June 25th, 2008
02:15 PM ET

1 in 5 Americans to get cosmetic surgery by 2015

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.surgery.gi.jpg caption="American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, 17% of all Americans will have some kind of plastic surgery."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The good news is our life expectancy keeps going up. We're living longer and healthier lives than we ever have before. The bad news is with extra years comes extra wrinkles, sag, cellulite and a general deterioration of our otherwise stunning good looks.

Enter the cosmetic surgeon. In fact, enter a whole army of cosmetic surgeons. Americans are nothing if not vain. In the face of $4 gasoline, a possible lengthy and painful recession and economic hardship that threatens to touch everyone's lives, millions of us still manage to come up with the money and the gasoline to get to the plastic surgeon.

Just last year, Americans spent more than $13 billion for almost 12 million procedures, up from 8.5 million procedures in 2001. Surgeons say there has been a bit of a slowdown recently because of the economy, but they expect many, many more of us to go under the knife in the coming years. We may be broke, but at least we'll look good in the unemployment line.

A new study by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons predicts that by 2015, the current number of procedures will quadruple to more than 55 million. It's estimated that 17% of all Americans will be getting work done – that's almost one in five people.

However, the head of this organization says they are concerned that with the predicted growth in surgery, people not take shortcuts and go only to board-certified plastic surgeons. I wonder who Joan Rivers went to.

Here’s my question to you: What does it say about our society if almost 1 in 5 Americans will be getting cosmetic surgery within 7 years?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Jon from Austin, Texas writes:
Another indicator of how vain our society is becoming. So many TV shows like Doctor 90210, Girls Next Door, Nip Tuck, and many others are force-feeding us with this idea that cosmetic surgery is necessary and glamorous. HD TV hasn't helped either. Every minor imperfection shines through with interesting detail. Do they have a survey for which country is the most vain? I'm sure we are atop the list.

David from Alexandria, Virginia writes:
It says that 20% of the people are interested in looking the best that they can and feeling better about themselves. Generally, they pay for it themselves. Good for them.

Gigi from Alabama writes:
I think that is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Our economy is going down the toilet and vain people are thinking about lifting their butts, tucking their tummies and looking like deer in headlights because of brow lifts. Whatever happened to growing old gracefully?

Dave from Brooklyn writes:
It means that Jack is one of the other 4. But it’s what’s inside that counts!

Jenna from Roseville, California writes:
It says that Americans are doing anything to look young so that they can keep their jobs. Age discrimination is alive and well here in America. Don't believe those who deny it. I've been trying to get a job for 2 years. I have 5 college degrees and over 20 yrs experience and can't even get an interview.

David from Maryland writes:
Just goes to prove what you've been saying, Jack: It’s getting ugly out there.

Jim writes:
So what are you and Wolf going to have done?

Dick writes:
It means three questions a day is taxing the ability of the CNN producers of Cafferty File.

Filed under: Cosmetic Surgery
soundoff (220 Responses)
  1. Jenny


    It is very simple. We all want to look like Angelina Jolie!!!

    Jenny Rome Ga

    June 25, 2008 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Kathy Glendale Heights, IL


    It means we need to tax silicone and retire the national debt.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm |
  3. Grant from Lava Hot Springs, Idaho

    To paraphrase Carly Simon, It says that for 20 percent of americans they are so vain, they probably think this blog is about them.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  4. vince nizzardi, new Jersey

    jackzilla,it means we don't want to look old, even when we are. By the way Jack, you might want to consider a little touch up yourself

    June 25, 2008 at 2:19 pm |
  5. AndyZ Fairfax, VA

    Gas prices are not going to be high enough!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:20 pm |
  6. Michael Steuer,. Bedford, N.Y.

    One thing that it means is that the brightest of our medical students are going into cosmetic surgery where the money is and the life saving medical fields are being diluted with mediocre doctors.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  7. sarah, indiana

    it means our society is obsessed with perfection. perfect face, perfectly flat tummy, perfect breasts, perfect butts, perfect everything. the real question ,jack, is why are people more interested in seeing some so called perfect model or celebrity rather than going to the polls to vote?

