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The days before plastic surgery

When did plastic surgery begin? I'm wondering because there must have been a time before plastic surgery. The stars and starlets back then must have been naturally beautiful. I was looking at pics of Madonna noticed she didn't have massive basketball shaped breasts.

Yes. This is what natural breasts look like. And I also googled pics of Marilyn Monroe, and she had a bit of a belly in pics where you can see her stomach.

Back in the day, beauty was natural.

by Anonymousreply 9107/21/2013

Bitch! you think my hairline is Natural?

by Anonymousreply 103/20/2013

There is evidence of plastic surgery going back to ancient Egypt.

by Anonymousreply 203/20/2013

It was during this period that Roman medical writer Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote "De Medicina", which layed out surgical methods for reconstructing ears, lips, and noses. Then during the early Byzantine period, Oribasius compiled a compete medical encyclopedia entitled "Synagogue Medicae". This 70-volume work contained numerous passages dedicated to reconstructive techniques to repair facial defects.

by Anonymousreply 303/20/2013

In the 19th century, girls had ribs removed to make their corseted waistlines even smaller.

Modern plastic surgery started in the 1920s and 1930s, when nose jobs and facelifts became accessible to the general population. And to movie actors.

by Anonymousreply 403/20/2013

Marilyn had at least a nosejob, OP

by Anonymousreply 503/20/2013

Joan Crawford had a facelift in the early fifties. Doris Day had a nose job in the late forties.

by Anonymousreply 603/20/2013

Before she was on "I Love Lucy" starting in 1951, Vivian Vance had a nose job. It's been around for a while.

by Anonymousreply 703/20/2013

Please tell me where the evidence is in ancient Egypt.

by Anonymousreply 803/20/2013

I've read that Marilyn had breast implants that leaked.

by Anonymousreply 903/20/2013

I can't find much evidence of Paul Newman's nose job.

Going by the early pics if he had it done it was subtle, he never had a big nose. But he also looked a lot better as he got older and broke Hollywood after he was 30.

by Anonymousreply 1003/20/2013

r5 Marilyn also had a chin implant, her agent/boyfriend Johnny Hyde paid for it.

by Anonymousreply 1103/20/2013

What about me, the girl who cut off her nose to spite her race.

by Anonymousreply 1203/20/2013

Marilyn had a nose job on her "baked potato" proboscis, as it was described by one of the old gossip columnists. She was also said to have had her "profile widened" by surgery, but I'll be darned if I know to what procedure that actually refers.

As primarily GM's I understand that you aren't mesmerized by boobage, but I am slowly becoming dispirited to hear that SM's are finding silicon breasts more appealing than real ones of equal size. Maybe it's a generational thing, when I was just a skydeb, men seemed to abhor silicone.

Any thoughts?

by Anonymousreply 1303/20/2013

Johnnie Hyde paid to have a couple minor flaws fixed for Marilyn. Her nose was more prominent before, and pointed down. Her chin was kind of mushy, so that when she looked down the fat underneath would buckle- and she was only in her early 20's.

She had her nose bobbed and her chin reshaped. Here she is before.

by Anonymousreply 1403/20/2013

It's funny how way back when in the early days, Marilyn, Elvis etc had better nose and other work done than the standard 70s/80s teeny ski jump nose jobs and bad plastic surgery that even still gets done today. It's all about taste and restraint.

by Anonymousreply 1503/20/2013

IIRC, Marilyn's jawline was shaved. I don't think they did anything to her chin.

by Anonymousreply 1603/20/2013

Marilyn's implant and nose job were both done by Dr. Gurdin back in 1950. There was no jawline shaving.

by Anonymousreply 1703/20/2013

I read that after WWI plastic surgery was done extensively on some of the most horribly maimed soldiers but it was fairly primitive and they still didn't look "normal".

by Anonymousreply 1803/20/2013

On their way up, stars like Merle Oberon and Marilyn Monroe had facial surgery to photograph better. On their way down, stars like Joan Crawford, Lana Turner, Burt Lancaster, and John Wayne had work done to photograph younger. "Actors' faces are their fortune—and as they age, their misfortune," says Richard Aronsohn, an ear, nose, and throat specialist who has practiced cosmetic surgery in Hollywood since 1958. When Joan Crawford and Bette Davis finally began looking their age, the only leads they could get were in horror films. Most actors, of course, want to postpone that unappealing career track as long as they possibly can.

by Anonymousreply 1903/20/2013

I read somewhere that Marilyn had an early version of breast implant with natural sponge. They became infected and she had them removed. After that she wore push up pads in her bra, which is documented by the attending mortician who embalmed her.

