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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘plastic surgery’

Tzadik Plastic Surgeon to Shadchanim: Free Nose Job for Your Clients Who Need But Can’t Afford It

Saturday, March 31st, 2012

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

Nose Job Specialist Michael Salzhauer on NBC's Today Show

Nose Job Specialist Michael Salzhauer on NBC's Today Show

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.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: Make Men More Mature Rather than Send Girls Under the Knife

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Few columns I have read from the orthodox community have disturbed me as much as Yitta Halberstam’s recent piece in the Jewish Press advocating that young women engage in plastic surgery in order to be more in demand for a shidduch (Jewish marital match). Worse, Yitta encourages us parents to be the ones to send our daughters under the knife. I was so floored by what I read that I decided to take time from my all-consuming Congressional campaign to respond.

I have met Yitta. She’s a fine woman with a luminous soul. So Yitta, please don’t take this personally. I mean no disrespect. But you can’t be serious.

Here is Yitta begging orthodox Jewish parents to heed her call: “Mothers this is my plea to you: There is no reason in today’s day and age with the panoply of cosmetic and surgical procedures available, why any girl can’t be transformed into a swan. Borrow the money if you have to; it’s an investment in your daughter’s future, her life.”

Witness the modern Jewish tragedy writ large. Had this piece been published even in a secular magazine it would have come in for the sharpest criticism and condemnation. Yitta, are you not aware that we face an epidemic of young American women dying of eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia because of the kind of misogyny you advocate above? About eight million American women have an eating disorder and the numbers are increasing greatly in the orthodox community. I published a column a few years back about a seventeen-year-old girl in a seminary in Jerusalem, known to my family, that died of anorexia. The root cause of eating disorders is this dangerous belief that a young woman is not born a princess but an ugly duckling in need of some radical personal makeover in order to appeal physically to a man.

How dangerous is the kind of drivel about young girls undergoing surgical procedures as advocated in Yitta’s column? Well, eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Ten percent of anorexics die within 10 years of contracting the disease, twenty percent will be dead after 20 years, and only about thirty-five percent ever fully recover. And the mortality rate associated with anorexia is twelve times higher than the death rate of all causes of death for females aged fifteen to twenty-four years old. (Source: South Carolina Department of Mental Health)

The assault on women in our time is serious, concentrated, and deadly. It’s remedy is a more wholesome, more spiritual culture that looks at a women in her totality: mind, body, heart, and spirit. This is the kind of world that Judaism, with its unique emphasis on a woman’s spiritual gifts, has always sought to create.

How tragic, therefore, that columns of this ilk are appearing more frequently in orthodox Jewish publications, as if the words of King Solomon “that beauty is negligible but a woman who fears G-d is to be praised” is something of a bygone era, replaced even in the religious Jewish community by the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition.

Is the author really suggesting that we take our young daughters – and I, thank God, am blessed with six – and put them under the knife, bankrupting our families in the process, so that they can better appeal to shallow religious charlatans who would prefer a woman who is all form and little substance? Is this what three thousand and three hundred years of Jewish tradition has come to, that a nation that has always dared to walk alone, with different ideals and values from the wider culture, should so fully capitulate to the most corrupt, misogynistic values, that we would advocate that our young women have plastic surgery in order to get married?

Earth to Yitta: It’s not women who have to have breast enlargements, collagen injections in their lips, and Botox needles shoved in their foreheads in order to marry. Rather, it’s men who need a deeper, spiritual inoculation. Tell the Yeshiva students that the Torah they are learning is supposed to actually change their hearts. They’re supposed to be influenced by its values and judge a woman’s beauty not just by her hourglass shape but by her incisive opinions, graciousness of character, and spiritual glow. It’s the feminine which draws the masculine, and the feminine is something subtle, noble and refined. It is vulgarized when it becomes entirely about the physical form and rapidly loses its appeal.

And by the way, Yitta, I assume, in the interests of egalitarianism and fairness, that you’re also advocating that the young guys who indulged a bit too much in the cholent  get their stomachs stapled and liposuction to make them more appealing to the girls?