    June 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  8. Nancy from Florida

    It shows how shallow we as a nation have become. Nothing looks sillier than an old woman with "perky" boobs and over-Botoxed wrinkles, unless it is an old man who has had his face lifted. Kenny Rogers is just frightful to look at now..

    June 25, 2008 at 2:25 pm |
  9. MadPlato

    This portion of our society is a collection of insecure people who have the money to burn on their Vanity. I'd rather see the REAL THEM than see the unnatural alterations that, frankly, sometimes scare me. After cosmetic surgery, some of these people look like veritable zombies.

    El Paso, TX

    June 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  10. Darlene - PA

    We are a vain, shallow society that has concentrated too much on the outside and neglected our inner selves like values, compassion, etc. We are also way too materialistic and egotistic. What a pity.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm |
  11. Hope, Alabama

    Americans are a materialistic, shallow society where beauty and youthfulness is not just appreciated, but encouraged at any and every age. The media and celebrities have popularized this culture of looking young. We have lost track of what really matters in a person and are afraid of actually looking our age.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:27 pm |
  12. Caryn, Washington DC

    I am one in five and I can't wait to get a little touch up. I don't see anything wrong with making adjustments. To each her own.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm |
  13. Judie

    Hi Jack,
    Those statistics show that one in five Americans have low self esteem and are not happy in their own skin. They have the "If Only Syndrome , you know ,if only my breasts were larger/smaller/higher/lower then my life would be better. If only I did not have wrinkles I would feel better. If only my nose was bigger/smaller/shaped differently then life would be perfect.
    You know Jack I am a graciously aging 63 year old female, overweight, slightly wrinkled, have gravity deficiency in some areas with a pug/Irish nose and blue eyes, and, I am happy being me. It means that one in five Americans have their priorities mixed up.

    St. Augustine, Fl

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  14. Joan from Mt Pocono PA

    It means that people are not satisfied with the way they were created. They want to change their appearance to please others rather than themselves.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Paulette Dallas,PA

    It says that we are a vain society. I do not plan to torture myself and take unnecessary risks with my life. These procedures last only so long and then need to be repeated. I intend to eat well, exercise and grow older gracefully. Whatever happened to "it's what's inside that counts?"

    June 25, 2008 at 2:29 pm |
  16. Jeremy D (University of Texas)

    It says there should be a doctor professional enough to wipe the stupid look off of President Bush's face by 2015.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  17. Snapper • New Castle, IN

    It means the other four of us five Americans has a little common sense!!!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm |
  18. T (Fort Worth)

    Stupid. I came in ugly and I am going out just as ugly. The baby boomers refuse to get old. Time will change that and it is not nice to fool with Mother Nature. Be careful what you wish for. Your new face maybe part of your behind.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  19. Stacy from Loudoun County, VA

    We’re so vain…I bet you thought this blog was about you.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:31 pm |
  20. Robert C Lowenthal

    Regardless of the fact that the confidence index is at an all time low, if 20% of American's are willing to throw money down the drain, they must have confidence in the future. Either that or they are the most vain, self centered 20% of the country and they have more money than brains. There are millions of people in the world who would find a full stomach much more important than a filled in crow's foot. People, get a life.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  21. Chicago Bob from Illinois

    It means people are living longer and want to keep looking young. It's the Dorian Grey syndrome.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:32 pm |
  22. Steve C

    It shows that most people are very insecure. It's too bad that people only judge others by how they look and what they own instead of judging them by looking at their heart and soul.

    Laguna Niguel, CA

    June 25, 2008 at 2:33 pm |
  23. Adam, Roslyn NY

    Better question:
    What does it say about our society if almost 1 in 2 Americans voted for George W. Bush over the last 7 years?

    June 25, 2008 at 2:34 pm |
  24. Jan Davis, Knoxville, TN

    It must mean Americans are more vane than ever. If I could afford it, I would get Botox or something like that; I wouldn't want to take the risk of having surgery. Guess I will just have to live with the face I have and hope those over-the-counter cremes help somewhat!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  25. Patricia

    Look, I'm now in my 50's & yep as far as I'm concerned things are a bit saggy, but, I see no purpose in wasting the money on that kind of surgery.
    Palmdale, Ca.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:35 pm |
  26. David, Orlando, FL

