Saturday, January 20, 2007

a lucky break

My group of four split up in the morning armed with letters on U of T letterhead, addresses of plastic surgery clinics in the city, and a plan; to set up as many interviews with practitioners as possible.

We're doing a research project on the 'preservation of youth', so hoping to speak with people who are in the business of anti-aging, whether that be surgery, creams, or anything else related to this idea.

Jen and I took off for our addresses, all located in and around Yorkville where the rich people hang out and where the bulk of plastic surgery clinics are. We walked in to many more than orignally were on our list and found that people were generally quite receptive to our requests. I guess we have more legitimacy as grad students than as something else. Or maybe people are always relatively receptive. I didn't think they would be.

We'd booked three or four actual interviews and had a number of leads before we headed to our last location - its name, "the Fountain of Youth." We did our thing for one girl. She looked uncomfortable and passed us off to another. Who passed us off to another. Who said, "I have some time now. Why don't you come in and interview me." Ahhhh.

We got one question into the interview (thankfully we had some questions prepared) when she was called out of the room. She poked her head back in two minutes later and said, "I'm going to give a woman some Botox injections. Come and watch."

We struck gold. We ended up watching not only the Botox but also a breast augmentation consultation which later turned into a lip injection (this is quite a business), and a mole removal. It was ridiculously unethical and amazing. The woman who let us watch all this stuff was nuts.

The lessons learned are that people love to talk about themselves and that nobody involved in plastic surgery wants to be considered one of "those people" who go over the top, even if they come in for their boobs and end up talking about what they plan for their nose, lips, and cheek lines.

It will be a very interesting project. Stay tuned!


At January 21, 2007 10:55 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds really interesting. It reminds me of Atkinson's Body Stigmata class in undergrad (obviously way more detailed) but i find that stuff really interesting. Good luck!

- Heidi


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