I have worked in the field of human relationships in the secular world for most of my professional life and I have never even heard it suggested by the most superficial relationship expert that we should take young women for plastic surgery in order to attract a husband. Because most of those experts would rightly say that any man that expected extensive surgical procedures prior to marriage is a shallow jerk, and any parent who would inflict that on their daughter might just be guilty of abuse.

Gila Manolson: A Response to Yitta Halberstam’s Plea to Mothers of Girls in Shidduchim

Monday, March 26th, 2012

Don’t worry, Yitta, I’m not going to crucify you, as you feared. I actually agreed with the gist of your article, which was obviously heartfelt and well-intended. I just want to point out where you crossed a line, a problem that you unwittingly reinforced, and something crucial that you overlooked—all of which I suspect pressed a lot of people’s buttons.

First of all, a confession that should make my endorsement of your basic idea more meaningful: I’m an unabashed proponent of the “natural look.” I wore (gasp) absolutely no makeup when dating my husband, and not even when I stood under the chuppah with him. (In fact, the only time he has seen me in makeup has been on Purim.) Miraculously, he managed to find me attractive enough to actually marry me. One reason I foreswore makeup (and have, in fact, since age 16) is that I have a distinct allergy to fake things—I dislike makeup for the same reason I dislike plastic plants. The other, more compelling, reason is that I needed to know that, beyond our spiritual connection, my future husband would be attracted to the real, unadorned, physical me.

Having said that, I realize I’m an anomaly, and don’t expect the majority of women to follow my lead. While I’m a big believer in inner beauty and how much it can transform one’s appearance, I’m also a big believer in living in reality, and the reality is that purely physical looks count for a lot in this world. So I will wholeheartedly agree that a girl should make the best of her looks, especially when meeting a prospective mother-in-law (or his son)—including wearing a flattering hairstyle, flattering clothes, and yes, even a tasteful amount of makeup (if she has no ideological objection). And if she needs a total makeover, I’d say go for it.

In principle, then, you could say we see eye to eye. So what bothered me about your article?

First of all, your big blooper, in my opinion, was advocating not only cosmetics but “surgical procedures” to improve a girl’s appearance. For once we start surgically “improving” our appearance, where’s the end? Is cosmetic surgery called for only to “fix” a glaringly unattractive feature (which is all you may have had in mind), or to “upgrade” and “recreate” every possible part of ourselves that doesn’t look like what we see in women’s magazines?

Let me share with you two emails I received from young women approaching shidduchim age. One was from a girl who was seriously distraught about her large, hooked nose and wanted to “fix” it, but worried that this made her “superficial.” I wrote back that if her nose was objectively unattractive and it really bothered her, then I did not believe having a “nose job” made her “superficial,” and she should do it.

But then there was the 17-year-old girl who was unhappy with her small chest and wanted my opinion on whether she should get implants. Here was a girl whose body failed to meet some “ideal” but was probably perfectly lovely in its own way. I told her I knew many small-busted women who’ve gotten married, and that she should work on appreciating her own body’s beauty rather than surgically alter it.

The difference should be clear. Anyone in their right mind would advocate, as did the Satmar rebbe, that a girl who has no teeth should get dentures. But once you get beyond fixing a flagrant physical fault and talk about achieving some purported physical ideal, we’re in dangerous waters.

This blunder contributed to another likely reaction on the part of many readers: the disturbing sense that shidduchim are becoming increasingly unnatural and artificial, and that pressing for more emphasis on externalities is not what we need. Definitely, a girl should put her best foot forward. But when she has to pay a professional makeup artist and hair stylist before each date as if she were going to her sister’s wedding, haven’t we gone way overboard?

Furthermore, as we all know, our appearance affects our feelings and behavior. On the one hand, looking good can make us feel and “behave” good. On the other hand, looking not like our real selves can also make us feel and behave not like our real selves—and it’s pretty important to feel and behave like your real self on a date with a potential marriage partner.