    The obvious answer is that we are so superficial that it is painful. It also says that some of us don’t like ourselves very much. Unfortunately, a doctor can only make better looking people out of us, not better people.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:37 pm |
  27. Michael Smith, New Orleans

    It means that eventually everyone will look like either Joan Rivers or Kenny Rogers.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:39 pm |
  28. Linda in Virginia

    I think we should adjust gas prices for those 1 in 5 so that the other 4 of us can be eased of our pain.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  29. Terry in Hanover County

    One in five need to do more research. My first husband loved women with huge breasts and wanted mine enhanced. I made a simplier choice - I got rid of him and found a wonderful man who appreciated me as I am. On July 16th we'll celebrate our 20th anniversary.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:40 pm |
  30. Esther from over the rainbow

    means we are vain people unable to grow old gracefully

    June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  31. Willow, from Iowa

    That one in five must be the group that drive around in fancy cars, eat at the country club and count their money. Nobody that lives around me has enough money to pay their bills much less pay a plastic surgeon.

    I wanted to be that little frown line between my eyebrows fixed. I found out it would cost 350.00 to get it filled with whatever they fill it with, and it will last for 3 months. 3 months? I can do a whole lot more with 350.00 than get a frown wrinkle fixed. That was a very shallow thought of mine. It lasted about 2 minutes after I found out how much it would cost.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  32. Jayne in NH

    It means 1 in 5 Americans is self absorbed. If I had money for cosmetic surgery I'd spend it on canned goods for the local food pantry. There are issues in life more important than pouty lips and the perfect nose.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  33. Ann from S.C.

    If people want to spend their money on cosmetic surgery, let them. The one of five doesn't speak for our entire society. Let's hope the other four are more interested in becoming a good person.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  34. Fox in Florida

    Sex sells Jack. For decades we've allowed advertising firms to use sex as the only way to sell a product. In return we've gotten a culture of skimpy outfits, teenage pregnancy and an abudance of low self-esteem. An entire generation of people afraid to get older and willing to spend all they have for a chance to look young again. Only someone should tell these people that having a plastic face doesn't look natural, it doesn't make them look younger and all they've really done is draw attention to their aging face. There is no fountain of youth and if there were it wouldn't be made of plastic.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  35. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It means that Jack is one of the other 4. But it’s what’s inside that counts!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  36. Gigi in Alabama

    I think that is about the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Our economy is going down the toilet and vain people are thinking about lifting their butts, tucking their tummies and looking like deer in headlights because of brow lifts. Whatever happened to growing old gracefully?

    June 25, 2008 at 2:44 pm |
  37. David,San Bernardino,CA.

    Not only are we fat,we are vain!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm |
  38. Conor in Chicago


    It tells me that MSM is in the business of deflecting our attention from important issues for the sake of talking about nothing for what must be their own profit. 1 in 7? OK sure. You think that # applies to Kansas? Delaware? New Mexico? Alaska? Where was this poll taken, on a street corner in Beverly Hills? With the direction this country is going who the hell could afford plastic surgery today or in 2015? Nonsense. Stick the important things Jack-that's why we're on this forum.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:48 pm |
  39. Nora Corpus Christi Texas

    It just means 1 in 5 people are too worried about looks, wrinkles and boobs to worry about Iraq,food prices, fuel cost,etc. Seems very petty when you stop and look at the big picture. Wonder what we will be paying for gas in 2015????????

    June 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm |
  40. Michael, Orlando, Florida

    Hi Jack, I dont know your sources, but I would rather use my money to buy Gas or Milk instead of cosmetic surgery. The economy is now too bad for anybody to think of cosmetic surgery.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  41. Jenny


    It means that we may be livng on the streets and eating from a breadline but we are not going to have one single wrinkle on our face and our butts and boobs are going to look fantastic.

    Jenny Rome Ga

    June 25, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  42. Jim from BC

    So what are you and Wooffy going to have done? And will it be visible?

    June 25, 2008 at 2:54 pm |
  43. John Hovland, MN

    Very very sick society!!! I am happy I live in a remote area, I interact with my Blk Lab, still figureing out to fool the 2 Black Bears raiding my bird feeder! Therefore I don't care what vain people do. I am 64 and who cares!!!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:55 pm |
  44. sandy in Ohio

    Jack, It means that alot of people must be saving up for these procedures because insurance( if you've got it) doesn't cover ellective surgery. They might want to think twice about blowing this money because the way the economy is going they might need it for a loaf of bread.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  45. Paul, Louisiana

    It means the magazines and media need to stop telling people they are fat and ugly...