When we got her dressed in this chartreuse Pucci gown, (she still looked terrible, her face was still a mess), Mrs. Hamrock who owned half of the mortuary, just had to come out to the mortuary to see Marilyn. We had just finished dressing Marilyn, Mrs. Hamrock walked into the embalming room and looked at the body and said, "That doesn't look like Marilyn to me! Where are her breasts?" The embalmer said that an autopsy was performed on her, and that's why she was flat. We even used the falsies that the family brought in, but they were way too small. Mrs. Hamrock reached in and grabbed the falsies and threw them in the trash can. We'd put a bra on her because they brought in a bra, not panties. Mrs. Hamrock walked over to the cotton dispenser (most mortuaries have them) and she began stuffing the bra so it was all filled up like it should be. She backed up and took a look, she said, "That looks like Marilyn Monroe." and she turned around and walked out the door.

by Anonymousreply 2003/20/2013

I don't know who Mrs Hamrock is, but she sounds kind of awesome.

I also think Marilyn looks terrific in the linked picture at R14 and can't see much of a difference, to be honest.

by Anonymousreply 2103/20/2013

Yeah, I was just gonna say that the photo at r14 is evidence of nothing.

Marilyn's nose and chin couldn't look any more perfect there.

by Anonymousreply 2203/20/2013

Didn't Marlene Dietrich go to extreme lengths to tighten her face?

by Anonymousreply 2303/20/2013

"I've read that Marilyn had breast implants that leaked."

There was no such thing in her day. Closed breast implants were invented in the 1970s, and silicone injections into the breast started in the early 1960s. In Marilyn's day, they just stuffed pounds of kapok into their bras. It was easy to get away with, no legit actress did topless scenes, so they were free to stuff an A until it became a D.

by Anonymousreply 2403/20/2013

Here are some really telling before and after pictures of Marilyn's plastic surgery. You'll see there's no disputing she had both her nose and her chin done.

by Anonymousreply 2503/20/2013

There were lots of rumors that Queen Alexandra of England and her sister the Empress of Russia had an early version of the skin peel in Paris.

by Anonymousreply 2603/20/2013

Marilyn had tons of work, primitive compared to now.

by Anonymousreply 2703/20/2013

[quote]Marilyn had tons of work, primitive compared to now.

And yet the results were great.

People have much more done now, and the results are shitty.

by Anonymousreply 2803/20/2013

The most famous early victim of bad plastic surgery was Gladys, Duchess of Marlborough. She had wax injected into the bridge of her nose in order to give her a greek profile. But it migrated to her cheeks and jawline. Here's a self snap in 1928 of her wearing a Romanov pearl tiara. She died in 1977. There's a giant fresco of her socially famous aquamarine eyes in the ceiling of the portico at Blenheim.

by Anonymousreply 2903/20/2013

Marilyn didn't need any work done.

by Anonymousreply 3003/21/2013

Silent Film star Ramon Novarro had a facelift in the mid- late Thirties after Clark Gable dethroned him at MGM.

by Anonymousreply 3103/21/2013

Sorry, but the before and after shots of Marilyn are really inconclusive, as the before shots are mostly with little or no makeup and ordinary amateur lighting and the after shots are all with slick studio lighting and heavy makeup.

One could also surmise that by the early 1950s she had just lost her baby fat as the earlier photos are all from the late 1940s when she was still a teenager.

by Anonymousreply 3203/21/2013

Anyone who cites Norma Jean Baker as a natural beauty in her incarnation as Marilyn Monroe should be laughed out of the room.

And Norma Jean would be the loudest laugher.

by Anonymousreply 3303/21/2013

OP back in the day there was something called Face Lift Straps.

