Board-certified Miami plastic surgeon and Nose Job Specialist Michael Salzhauer surprised me, I had cynically expected something else entirely.
I’ve written about the Groggers, the band he hired to shoot a very funny commercial promoting his business, urging the “Jewcans” among us to alter their schnozes to get the shikse-looking girl. It was so beyond the pale, you had to laugh.
So I thought, Smart businessman, good finger on the pulse of his potential clients, how cool is that.
Then I wrote the article about his trouble with his colleagues at the ASPS on account of that video commercial, and I figured, I suppose you get hurt when you dare push the envelope, so maybe he’s a smart businessman, but maybe too smart for his own good. But it turned out the entire rebuke came from just one other plastic surgeon who took a ride on Salzhauer’s fame using a chronic absence of a sense of humor as a vehicle to get his own 15 minutes of fame. So far, there’s been no ASPS action against Salzhauer.
Then I was reading – because I’m Jewish and I’m addicted to the Jewish Press – the articles and counter articles and many hundreds of comments on the issue of giving your daughter an extra oomph in her search for a good husband, and, if needed, paying for her nose job.
So I started calling Dr. Michael Salzhauer’s office, asking for an interview, and whenever I called he’d be hard at work, turning Jewish noses into Nordic masterpieces (I could have written “Aryan masterpieces,” but then the hate mail would start pouring). We finally managed to talk, and he blew my mind. He forced me—an instinctive objector to vain mutilation for the sake of some notion of exterior beauty—to reconsider my views on this issue.
And he’s not cynical, that was another huge surprise. I walked away convinced he means every word he says.
MEET NOSE JOB SPECIALIST DR. MICHAEL SALZHAUER
Salzhauer: First of all, I love the Jewish Press, I remember reading it all the time when I was growing up in New York. I’m very pleased with the articles that you guys have written on the Groggers, and before we go into the controversy about the video, I want to tell you an interesting story.
I read Yitta Halberstam’s article (in which she recommended that young women looking for a husband should consider doing a nose job). Gil Student—he and I went to high school together—jokingly posted it on my Facebook page, saying he wonders if Dr. Salzhauer would pay to have this article published.
I read the article, and I saw that there were like 500 comments. I didn’t read through all the comments, of course. I read the article, and thought to myself, She’s right on! This is what I see in my daily practice. I see girls that come in with low self esteem, they have surgery, they blossom, and they go on and I see them months, years later, when they’re married and they thank me and it’s gratifying. It’s one of the most gratifying things about my job as a cosmetic surgeon.
So I put in a comment that she’s 100 percent correct.
I’ve been speaking to shadchanim (matchmakers) literally for years, offering my services for free. I say, look, if you have clients that you think would benefit from cosmetic surgery, I won’t charge them. If you refer them to me and you tell me that they’re dating and they’re trying and they don’t have the money for the surgery, please send them to me, I’ll be happy to do it and let’s see if we can’t change people’s lives.
(The average nose job costs between five and ten thousand dollars in Miami. In New York and Los Angeles these operations would cost between eight and twenty thousand – YY)
So I’ve been speaking to shadchanim and they all email me back and say, I think it’s a good idea, we’ll work on it, but no one ever took me up on the offer. I guess because it’s a very difficult conversation for a shadchan to broach with a young woman.
Imagine going to your shadchan and they tell you, I think you need a nose job, or liposuction. A lot of times it’s even congenital things, when one breast is bigger than the other, for instance. It’s a very common issue, but I know that in the frum community it’s more than just stigmatized, as it is in the general population, where, even though it’s very common, people still speak about plastic surgery in hushed whispers. For frum people it’s a taboo.