    June 25, 2008 at 2:57 pm |
  46. David Alexandria, VA

    It says that 20% of the people in the US are interested in looking the best that they can - feeling better about themselves. Generally, they pay for it themselves. Good for them.

    Now - what about the 25% of Americans who are obese? The attendent problems with obesity inevitably will cost us all something in terms of health care insurance premiums, partucularly under a national health plan. I wish they would get the message.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  47. Ray, Florida

    It say's that 4 out of 5 American's insurance doesn't cover elective surgery!

    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  48. Paul

    It shows the world that 20% of us are so SUPERFICIAL that they need
    cosmetic surgery to look right or they think so. Remember when cosmetic surgery was used to help someone after a terrible accident for example. Not just because they ate to much fried and fast foods that made them fat and instead proper exercise and diet they go to the corner quack to get it sucked out and start over again. It's just sad.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  49. Pablo in Arlington Texas


    Ugly is cheaper... and healthier.

    Arlington, Texas

    June 25, 2008 at 2:58 pm |
  50. Rex in Portland, Ore.

    Hey, Jack, we wanna be cute.

    June 25, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  51. Jenna Wade

    What does it say about our society if almost 1 in 5 Americans will be getting cosmetic surgery within 7 years?

    It says that Americans are doing anything to look young so that they can keep their jobs.

    Age discrimination is alive and well here in America. Don't beleive those who deny it. I've been trying to get a job for 2 years – have 5 college degrees – over 20 yrs experience – can't even get an interview.

    Roseville CA

    June 25, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  52. JC from Georgetown, Texas

    That vanity is one of the many shortcomings that many have in our society and that unfortunately, looks make a difference in the eyes of others. People are judged by their appearance instead of their heart or capabilities to do a good job.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  53. Cynthia

    It means that they are more courage than I have – I don't handle pain well. The only surgeries I will be having is the medically necessary. But, I guess the old saying, no pain no gain applies.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:00 pm |
  54. Greg, Hamilton Ontario

    wow...thats a lot of Micheal Jacksons! Please tell us your not going to be one of them Jack!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:01 pm |
  55. Keith from Irving Texas

    It says more and more Americans are now wearing their "fakeness" on the outside as well as on the inside – Not surprising. It's called the evolution of humanity.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  56. Chuck in MO

    Thinking about a little change Jack?
    My advice is don't go for the Wolf look.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:02 pm |
  57. Jon from Austin, TX

    Another indicator of how vain our society is becoming. So many TV shows like Doctor 90210, Girls Next Door, Nip Tuck, and many others are force-feeding us with this idea that cosmetic surgery is necessary and glamorous. HD TV hasn't helped either. Every minor imperfection shines through with interesting detail. Do they have a survey for which country is the most vain? I'm sure we are atop the list.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  58. Susan, Indianapolis

    It means that at a crucial time in history where the end of fossil fuels is sparking recession and international tensions, we are obsessed with not growing old. What imakes this so frightening is the fip side of this coin that implies we see no value or wisdom to be garnered from increasing years and experience on this planet. We boomers need to wear wrinkles with pride, not attempt to pretend that we have gained nothing from our time here. Or have we??

    June 25, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  59. Ken in NC

    If almost 1 out of every 5 will be having cosmetic surgery that means 4 out of 5 still have their smarts about them.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:04 pm |
  60. Caycee, Pearl City Hawaii

    It means that people actually want to look good when someone tells them "Hey, you're looking good."

