IT would appear some are taking the old adage about embracing differences in others a little too literally.
Last week, a young woman revealed she had spent £20,000 in an attempt to look more like her heroine, US reality television star Kim Kardashian. Elissa Corrigan, from Liverpool, forked out £1600 on liposuction and spends £580 a month to maintain the look.
She’s not the only one. Following global awe at the pert backside of “her royal hotness” -- as the Duchess of Cambridge’s younger sister Pippa Middleton as been dubbed -- cosmetic surgeons are reporting a 60% increase in bookings for butt-lifting laser, fat-transfer and skin-tightening treatments. One clinic is even offering what it calls the “Pip Package Perfect Posterior”.
A quick flick through any women’s glossy magazine reveals an army of clones staring back, all possessing the same long glossy hair, fake-tanned limbs, tarantula-like eyelashes, pillow cheeks and eerily symmetrical faces. Even Cheryl Cole, newly arrived in LA, has been bemoaning how everyone in Hollywood seems to have the same nose.
But why the fascination with identikit beauty? Surely it’s having that little scar or slightly crooked nose that makes us stand out? I have a birthmark just above my lip. When I was getting my make-up done on my wedding day, the beautician tentatively asked if I wanted it covered.
There wasn’t a moment’s hesitation; it was a resolute: no. It’s part of me and who I am. To try to hide or erase that felt inconceivable.
Thankfully there are those such as Katie Piper, the aspiring model and television presenter who was left permanently disfigured following a horrific acid attack.
Rather than wallow, Piper, 27, has reinvented herself as an activist for burns victims. “I don’t think to myself, ‘This has ruined my life,’” she has said.
“Living with burns and being different is a very fulfilling life. I’m at peace with who I am.”
And in that lies the true definition of beauty.
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