But the biggest mistake you made was overlooking male responsibility in viewing women. Yes, the male brain is hardwired to be visual, meaning that men will always be stuck on looks more than women are. But who’s teaching boys that real, enduring attraction results from a potent mix of looks plus character and personality, and that to see if it can exist, you have to get to know a girl? (I address myself to males on this topic at the end of my book Choosing to Love.)

Groggers’ Yidvid Nose Job Doc in Trouble with ASPS

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Miami plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Salzhauer, decided on an original, innovative, funny and relatively cheap way to reach the potentially bottomless market of nose job enthusiasts – young Jews ages 15-30 – and have fun doing it. So he hired the Groggers, an up and coming Orthodox rock band from Queens, and traded a nose job for their young Depardieu -lookalike leader Doug Staiman in return for the hilarious Jewish video entermercial “Jewcan Sam.” Now the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) wants to lower the boom on the guy.

“Since when are doctors trading services for a music video?” asked Dr. Salzhauer’s publicist Kay Kelly in an email to the Jewish Press, and explained: “This is the new medical landscape where doctors are differentiating themselves to raise awareness of their services. It is positioned to go viral and be a hit with high school students.”

You need another proof the Groggers are HOT?

You need another proof the Groggers are HOT?

“I told him, ‘It’s funny you’re commissioning us to do this, because most of our band members have these massive, deformed noses,’” Staiman told ABC News. “And he generously offered nose jobs to the entire band. But I was the only one who went through with it.”

The Yidvid is a satirical sketch and song depicting the eternal theme of Jew wants blonde – Jews reduces shnoz – Jew gets blonde. It’s absolutely funny, and it helped promote not just the good nose doctor’s business, but also the career of the Groggers, who are just off the charts these days (watch for an exclusive interview with the Jewish Press this coming weekend!).

But it didn’t seem funny, not funny at all, to Dr. Malcolm Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who was shocked, just shocked, telling reporters “This is just disturbing that a doctor would play into the frailties of the human condition.”

OMG, talk about giving hypocrisy a bad name…

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, of which Salzhauer is a member, said the video is “offensive and inappropriate.”

The ASPS says it “has initiated an investigation under its Code of Ethics which clearly requires ASPS members to uphold the dignity and honor of the medical profession.”

Please refer to our earlier OMG, why waste good screen space? Just think kettles and frying pans…

Dr. Roth said he could not comment specifically on the investigation (he only initiated it, after all, and paid for the tar and feathers) but, “generally speaking,” if a member of ASPS is found guilt of breaching its Code of Ethics, he or she could be placed on probation, lose their membership, and even lose their board certification.

There’s no end to what you can do if you were born without a sense of humor.

 

Check out the lyrics to The Groggers’ Jewcan Sam

I want her, but she don’t want what I am.
She says you got a beak like Jewcan Sam.
She says I only go with guys,
With perfect upturned noses, so cut yours down to size

And I’ll be everything you wanted
I’ll be everything you need
Watch the passerby’s will flash their eyes
When we walk down the street

And we would live like we were famous
With the stars all in our eyes
And I would love you till forever
If you got your nose circumcised

I want her unconditionally
But she’s got one big condition to be with me
Sometimes I sit and say if only, I looked more like Tom Cruise
And less like Adrien Brody
I’d be less lonely

She said a guy like you and a girl like me
Only happens in the movies
No matter what you do, or how hard you fight
Pinocchio never got Snow White

And I’ll be everything you wanted
I’ll be everything you need
Watch the passerby’s will flash their eyes
When we walk down the street

And we would live like we were famous
We would be forever young
And I would love you till forever
If you just got your nose done

This Sunday we hope to present the Jewish Press’ exclusive interview with Grogger band leader Doug Staiman, who’s just celebrated a Marquis-topping show at the Gramercy theater and a spot on New York’s 102.7 KissFM. Until then, watch the videos, be kind to others, and as to that nose job, for heaven’s sake, ask for a second opinion…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/groggers-yidvid-nose-job-doc-in-trouble-with-asps/2012/03/15/

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