    June 25, 2008 at 3:05 pm |
  61. Anne/Seattle

    It means some people are effected by superficial personal qualities and not by the recession. It's odd to know that in a time when so many are having trouble feeding themselves and keeping a roof over their heads, others want to see someone in the mirror closer to the age of one who had endless years ahead of them. Of course everyone has a right to spend their earnings however they wish, but we'd all be better off if some of the dollars spent on cosmetic surgery would share part of their wealth with those in need.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  62. George Carlin McxKinney, Texas

    It tells me that there are a whole lot of Ugly people out there that think changing their appearance will change who and what they are. It won't.
    I just hope that most that want to do it do so before Obama has a chance to make all of the rest of us pay for it with health care reform. I can put up with a whole lot of Ugly for what it would cost me in Tax dollars to fund tummy tucks, lip enlargements and fake breast implants.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  63. Jerry from Fayetteville, TN

    I guess it means that the percentage of ugly people is increasing.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  64. Sandra fromTexas

    I have a feeling that statistic will not hold up if the Republicans have anything to do with it. Not that many people will be able to afford it.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:07 pm |
  65. T. G. from the virgin islands

    Its means that people have so obsessed with looking young forever, they are willing to spend thousands of dollars to go to plastic surgeons. Just look at Michael Jackson.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  66. Ray Kinserlow

    Elective cosmetic surgery is the one area of health care where free enterprise works. I say leave it that way. National health care now!

    Ray Kinserlow
    Lubbock, Texas

    June 25, 2008 at 3:08 pm |
  67. John in San Diego

    Wouldn't it be great if we spent as much effort on enhancing our infinite mind and spirit as we do on embelishing our fleeting body?.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:09 pm |
  68. Mike, Syracuse NY

    Jack, it shows we're not doing nearly enough. Look around. There are still plenty of butt-ugly people out there. By the way, when is your surgery Jack?

    June 25, 2008 at 3:10 pm |
  69. Harry

    It means your staff was trying to send you a subtle message by leading you to this topic.


    June 25, 2008 at 3:12 pm |
  70. Joe in DE

    This year a lot of people don't want to recognized as voying for the wrong canidate – and here are more tto come.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  71. mitch martin arkansaw

    i'll never unnerstand it.i'm too purrty.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  72. Jess, Ohio

    It means that Neil Jordan's 1992, 'The Crying Game', wasn't as big of a hit as we were led to believe.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:16 pm |
  73. Fish, MN

    It means that I should start to wonder how one of you, Jack, Wolf, John, Anderson, or Larry is going to look like after 2015. I know Larry King won't even try to change the prescription of his glasses, so it must be one of the four of you. Do you agree? Funny! Why don't they say 20% instead of 1 in 5?

    June 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  74. George

    It means that about the only way we can make a smile in these times is to have it surgically implanted. I know I could use one Jack, how about you?

    June 25, 2008 at 3:20 pm |
  75. JD North Carolina

    I don't get why pople are wasting money on botox. The events of the past few years have kept me constantly looking suprised without any costly injections.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:21 pm |
  76. Jed in Redding, CA

    In six or so months when even our President is a good looking young man, you can't blame American for wanting to look good.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm |
  77. Jerry,OK

    Jack, It means, lots more big-boobs and pretty faces, on "superficial bores." You know...like the Executive Branch, Congress, and Supreme Court .

    Jerry N/Tulsa

    June 25, 2008 at 3:24 pm |
  78. Victor in Saanich, B.C. Canada

    Jack, that reminds me of a bill before Congress, that would put the cost of plastic surgery on the patient after that person had surgery for cancer removal etc.!! Just think, a part of your face, as an example, is torn open in a medical procedure, and the act of closing it with little deformity would cost you a few thousand at least!! Ludicrous and another perfect example of a US health system gone mad!!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  79. mk

    America has got the marketplace on greed cornered. Wasn't this the attitude that led our country into the mortgage crisis?

    June 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  80. Radiance

    We are obsessed with beauty but we ought not be ugly where it counts.

    Physical things will pass away, but if they are all you can percieve...

    your in trouble.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  81. Herb -Texas

    Hey Jack, let us know what it means after you and Wolf get it done!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:26 pm |
  82. Dori in AZ

    Some of us are happy looking like what God and the universe intended us to look like.

    That would be you and me, Jack!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:27 pm |
  83. Paul, Columbia, SC

    What's the point? No one else cares but you.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  84. Tony,.......Lou, Ky.