It pulled the face skin up high.

by Anonymousreply 3403/21/2013

R25, those "before and after" photos show nothing but the natural effects of maturation, as explained by Michael Jackson.

by Anonymousreply 3503/21/2013

r32, you could not be more wrong. Just look at the difference between the nose tips, for starters.

by Anonymousreply 3603/21/2013

Monroe had the tip of her nose done and a small chin implant.

She had no breast enhancement. Marilyn's designer Travilla, used boning and wire in many of her costumes to shape and form her breast to appear larger than they really were.

Monroe's heavier weight during "Some Like it Hot" and "Let's Make Love" caused them to appear larger than normal.

Photos taken by Bert Stern two months before her death obviously show she was completely natural from the neck down (except sometimes dying her pubes blonde.)

by Anonymousreply 3703/21/2013

Actually modern plastic surgery started after ww1, when anesthesia and asepsis made surgery finally relatively safe. Look up world war one facial injuries, if you have a strong stomach They made incredible differences in the lives of wounded soldiers by giving them a face, even a primitive one, back.

by Anonymousreply 3807/17/2013

Vincent Van Gough people.

by Anonymousreply 3907/17/2013

R38 I saw a documentary about these soldiers years ago and have never forgotten some of nightmarish images. We tend to forget about the ravages of WW I. this reminds me of the beautiful, poignant film Johnny got his gun (1971)

by Anonymousreply 4007/17/2013


I tried, but the first photo made my jump.

For those braver than I am...

by Anonymousreply 4107/17/2013

[quote]Marilyn had tons of work, primitive compared to now.[/quote]

People make it sound like the studios took a homely girl and turned her into a sexpot. Norma Jeane was already an attractive woman. As a teenager, she attracted the attention of her male classmates, and later was deemed pretty enough to be signed as a model. During her modeling days (WWII), the soldiers overseas voted her "the girl they'd most like to examine."

So she wasn't a dog and was naturally pretty. What the studios did was enhance that beauty, but they were minor procedures: the bump of her nose removed, chin implant, teeth straightened, and electrolysis to raise her hairline (like Rita Hayworth). No breast implants or anything too drastic. I think what really made the transformation striking was the bleached blonde hair and the makeup.

by Anonymousreply 4207/17/2013

I have a copy of Aesthetic Surgery, published by Taschen. I will pull it tomorrow and contribute after researching.

I can assure OP that the days before plastic surgery were almost prehistoric - humans have always altered themselves. Sometimes tastefully.

by Anonymousreply 4307/17/2013

If you look at the pics before and after, it's quite obvious that Monroe at the very least had her nose and chin done. I can't believe some are debating that.

by Anonymousreply 4407/17/2013

Marlene Dietrich was a master at using temporary lifts to pull up her face for concert appearances and films.

I believe makeup guru Kevin Aucoin used these temporary lifts on Liza in the late 80s and early 90s, when she looked her best.

by Anonymousreply 4507/17/2013

R41 The Spreckley after picture is amazing.

by Anonymousreply 4607/17/2013

What's all this talk about plastic surgery?

by Anonymousreply 4707/17/2013


I had to stop at the guy missing his bottom jaw. I couldn't go on...

by Anonymousreply 4807/17/2013

What days would those be?

by Anonymousreply 4907/17/2013

Modern plastic surgery originated in the 19th century, when the invention of anesthesia made elective procedures possible. Before that, they just tied the patient down and hacked away, with nothing to ease the agone except a maybe a slug of laudanum.

And I've read that Joan Crawford owed her long career to two successful facelifts.

by Anonymousreply 5007/17/2013

Joan's facelifts were successful...but her face became a hardened mask. People today forget how absolutely beautiful she was in her prime at MGM.

by Anonymousreply 5107/18/2013

It is also obvious MMhad her upper eyelids done. Please look at early pictures before you get upset! She was not born with deep set eye lids. She wanted eyelids like Garbo. Maturing will not rid you of eyelid skin that covers the eyelid. Age ppronounces it. Also, back then to increase bust size they injected saline into the bust, similar to injecting collagen in the lips today. Eventually it would be absorbed into the body. The coroner's report mentioned the saline in her breasts.

by Anonymousreply 5207/18/2013

Thank the photographers and make-up artists. Photographers have been manipulating still images way before the invention of Photoshop. Not to say there's no such thing as 'natural beauty' but what you're looking at, is Art. There's no difference between today and yesterday. Marilyn with no make-up would probably appear the same as Jolie with no make-up.

by Anonymousreply 5307/18/2013

During the Classic Film era, studios sent talent scouts all over the world to find genuine "natural beauties". When they found someone as naturally photogenic as Ava Gardner, they brought them to Hollywood and gave them acting lessons, because natural beauty is much less common than acting ability.

