Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Semi-Demi

I've been pondering this for a good deal of my day. See there's a woman over in the UK who was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. It's not cancerous, but because of the position and the size, it can't be removed and it is a condition which leads to death. Now, I don't know how I'd react upon hearing a diagnosis like that, but I'm fairly certain that my reaction would be different from that woman's, as she is spending $50,000 for plastic surgery so that she can look like Demi Moore before she dies. Wait. What?

I know, I know! No, actually, I don't know! I don't know what to say or think. The folks across the pond at Mirror News bring us the unfortunate circumstance of a one 29-year old Lisa Connell, who says “I’ve always dreamed of looking like Demi Moore and I’m determined that when I die I will.” Apparently her mother, Angela, had saved up a bunch of money for Lisa’s wedding and Lisa is going to use it for plastic surgery that will transform her into a Demi Moore lookalike instead. ::::sigh::::

Lisa said, "People think I’m crazy for wanting to do this, but I know it will make my last months or years happier. I want to die beautiful.""Crazy" might be a bit harsh. It might be a bit true, but still kinda harsh. I suppose I can sort of understand wanting to "die beautiful" a way. But seriously, look at this woman who says she wants to be "beautiful". Behold!
Holy crap, she's hot. (She's the one on the right, by the way. The good looking woman on the left is her mother. Wow.) Is she kidding? Obviously she is not, but that doesn't change the fact that she is extremely attractive. But all good looks aside, this is what she's worried about? Why is that? Exactly? She explains, "I have palsy in the left side of my face. My eye is starting to droop and not open properly and I have been told it will get worse as I will eventually lose all sensation. I want surgery on my face to correct the drooping and make it less drastic when my condition deteriorates." I'm going to interrupt here to point out that she uses the words "less drastic". That doesn't sound like plastic surgery is going to prevent any deterioration from either happening or becoming apparent at all. And really, what is "less drastic"? I mean, if you're Shrek and you have a face lift and end up looking like Yoda, are you really any better off? Was it worth it?

So is the cosmetic face surgery all she's doing? Um, no. "...I won’t leave it at that – I want the full works, top to toe, including my boobs as they are heading south." (Hey, don't they all at some point? Don't they all?) And she fully admits, “It is not the usual dream of someone with a terminal illness" and then adds "but it is my body, my choice.” I've got nothin'. I can't argue with that....even though I want to! I just can't. And Demi Moore? A fine, fine choice.

The transformation or whatever you want to call it will begin in about two weeks at the Skin Health Spa in London. I have to assume that she's aware that she'll need more than a couple of weeks to recuperate from "the works". While I know very little about plastic surgery, I do know that you don't come out of it looking great or feeling great right away. Full face lifts can take longer than a month for the bruising to go away and the swelling to go down. You're not going to be looking all Demi Moore for a while, that's for sure. And again, it's not me and I have no idea what I would do in Lisa's situation, but I don't know that I'd want to spend whatever amount of time I did have left recuperating from plastic surgery and looking less than attractive as I did. It just doesn't sound like how I'd be using my time, but that's just me.

The thing I find odd about this choice for her stems from some of the statements that she's made: "...I want to look beautiful when I die. Inside I’m melting away, but on the outside I want to be strong and stunning.....This is my way of getting the control back in my life....I hope the surgery will give me a new lease of life and the confidence I need to live the rest of my days to the full.” It's not the statements in and of themselves that confuse me. It's when I read those words and then learn that Lisa founded Rent A Date For Charity in 2007. It's the "...Original Auction Dating Website’ allowing everyday people and celebrities to put themselves up for auction to the highest bidder with proceeds going to charity." And "...she has made it her personal mission to raise £1 million pounds for charity through the business she has created."

I suppose I find it rather saddening that she's looking for that "control" in her life through the nip/tuck of plastic surgery to look like the very stunning Demi Moore. She writes in a blog post of how she was beginning to lose muscle coordination in her legs and was falling frequently after the diagnosis of the tumor. She turned to exercise with a fitness coordinator and they worked on muscle strengthening and coordination skills and was back up on her feet within a month and even ran a 10k in July of 2007 and raised £3,000 for charity. Not bad for someone who was told that they would never walk normally again.

See, that all seems to indicate that she possesses an incredibly strong will and determined focus, and all of that without looking like Demi Moore. Yet she needs that "control" in her life through her appearance. Again, I'm not in that situation, so I can't judge, but I think I'm OK with saying that I really wish she didn't feel like that. If you didn't think that there's an influence from society that puts too much emphasis on looks before, perhaps you might consider what that influence could actually be doing to people on the inside. I mean, look at her. I think she's hot. I know you think she's hot. The only one who doesn't think she's hot is her. And the point is that how hot she is or isn't really shouldn't matter right about now, but for some reason it does.

I suppose that if her looking like Demi Moore will help her to feel better about herself to the extent that it could actually prolong her life (they have no idea how long to live she has, just that the tumor is going to be inconvenient), then great. I cannot imagine what it will do to her if the surgery does not turn out the way that she is hoping or expecting it will. The thing is though, that if the surgery is successful or not, it's never going to change how the people that know her and care about her and love her feel about her. And I really wish that was enough for her, but I'm not going to condone her because it isn't. (And I just read that she wants to be the first to do a topless shoot for charity. I'm not going to condone her for that either!)

I started off writing this post expecting to fully rip this chick to shreds for the Demi Moore thing. After reading more about her and her charity and how she's raising money and awareness about brain tumors, it just lost it's comedic edge for me. (And yet oddly enough, I kept writing. Go figure.) I expected her to just be a nutjob lunatic, but I don't get that impression. She's smart, sane, strong, determined and has definitely found purpose in her ordeal. I have no idea why she feels the way that she does about her physical appearance, but it's no secret that society does tend to elevate those who are "pretty" over those who are not and it's total BS that it works like that because the effect that it has upon (mostly) women. If there was ever an indication that we need to change that, I'd say this is it.

Good luck with all you're doing, Lisa. I would love to read that you had reconsidered turning yourself into the Semi-Demi, but if that doesn't happen, I certainly hope that you turn out the way that will make you the happiest and will make it the easiest for you to deal with the unimaginable.

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