    It means our society is geared more toward the outside of a person than the important part......the inside!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  85. don in naples, florida

    Is this number factoring in all of the hollywood figures that get cosmetic surgery? It seems a bit low.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:30 pm |
  86. George Carlin McxKinney, Texas

    One thing I have learned through out life is that 1 out of 5 people make up 75 percent of the population. Are there really that many Ugly people out there or are there just a whole lot of people that think they will look better after they have surgery? Odds are they won't be better people because of it.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  87. Annie, Atlanta

    We're all going to look like Michael Jackson or Joan Rivers in the very near future. Lovely!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  88. Early from Southwest Virginia

    It means that our sagging bodies are not the only thing going downhill. The priorities in our lives are also slipping. I suppose it is better to have a surgeon help you look "mahvelous" as opposed to spending the money on things that would truely be a benefit to your life, such as food or gas or rainy day fund for the future.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:32 pm |
  89. Chryssa

    Look at it from this angle – today's women are spending more time in school and getting married later in life. The average age for a woman with a Master's degree to marry is now 35. If I'm on still on the dating scene at that age, you bet I'm going to get a few wrinkles zapped.

    Boise, ID

    June 25, 2008 at 3:35 pm |
  90. Dori in AZ

    I'm an aging flower child who is still au natural, with the gifts that nature gave me and has since begun taking away.

    My grandmother lived to be 99 and a half. Ancient. She was quite beautiful . . . even at the end of her life.

    After all, Jack. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  91. Diane Glasser

    I think the statistics are way off. Is this an ad for the plastic surgery industry?
    As a nurse, most of these plastic nip and tucks do not last more than five years and cost a fortune. Much of these surgeries are not covered by insurance. As you stated if you have not checked closely on the surgeon's credentials and references you may be having an ex medical student down the street doing your surgery with grave consequences.
    Buyer of beauty beware.
    Diane from PA

    June 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm |
  92. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Maybe it means 1out of 5 Americans are suffering from some type of attention disorder and need medical attention instead of cosmetic attention.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  93. Erin in Kalamazoo

    I must repectfully suggest that there is a faulty premise to your question Jack. Somehow I think your cosmetic surgery candidate is NOT the gal on the unemployment line, nor is she the grandmother struggling to pay for her medications nor is he the guy who doesn't have health insurance.

    It isn't about reconciling opposing values within ourselves for most of us do not have these luxories. Instead, your question illustrates the opposing values and lifestyles in America, between the haves and have-nots.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  94. dennis hunter

    We are a spoiled society and that is why we are our country is in the shape we are in. we try to hide the truth instead of facing the facts of life.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  95. Katiec Pekin, IL

    I have laughed, cried, spent too much time in the sun, smoked
    and worked hard for every wrinkle I have. Good or bad they are
    me and the story of my life. Granted I do not spend too much
    time in front of the mirror, but then, never did.
    It is hard to understand how it is believed a persons physical
    appearance is so crucial. What is underneath is ALL that is
    These people getting these make overs are the same people
    that dress their seven and eight year olds as a twenty two year
    old, allow second graders wear makeup etc. When these
    seven year olds actually become adults they will be lost.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  96. Dori in AZ


    Thank God for the plastic surgeons who invest their energies in reconstructing accident and burn victims, who give deformed children new hope of more normal lives, who use their incredible God-given talents to ease pain, and to increase well-being and function.

    They are making a difference in the world.

    And, it isn't so that the aging celebrity can get more film roles or so an 18 year old with a new nose and a new set of boobs can make more dollars dancing at the local topless club!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  97. Plastic, Los Angeles

    Nice question! I just got plastic surgery and plan on getting more in the future!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:45 pm |
  98. Winton from Alaska

    It means we watch too much television and have gotten a distorted view of how we all should look, like the handsomest or most beautiful Hollywood star. Problem is, if we start looking like them,
    we may start acting stupid, as many of them do.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:46 pm |
  99. Janice Pound

    It means our egos are busting out all over. It's all for naught. Our insides keep getting older and used. Whats that old saying -beauty is only skin deep. It's the brains ,and thoughts, and actions, eminating from ,that really counts.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:47 pm |
  100. Michael Lorton, Virginia

    Jack: It means that Plastic Surgeons are never ever going to be out of a job. People have to realize that you cannot change a "prune" back into a "plum," no matter how much you "nip and tuck."

