Ever wondered what you’d look like with a nose job, or how much lift a bit of Botox might really give you? Mirror-imaging software offers you the plastic surgery equivalent of ‘try before you buy’. Of course, as the images are computer generated, they can only be expected to be around 80 percent accurate, according to Dubai-based plastic surgeon Dr Luiz Toledo, who now uses the technology at his surgery.
Ever the masochist, I was keen to ask an expert to identify my key ‘problem’ areas, and what a round of nips, tucks and fillers might have in store for me should I ever summon up the courage (and funds).
I meet Dr Toledo for a consultation in his office at the Mercato Family Clinic. He checks over the form I’ve filled out, looking up to ask with a hint of amusement in his voice, ‘Why do you think you need an eyebrow lift?’ I explain that I have a tendency to look fairly miserly – annoyed, even – when my face is relaxed, and I’ve decided that as it would be impossible to reshape my mouth, raising my eyebrows slightly might give me a softer look.
We head to the studio across the corridor, where under the glare of several spotlights the doctor takes my picture from a few different angles, including some front and profile shots. He uploads them to the computer, and we begin scrutinising my features. He suggests that my face has reasonably good symmetry, though my smile is different on each side of my face. ‘Your nose is in proportion with your face, which is very good,’ he notes. As we look at a profile shot, I ask whether we could do anything under my chin. ‘We could do some liposuction here,’ he says, running the cursor along the curve that connects my jaw to my neck. He explains that there are certain agreed angles for beauty (known as the ‘golden ratio’, which applies to everything from buildings to faces), and the angle between the jaw and the neck should be 90° – unfortunately mine is 131°. However, if I lost a bit of weight, it should budge on its own.
In one of the side-on shots, we look at what it might be like if I opted for a typical combination of procedures – Botox to lift the eyebrows, fillers to accentuate the cheeks and liposuction under the chin to give a more defined jaw. The results are pretty striking, and Dr Toledo and I agree the changes are too dramatic . I look almost like a manga version of myself.
Dr Toledo believes that, like well-applied make-up, surgery or injections of any kind should act as enhancers, rather than dramatically altering your appearance. If he thinks a potential patient is looking for an excessive amount of change, he will happily tell them their expectations are unrealistic, and that it won’t look good. He also stresses that it’s not a solution for real problems, as he explains in one particular example: ‘It’s not going to make your husband come back to you.’ Conversely, he has seen instances where surgery has given some people an enormous boost, particularly in the case of women who have had breast augmentation. ‘They are so full of confidence that they didn’t have before,’ he explains.
Of course, it’s always a huge decision to make – and these kinds of procedures should never be done on impulse. Fortunately, this kind of technology can increase peoples’ awareness of the steps they’re taking, and will perhaps in some cases make their expectations more realistic. Having your flaws highlighted, however, may also prompt you to start saving – or, if you’re me, develop a strange fixation with your chin.
Consultations with Dr Toledo from Dhs500. Mercato Family Clinic, Jumeirah (04 344 8844).
Beauty: the maths
• The ratio between the height of the face and distance from eyes to mouth have been found to be important when measuring attractiveness.
• The ratio between the distance of the eyes and the width of the face is equally significant.
• Supposedly, a beautiful person’s face should be about 1.5 times longer than it is wide.
• The length of an ear is usually equal to the length of the nose, and the width of an eye is equal to the distance between both eyes.