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Egypt's Plastic Surgery Scandal

The Politics of Plastic Surgery


We're happy to present this story from our friends at Allure:

Super Tuesday has come and gone with no apparent progress in the GOP presidential sweepstakes and barely a hint of drama — at least in comparison to the political excitement of a place like, say, Egypt.

If you haven't heard, that nation was rocked by a plastic surgery scandal earlier this week when a male member of parliament was busted by his own doctors for having a nose job and then lying about it. Anwar Al-Bulkimy, of the extreme Islamist Al-Nour party (seen above), checked in for the elective surgery, but claimed to the world outside that he had been beaten by masked gunmen. Supporters streamed to his bedside, until his surgeon called in to a popular TV show and offered the truth behind the politician's bandaged face. It turns out extreme Islamists look harshly on vanity procedures, and Al-Bulkimy was soon out of a job.

The moral of this story: don't lie to voters about something that's written all over your face. Critics have hounded Russia's Vladimir Putin for using Botox, and Italy's scandal-ridden ex-prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, whose hair plugs were visible from France, was cornered into admitting a "slight retouch" of his eyelids after disappearing for weeks in 2004 and returning with a boyish mien. Back in the 1990s, Argentine president Carlos Menem tried in vain to pass off work on his cheeks as swelling caused by a wasp bite.

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Could it ever happen here? The pressure to look good is no doubt equally strong, and the faces of politicians such as John Kerry, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Nancy Pelosi have all come under scrutiny. But among the frontrunners of the current election cycle, there just doesn't seem to be the need. The only intervention incumbent Barack Obama could use is from a hair colorist to mask the gray, and likely Republican rival Mitt Romney is, at least by outward appearances, genetically perfect — with hair so thick it makes regular headlines.

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