Today, you can have all your original features replaced with ones that casting agents like, but surgery just wasn't that good in the early 20th century.

by Anonymousreply 5407/18/2013

Marilyn was lovely without the surgery. She had cartilage removed from the tip or bulb of her nose. Her nose was shortened and the tip lifted. That is a very minor nose "job" compared to others, with not breaking or reshaping of the bone. (I have had two reconstructive septo/rhinoplasty surgeries - hockey)

Marilyn had some minor work on her chin, but not an implant. Her breasts were real. Fuck. Look at her Playboy pictures. She was lovely and if not the most beautiful, she was surely the most photogenic actress ever, along with Garbo.

Ava Gardner was born gorgeous. The perfect cat.

by Anonymousreply 5507/18/2013

[quote]and silicone injections into the breast started in the early 1960s

About a decade before that actually. Lots of strippers had it done in the 50's.

Nose jobs and face-lifts go back even further. Here's a magazine article from 1930 discussing stars having plastic surgery.

by Anonymousreply 5607/18/2013

r10 Paul Newman definitely had a nosejob. Personally I liked his original Jewish nose, he was much cuter with it.

by Anonymousreply 5707/18/2013

Marilyn, not a child, not yet a woman. I love this picture of her. It is nothing. She is pretty. It says alot.

Monroe did so much professional modelling before any surgery or stardom that it is easy to see how minor the changes were. It might be luck as she probably would have done most anything, but duh, she was a babe and she had some understanding of that. She contorted herself for lots of men and circumstances but she was pretty much in charge of the way she looked.

by Anonymousreply 5807/18/2013

Shirley MacLaine tells of Dietrich teaching her how to loop a tiny chain around her ears and under her chin to pull the skin back. Cover it with makeup or a scarf and voila, a cheap, temporary lift of the bottom part of your face.

Of course Marlene wasn't about to share ALL of her beauty secrets with that girl

by Anonymousreply 5907/18/2013

[quote]n the 19th century, girls had ribs removed to make their corseted waistlines even smaller.

Simply not true. If you REALLY look at pictures from the 1890s, it is very clear that they have been heavily retouched. I mean a 34" waste as been made to look like an 18" waist. Such a surgical procedure would be far to dangerous and far too painful at that time.

It is important to remember that PR isn't a new invention. It is like the actress who placed a lost item notice for her handbag (10" x 10"). Must have immediately. It contained her entire second act costume. You know the guys at the theater that night thought they were seeing a lot more than the were seeing.

by Anonymousreply 6007/18/2013

Salma Hayek before/after nose job.

by Anonymousreply 6107/18/2013

oops. forgot the link.

by Anonymousreply 6207/18/2013

Plastic surgery can be traced back to Ancient India, 3-4th C BC. Procedures such as skin grafts and reconstructing damaged noses are described in detail in the Sanskrit surgical text, "Sushrut Samhita".

by Anonymousreply 6307/18/2013

Regarding the tiny corseted waists of the 19th century...

Yes, there was a lot of retouching on the photographs, but waistlines really were smaller than we'd believe possible. Girls started wearing corsets while they were still growing, and the damn thing would actually deform their ribs and abdominal organs. I don't know if girls really had ribs removed (there was anesthetic but no antibiotics available in those days), but women will do any damn fool thing to look good.

by Anonymousreply 6407/18/2013

R57, he's still a kid in that picture, so it's not definite proof that he had a nose job. People grown into their features.

by Anonymousreply 6507/18/2013

[quote] n the 19th century, girls had ribs removed to make their corseted waistlines even smaller.

There's no way this isn't apocryphal--or perhaps one nutty woman had it done and, by some miracle, managed to survive.

Could you imagine some surgeon, in the time before modern surgery, hacksawing through some chick's ribs BEFORE the invention of anesthesia and (more importantly) antibiotics.

