY JOSIE GAGLIANO
Plastic surgery has long been reality television staple. Once the controversial domain of the rich and famous, watching a select, superficial few undergo painful implants, augmentations and facelifts from the comfort of our own armchairs continues to make for strangely addictive viewing long after Masterchef winds down.
Especially when a show like SBS’s Insight comes along to reveal the growing number of people who are willing to change their racial features in the quest for beauty. From double eye-lid surgery and chin implants to skin lightening or darkening, many of the people appearing on the show are undergoing cosmetic surgery to achieve a more ‘Western look’. Others say it has nothing to do with trying to look more Caucasian – it’s just about being more beautiful.
On the show, which screens tonight at 7.30pm on SBS you’ll meet Heidi Liow, who decided to go all out to get double-eyelid surgery, a nose reconstruction (she requested a “Megan Fox nose, with a cute flick at the end”) and a chin implant. I spoke to her about what spurred her to go to such lengths and what she considers ‘beautiful’.
What was the thought process behind changing the look of your face?
HL: I didn’t worry too much about how different I looked, I was more focused on how much easier it would be to apply eye make-up and to enjoy taking photos where my faced looked more angled and less round! I wasn’t worried about people finding out about my intentions to have surgery and during my recovery process I was more fascinated and curious about how my body was changing and healing.
Did you have counselling prior to the surgeries?
HL: Not at all, I don’t think I have an irrational perspective on my body. I have thought about it for a very long time before actually deciding to go ahead and find out more about the surgery.
How do you feel when you look in the mirror now?
HL: There are some days I look at it and I can’t comprehend it’s my face. Once I was looking through some group photos and I didn’t even spot myself in them! There are other days where I look at it and I’m sick of it in the sense that I’m now so used to it.
What about those around you, family and friends?
HL: Most people look into my eyes and know it’s me. Some of them have said they don’t know how to act around me now because I look so different.
SBS asked Heidi to keep a video diary while recovering from surgery.
Are you happy with the overall result of your surgery?
HL: I originally had some doubts about my chin, as I had recovered so quickly from my eyes and nose – I felt slightly depressed that I had done so much and for a while I regretted being so vain. However my patience persevered and upon complete recovery I found that it was a good decision and I’m extremely satisfied.
Would you consider more in future?
HL: LaughsThe moment you consider what else you would like to alter you think, oh yes I would do that. However, when you have gone through all the discomfort of bandages and needles and not to mention boredom at home, it makes you reconsider. I have considered various other procedures but it’s really not necessary, and I think it was more of out of greed and the fact that I could do more – it’s a mindset of, why should I stop since I’ve already started.
What does beauty mean to you?
HL:I think it’s the inside that really counts.Sometimes you want your outer shell to reflect your inner soul, but we are unfortunately visual creatures. I think your outside should reflect your inside.
Insight: Beauty Race will air tonight Tuesday 16 August, 7.30pm on SBS ONE.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josie Gagliano is a freelance journalist and blogger, and ex-editor and beauty editor. Spending several years as beauty editor for Australian lifestyle mag Cream magazine saw her develop a love affair with the latest lotions, newest beauty treatments and can now justify her obsession with finding the perfect caramel brown hair colour, most flattering eyebrow pencil, and ultimate stay-put lippie, nail polish, and eye shadow. You can read her beauty pieces for NineToFive twice a week here, and her daily musings on myriad things onwww.josiesjuice.blogspot.com
Source: NINE to FIVE