Getting An Extreme Makeover Tips

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Should I apply to be on MTV's "I Want a Famous Face"?

I Want a Famous Face

"I Want a Famous Face." People have thirsted after Marilyn Monroe's breathless bombshell beauty and Paul Newman's handsome face, often ignoring Marilyn's inner vulnerability and Paul's work with kids. Now MTV's show "I Want a Famous Face" purports to give you Kate Winslet's body, J.Lo's looks and Brad Pitt's glamour. We looked at the MTV Famous Face Web site, and MTV isn't currently casting for "Famous Face," although it does have several "Extreme Makeover" show copies, including one tailored just for hip-hop makeovers. It may be a good thing that you have to wait to apply for a celebrity extreme makeover.

According to MTV's footage, two young men who wanted to look like Brad Pitt and have an acting career now possess Brad-like hair, plus skin with reduced blemishes...but they don't look exactly like Brad Pitt. Yes, that's a good thing. You want to look like you...and take care of your skin. There's no word from MTV about when they'll be casting for "I Want a Famous Face," but remember when you try to look like Kate Winslet (who reportedly was distressed to hear that a woman got an extreme makeover to resemble her) or Marilyn Monroe that it's the personality that made Marilyn truly beautiful. Even Norma Jean didn't look like Marilyn, and we love Paul because of acting ability and kindness as well as stunning eyes. Also, the great Marlene Dietrich said, "The average man is more interested in a woman who is interested in him than a woman with beautiful legs." Or a famous face.

How much does an extreme makeover cost?

Extreme Makeover Dos and Donts

"Beauty is only skin deep." Some social critics disapprove of the "Extreme Makeover" show, which 7,000 people auditioned for in 2003, and our society's focus on appearances (after all, there are broken levees, homeless people in Louisiana, and real-world problems to deal with.) They caution that the cancelled "Extreme Makeover" TV show and its copycats such as "The Swan" send a message of instant happiness and overcoming life's problems thanks to a tummy tuck, breast implants, makeup lessons and new hairdos.

We all know a healthy self-image isn't easy, and if you've been reading up on cosmetic surgery, you know it's not as painless as TV makes it seem--even the fictional "Nip/Tuck" acknowledges the downside of the business. Also, the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery cautioned in 2004 that the "Extreme Makeover" TV show left a false impression that getting multiple cosmetic surgery procedures isn't simple or something you should just rush into. It's still major surgery. If you're considering getting an extreme makeover, here are some pointers:

  • Don't expect to be instantly happy. Only you can make yourself happy and fulfilled--through strong connectiosn with family, friends and community, work, hobbies, personal growth and learning, fitness and health, community service, faith and spiritual life.
  • Don't get conceited. It's not pretty.
  • Don't do it unless you're serious about a major life change.
  • Don't do it without the support of family and friends. Support them in return--don't ignore them.
  • Don't expect critical friends and family to approve--they probably wouldn't anyway.

Stand up for what you believe in. Be confident. Our society does focus on appearances--but don't let the media kid you, they do as well. Occasionally though, we all come together and try to solve real problems, like flood devastation on the Gulf Coast or hunger in Africa. No one may notice your breast implants in the midst of a crisis, but everyone will see another helping hand. That said, there's still nothing wrong with doing something for yourself. Jean Kerr quipped, "I'm tired of all this nonsense about beauty being only skin-deep. That's deep enough. What do you want--an adorable pancreas?" (Quoted in CULINARYTHERAPY by Beverly West.)

How long does extreme makeover recovery take?

Extreme Makeover Recovery

You've decided you want an extreme makeover. You think, getting all that plastic surgery will be easy and you'll return to normal activities tomorrow. Wrong. You're too influenced by television--after all, you bought Joan Rivers' jewelry on QVC. Most surgeries, such as tummy tucks and lipsuction, require a recovery period longer than the one shown on the cancelled "Extreme Makeover" TV show. It take a week after a facelift to remove bandages.

The exact recovery time after multiple procedures in an extreme makeover depends on the patient, but it isn't instantaneous, despite what you've seen on the "Extreme Makeover" show. The rule of thumb is that the more anesthesia you have, the longer your recovery time. You can have multiple procedures at once, but if you have any doubt, prioritize, or consider putting off some procedures. Take a cue from the "Extreme Makeover" TV show and visit a dentist to have veneers--they can do wonders for your smile. After all, you want to go out and show off your Joan Rivers jewelry at that cocktail party as soon as you can!

Was ABC's "Extreme Makeover" cancelled and should I try another show?

Cancelled Extreme Makeover

Unless you've been living TV-free, and even if you have pop culture is all-pervasive, you know about the cancelled "Extreme Makeover" TV show on ABC-TV. While ABC's Web site still advertises for various candidates, the show is not in production and isn't on ABC's fall schedule. You might have been lured into a "Maybe I could do that" state of mind, but ABC's cancellation has caused you to rethink your plans.

Still, you think, there are local makeover shows that have sprouted up. There are makeover segments on "The View," "Oprah," and other talk shows. There's even the celebrity makeover show "I Want a Fanous Face" on MTV. Should you choose to have a partial makeover or extreme makeover? While the answer isn't firmly "no" (people have appeared on "Oprah" and been happy, as opposed to several "Extreme Makeover" show scandals), you need to think twice about transforming yourself on-camera.

