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Wish you looked like Brad Pitt or Cameron Diaz or even Cher instead of, well, you? MTV’s recent reality show “I Want a Famous Face” proves that you can certainly try!

As its name suggests, the show focuses on people who will do anything to resemble their favorite stars, including going under the knife, enduring weeks of pain, and paying thousands of dollars to be transformed. On the show, MTV documents the whole process before, during, and after the surgeries and shares the patients’ stories with the nation. Interestingly, MTV chooses subjects who have already decided to go through these procedures, but does not pay for the surgeries or any other expenses, or choose the doctors.

Though MTV claims this is an ever-growing trend among Americans, doctors who perform plastic surgery have expressed concern over the casual way the show approaches these extremely risky surgeries. "Today, it's getting easier to take obsession to a whole new level,” the show’s narrator states during its opening.

Dr. Rod Rohrich, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, thinks people who expect to look exactly like someone else are setting themselves up for disappointment. The show makes it seem like "getting plastic surgery is like going to get a pair of shoes,” he says.

Other experts agree. "The show raises red flags," Dr. Keith LaFerriere, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery tells The New York Daily News. "Facial plastic surgery is about enhancing what you have to feel better about yourself. It's not about making you look like a different person."

Perhaps most dramatic is Jessica, a pre-op transsexual who has always felt like a woman trapped in a man's body. Before participating in the show, Jessica (who was born Michael) had already undergone eight months of hormone treatment and is now legally changing his name and status to Jessica--female.

Jessica, who wants to look like J.lo and pursue a modeling career, originally wanted butt implants but decided to get breast implants, cheek implants, an eyebrow lift, her eyebrow bone shaved and her hairline lowered. Will she finally have the J. Lo look she's longed for with her new, feminized face and body?

Though few of the hopefuls seem to have received the exact results they sought from their surgeries, many were transformed into completely different looking people. Still, the patients featured on the show seem pleased with the overall results. “I feel foxy and ferocious!” says Jeanette, a Florida native who had surgery on the show to look more like Kate Winslet. “I have yet to be mistaken for Kate, but that's OK. I am just fine being me.”

And what about the 20 year-old twins, Mike and Matt, who had their faces reconstructed to resemble Brad Pitt? They may not look at all like Pitt, but they say they are glad they got the surgery. “I haven't been mistaken for Brad Pitt, but it wasn't his face I wanted,” Matt claims. “It was his strong bone structure.”

Be honest- who’d you rather be- you or hybrid-Hollywood you? The nice thing about 2004 is the choice is- yours! / Issue 50 - September 2018
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