In most of the 19th century, doctors thought germ theory was a crackpot idea and didn't sterilize medical instruments. Most women who gave birth in hospitals died of contagious infections. Heck, in the 20th century before antibiotics, Churchill's mother died from twisting her ankle and the Pinkerton detective guy from an infection born of biting his tongue too hard.

by Anonymousreply 6607/18/2013

R58, she's probably around 14 in that pic, but she already has the iconic "Marilyn look." She looks very sensual for a child, and those knockers are pretty developed, too. Whatever procedures she had were minimal.

by Anonymousreply 6707/18/2013


You said it so much better than I. Thanks.


by Anonymousreply 6807/18/2013

I'm pretty sure Wilma Flintstone had implants. If not her, then Ann-Margrock for sure. I should know, I felt both of the up.

by Anonymousreply 6907/18/2013

R60 is right on. Most of the still photos were a) chosen b) actors with TONS of makeup (hello Max Factor) c) had tons of lighting and soft focus.

Plus they were black and white. Jeesh OP - nowadays there are so many paparazzi photos of celebrities in real life you get to see what they really look like.

A very stupid statement to make - people weren't more beautiful back then.

by Anonymousreply 7007/18/2013

R64, they still do that. Dita Von Teese, shrunk her waist with a corset. There are fetishists who are into this. One woman in the Kansas City area has a 17 inch waist from regularly wearing a corset many hours a day for years. Your ribs and organs actually shift to accommodate it.

by Anonymousreply 7107/18/2013

"Shirley MacLaine tells of Dietrich teaching her how to loop a tiny chain around her ears and under her chin to pull the skin back. Cover it with makeup or a scarf and voila, a cheap, temporary lift of the bottom part of your face."

In terms of covering it with makeup - does this mean you could do it when going on stage and people in the audience wouldn't see it? Or that you could actually do this when people were going to be seeing you close-up at a party or something, and they wouldn't see this makeup-covered chain?

by Anonymousreply 7207/18/2013

R64, this did not happen as much as you think. Children of both sexes often wore corsets, but it was to prevent scoliosis, not to have small waists.

One of the things that throws people off is that girls got their first "long dress" around 14-16. Too many people think that these are adult dresses with adult waist sizes.

Also, your corset size is 2" smaller than you waist size. So, anyone with an 18" "waist" was actually a 20" waist.

The really hateful corsets existed for a brief period in the 1880s, they were shortly replace with "reform" corsets. Also, women wore a lot of wrappers, mother hubbards, etc, without corests.

by Anonymousreply 7307/18/2013

R71, I know a woman who's into that. Seems like a perfectly normal person, you'd never guess she's a fetishist. Lovely hourglass figure, I must say.

by Anonymousreply 7407/18/2013

Scarlett O'Hara had a 12-inch waistline!

by Anonymousreply 7507/18/2013

That first picture of Marilyn in r25's link is EXACTLY what happens to my chin when I laugh, too.

If I could afford it, I'd get a chin implant, too!

by Anonymousreply 7607/18/2013

I love R58's picture of the adolescent Marilyn. She just looks like a sweetheart, and is already so photogenic.

At the link, Marilyn talks in a 1962 interview about how her world changed when she turned 11. Very cute.

by Anonymousreply 7707/18/2013

Here is a great before shot of Marilyn that hasn't been widely circulated -

She looks a lot like Britney Spears, IMO

by Anonymousreply 7807/18/2013

Face Tape

by Anonymousreply 7907/19/2013

[quote]It is important to remember that PR isn't a new invention. It is like the actress who placed a lost item notice for her handbag (10" x 10"). Must have immediately. It contained her entire second act costume. You know the guys at the theater that night thought they were seeing a lot more than the were seeing.

I don't understand what this means.

by Anonymousreply 8007/19/2013

r78 that really is the defining photo of this thread!

There you see Marilyn at the height of her fame (I'm guessing in the mid-1950s from the bleached hair and style of bathing suit) but with NO makeup and NO studio lighting and her nose and chin look just like the photos of her as a teen in the 1940s. For that matter, even the size of her breasts are pretty much the same.

If someone here is technologically clever they'll put those photos side by side for comparison.

by Anonymousreply 8107/19/2013

"The really hateful corsets existed for a brief period in the 1880s, they were shortly replace with "reform" corsets."