Unlike "Extreme Makeover," women's talk shows won't show you going under the knife or give you a false impression of plastic surgery, but to put yourself in the spotlight on national TV takes careful thought. Some of our hints:

  • Don't do it to become famous. The careers of reality TV stars are often short. Guests on "Oprah" might be called back for a "Where are they now" show and be featured in video on, but that's about it.
  • Approach it the way you would a motivational seminar, a retreat, or a fitness regimen. Have a positive attitude going in.
  • Don't be upset if they can't use your segment or if it doesn't work for them--this is television. It's selection, not rejection. Besides, do you want less-than-flattering footage of yourself posted on the Internet?
  • Your dissatisfaction with your appearance may point to deeper life problems that may be solved by talking with a friend, spiritual counselor, life coach or psychologist rather than sitting on a talk-show couch.
  • Talk to a plastic surgeon to see whether you really need extensive changes in your appearance. You may need a simple brow lift (or visit to a cosmetologist).

If you're still determined to send in that videotape, good luck--but sometimes it helps just to turn off the TV and ignore all those media messages.

Can I get an extreme makeover without going on television?

Everyday Extreme Makeovers

You hate cameras--you didn't even want your mom to videotape your school play in first grade. You'd like an extreme makeover, but you don't want to put yourself through TV humiliation. You can have an extreme makeover without applying for an "Extreme Makeover" TV show copycat--we say copycat because ABC has cancelled its controversial program. But as usual, television has started a trend. There are several surgeons who will perform an extreme makeover. From Newport Beach, California, to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you can search for extreme meakeover specialists. An extreme makeover usually involves:

  • Breast implants/reduction
  • Facelift
  • Tummy tuck
  • Liposuction
  • Smile makeover
  • Laser resurfacing
  • Brow and eyelid surgery
  • Treatment of spider veins

Note that extreme makeover procedures in a cosmetic surgery center won't provide the hair and the makeup revamping that the "Extreme Makeover" show provided. But if you're guarding your privacy, you might just want to get a salon referral. Also remember that if you choose a plastic surgeon for an extreme makeover, be doubly sure of his credentials.

Ask how much experience he has in extreme makeovers. It's also a good idea to ask yourself whether you're getting an extreme makeover because, say, you had a life-threatening illness and need a change in your appearance, or because you feel insecure even though people say you're beautiful. Remember, most plastic surgeons consider the inside as well as the outside (what a concept), especially with an extreme makeover.

Lastly, if you don't like the spotlight, be prepared: If your extreme makeover succeeds, you may not be able to walk down the street without people stopping you and saying, "You look marvelous!" Try not to chase them off like a star avoiding the paparazzi.

What will it cost to have an extreme makeover?

The Extreme Makeover Package

Okay, So the "Extreme Makeover" TV show involved a fitness program, dental work and great clothes in addition to the surgery. You knew that. While your doctor tells you the whole cost is more than most patients are willing to pay and that looks don't bring happiness, you're willing to try after recovery from that car accident. You've been cautioned against unrealistic expectations, but you have dreams. What will happen when you have an extreme makeover? You might have:

  • Lasik eye surgery
  • Endodontics
  • Jaw surgery
  • Fashion makeover
  • Body makeover
  • Eyebrow makeover and facial
  • Zoom whitening
  • Acne treatments
  • Vein treatments
  • Veneers
  • Crossed eye (strabismus) surgery
  • Wig or hair treatments for patients with chronic baldness

No matter what you spend, plastic surgery won't work unless you're willing to make changes in your life such as:
  • Updating your wardrobe (this doesn't mean buying outrageous or expensive clothes, but good-taste ones that fit you well)--cost depends on the bargains you find
  • Updating your makeup (this is a good idea anyway as you change your life)--cost depends on the cosmetics line you choose
  • Starting or continuing a diet and fitness program--costs may include a gym membership, special foods, fitness equipment
  • Signing up for voice lessons and public speaking help, for example, joining a Toastmasters club--costs yearly memberships or hourly fees
  • Getting coached on body language and presentation--costs hourly fees
  • Smiling and laughing, presenting a cheerful personality that people like in addition to, or more than, your looks--absolutely free!)
  • Having a positive outlook--doesn't cost anything!

If you can absorb the cost of an extreme makeover, you absolutely need to include the non-surgical alternatives that the show provides. After all, you do get what you pay for--and that includes the time, energy and commitment you're willing to give to your extreme makeover. But you want to rehabilitate your life after the accident (or illness), or to give your unsatisfying life an extreme makeover. It costs to change--but sometimes, the greatest cost can come from not changing.

How much does an extreme makeover cost?

Cost of an Extreme Makeover

A new you isn't cheap--of course, the old you was priceless! But how much does a new you cost and can you get financing? As we've mentioned, MediCredit and surgeon financing can help you pay for multiple procedures, and if you're a contestant on any "Extreme Makeover" show copycat, you won't have to pay for your transformation (or so you think.) But if you eschew cameras, the cost of a complete extreme makeover will probably be prohibitive for most patients, considering that facelifts and liposuction can cost thousands of dollars. Dr. Bruce Cunningham cautioned on the KARE-11 TV Today Show (Minnesota) that the cost of an extreme makeover can run $20,000-$40,000, which you probably won't be able to afford unless you're having reconstructive surgery, when insurance picks up the tab.

However, if you're determined to have an extreme makeover without applying to the "Extreme Makeover" show, consider just having a tummy tuck combined with liposuction, or a face and neck lift combined with a fitness regime makeover. Above all, if you're not in good condition, a plastic surgeon or a "Extreme Makeover" TV show copycat won't accept you, since the cost for you and for them could be more than anyone is willing to pay. If you're determined to get a "new you," check your financing options and set realistic goals--do you need a full-body makeover or will you look and feel better with a partial as well as diet and exercise? After all, you can't enjoy a "new you" if the power company has turned off the lights, or if you're not healthy in the first place. Sometimes being happpy and grateful is the best makeover.

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Barbara Gibson