Denver's done a fantastic job of making itself one of the most desirable places to live in the country--but that doesn't mean it's all bluebird skies, puppies playing in the park, and powder days. Scratch beneath the shiny, happy surface of the Mile High City, and you might be surprised what you find.
Pursuit of Plastic
By Julie Dugdale
Colorado isn’t known for its Barbie doll look-alike culture, but we still congregate around the fountain of youth every so often. The Denver plastic surgeons we spoke to say their clientele—less Hollywood, more soccer mom—is a function of Colorado’s fit, active population and the desire women have to feel comfortable in their own skin. (Although more men are exploring the trend, the doctors say women still comprise more than 90 percent of their clients.) Here, two local patients with extensive plastic surgery records explain their relentless cosmetic tinkering.
Tamara Age 43
- Four breast augmentations including three repairs
- Liposuction, thighs and rear
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift)
Total tab to date: $27,000-plus
Victoria Age 57
- Three breast augmentations
- Facial laser work
Total tab to date: $10,000–$20,000
What motivates you?
TAMARA: I’m in sales and I have my own business. I have a psychology degree. It’s a fact of life that people respond better to perceived beauty. I told my husband, “This is an investment in my career.”
VICTORIA: It’s really important for me to maintain my youthful outlook and appearance, perhaps because I come from an obese family and I’ve seen what it’s done to them. I still shop in juniors, and I’m dating younger men. I was married for 21 great years. I’m starting over, but I’m not doing this to make myself “marketable.” I’ve always had a life like this; I got breast implants in 1985.
Have you ever wondered if you're going overboard?
TAMARA: I’m not looking for the “Heidi Montag,” but I’ve had three children, and your body doesn’t stay preserved. I’m not striving for perfection—just fine-tuning. Do I feel good about it? Absolutely. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Even though I had complications, I love the results.
VICTORIA: No. I just take care of myself. I deserve to live a good life. I augmented to a DD, and I like the size of my breasts.
Is plastic surgery addictive?
TAMARA:There is such a thing as too much. You start seeing how a change will affect your overall disposition, your outlook on life. It can be a slippery slope. When you’re told you’re attractive, you look a little closer in the mirror and ask: “What do they see?” There’s always room for self-improvement. I don’t think I’ll ever throw in the towel.
VICTORIA: I think Joan Rivers looks fabulous. And she’s what—in her 70s? And she’s happy. It all depends on how one thinks about oneself.
So it's a pride thing?
TAMARA: People respond to social norms, and the social norm in Denver is attractive. It’s peer pressure. I live in a modest neighborhood—our kids attend public school—and many friends in my neighborhood have had plastic surgery. My friends in the Midwest are not doing this.
VICTORIA: I don’t care what other people say. I just care about my own opinion. There is some pride attached to it when someone says, “Wow, I would never have put you in your 50s.” I think other women envy the fact that I look this good.