So does this mean the ones Mammy was lacing Scarlett into in the 1860's weren't that bad?

by Anonymousreply 8207/19/2013

The Victorian and Edwardian silhouette was not only enhanced by the waist tightening corset, but also with padding in the bosom (gay deceivers!) and hips and butt, as well as pleats and frills of fabric in those areas, all of which proportionately made the waist look even tinier.

It wasn't called the Hourglass Silhouette for nothing.

The same effect was achieved with Dior's New Look in the late 1940s/50s, with padded bras and crinoline petticoats to a lesser degree.

by Anonymousreply 8307/19/2013

R82, They weren't that bad in comparison. the 1860s were really the beginning of "tight lacing". Before that, a corset was really not that much different from a boned bodice on a modern evening gown or any more uncomfortable than the woman who squeezes herself into jeans that are three sizes too small. . The exception being the corsets worn by *men* in the 1830s. As R83 mentions, the illusion of a small waist was achieved by full skirts, crinolines, hoops, and in the 1830's, enormous sleeves.

Please remember that even in the 1860s, the majority of shoes were not made with specific left and a right. We may think corsets uncomfortable, but most clothing was uncomfortable.

by Anonymousreply 8407/19/2013

when did Frank Sinatra get his nose done and ears pinned?

by Anonymousreply 8507/20/2013

Sinatra's flaws must have been dealt with when he was signed by MGM in the early 1940s.

LB Mayer was supposedly very worried about how he'd photograph in spite of his huge popularity as a bobbysoxer favorite on the radio and in concert venues.

by Anonymousreply 8607/21/2013

"In terms of covering it with makeup - does this mean you could do it when going on stage and people in the audience wouldn't see it?"

R72 - I should have said that Dietrich was talking about the stage.

by Anonymousreply 8707/21/2013

FWIW, I love Marilyn. And I even love the nudie pic at R37, which has a lot of her sweetness and humor in it.

But she's wearing a wig in that pic. There are a number of reports (including published stories from her maid) that the poor thing had damaged her hair and lost a good deal after over a decade of bleach damage.

She was wearing wigs/hairpieces in a lot of her later public appearances.

Anyway, back to plastic surgery...

by Anonymousreply 8807/21/2013

[quote]But she's wearing a wig in that pic. There are a number of reports (including published stories from her maid) that the poor thing had damaged her hair and lost a good deal after over a decade of bleach damage.

Is that true? I mean the part about bleaching your hair for years will finally damage it? And does it apply to hair dye as well? I ask 'cause I'm 33 and have thick black hair, but for the past year I've been coloring it with Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme every three months to mask the grays that have popped up. However, if it means the loss of my thick hair (I'm male), I'm willing to forgo the process. I'd rather have hair (gray or otherwise) than not at all.

by Anonymousreply 8907/21/2013

Not necessarily, R89. Relax.

MM was using industrial strength bleaches to lighten her naturally mid-range brown hair for over a decade. Because of the color contrast, the roots showed and she learned to touch it up herself using harsh peroxide mixes. She also went a good deal lighter, moving from darker honey blondes to platinum. It damaged her hair, which would break off, and probably caused some loss. Hence the wigs.

There were similar stories of Farrah Fawcett. A Texas girl through and through, she had been coloring her hair and giving herself home perms for years when she became famous. She resorted to wigs for a short period before her naturally thick, beautiful hair grew back.

Most home hair color kits are harmless, but I always think people are better off going to an expert.

by Anonymousreply 9007/21/2013

Okay, thanks. I don't plan to do it for long, anyway, at least not past 40. I think it's ridiculous to see older men in their forties and fifties with black henna hair. It really contrasts with their lined and mature face, and not in a good way. For me, nothing screams "I'm desperately trying to hang on to my youth" more than a wrinkled face with really dark hair.

Besides, someone once told me I'd probably look good with salt-and-pepper hair, but I'm not ready to go there yet. I just turned 33 and my twenties wasn't so far away. It's like when I was 23 and still felt 19. I didn't feel like I was in my twenties until I hit 25. I reckon it'll be the same when I turn 35 and by then I would probably have accepted a gray hair or two.

by Anonymousreply 9107/21/2013
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