    June 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  101. Sam, North Carolina

    It is a matter of screwed up priorities. I have read that as a society, we are getting dumber. I guess this is proof since most people would pay more to remove a few wrinkles than they would to learn something new. Education is permanent...cosmetic surgery isn't.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm |
  102. Terry from North Carolina

    This says that were all spoiled. This number should go down when it becomes a choice between gas and food or cosmetic surgery.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:51 pm |
  103. Tom - Las Vegas, Nevada

    Let's see, we'll grumble about the price of gas and food, and then form a line at the plastic surgeons office door. What a country, no wonder the rest of the world can't figure us out.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  104. Les Young Oklahoma

    Jack at my age surgery would not do any good What I need is more in the miracle type redo.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm |
  105. William Courtland North43ºWest93º

    Cosmetic surgery should be restricted to those who have suffered a severe accident.

    Elective Plastic Surgery quenches the natural glow of an individual. Over time we change, we grow and become new again; to alter ones appearance will fly in the face of nature, and to do so at a young age will upset the naturally expected growth pattern which often results over time in the aestetic deterioration of the enhancement. This goes as far a Orthadontistry: unless one is in discomfort or having difficulty in masticating their food one should wait until ones wisdom teeth are fully ruptured to invest in such a cosmetic straightening.

    Our bodies must be function first.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  106. Brat

    Most Americans are rather ugly anyway. About 1 in 3 media figures and 1 in 2 politicians should consider drastic reconstructive surgery and a move to Switzerland to cover their sorry butts. Not you Jack, we like you the way you are.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  107. Jo from Dallas

    I've had it and I want more. It's says we're vain. So sue us. You deal with a 60+ year old neck!

    June 25, 2008 at 3:55 pm |
  108. Ernie Hinds from Maryland

    It shows you that people are very concerned about the way they look. Americans in general continue to gain weight while the big hollywood stars are very thin and attractive. We see these models who are as thin as rails and our young children look up to these people for advise on how to eat healthy. I think we should set more realistic expectations for our children. Promote people who are good actors/actresses that may not be as thin as some people would like them to be. Cosmetic surgery should not be occuring at this rate. I think if we promoted self confidence more children would not want to get cosmetic surgery in the future.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  109. Erin in Kalamazoo

    I must repectfully suggest that there is a faulty premise to your question, Jack. Somehow I think your cosmetic surgery candidate is NOT the gal on the unemployment line, nor is she the grandmother struggling to pay for her medications nor is he the guy who doesn’t have health insurance.

    It isn’t about reconciling opposing values within ourselves for most of us do not have these luxories. Instead, your question illustrates the opposing values and lifestyles in America, between the haves and have-nots.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  110. Susan in Palatka, FL

    Well, once again looks like everyone has already said everything I could think of saying.....except – has anyone considered the detrimental effects of plastic surgery in our cemeteries? You know 50 years from now cemeteries containing tombs of people with silicon buried in 2005 will be possible sites for schools.

    June 25, 2008 at 3:56 pm |
  111. Jay in Texas

    Jack, it means that too many Americans give a damn about what other people think of their outward appearance while they should really be worried about the internal problems that are causing them to seek such drastic change.
    Brownwood, Texas

    June 25, 2008 at 3:58 pm |
  112. Linda Richards

    It says that the same people that can't identify the three branches of government can tell you what Britney's up to, where to get botox and how to look beautiful from head to toe and beyond; big houses, expensive cars, designer everything. It says that people think that by working on the outside, they will fill some void that surely will surely exist on the inside. Some of them will live to regret caring more about who won American Idol than what they need to learn to navigate through life successfully as they work two crummy jobs to buy the latest handbag. Linda in NJ

    June 25, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  113. Teri in FL

    It means we're vain. But remember, it's just a prediction. What if we're in a full blown depression by 2015? If I were a pre-med student I'd be thinking about a backup occupation to pay for those student loans. The profession might go the way of all those mortgage related jobs of just a few short years ago.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:02 pm |
  114. Karen from Rocklin,Ca

    When I look at Prisilla Presley and Joan Rivers I say no way!!!!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  115. Greg from PA

    It says many of us do not respect or love ourselves as we are. It also says for some Americans, vanity has taken priority over other basic needs. While some plastic surgery is called for in cases where there is a health issue or extreme disfiguration, most is elective. Those who have to ask, "How much does this cost," will find it less appealing because our econmy is still slipping downward. Those who don't care about the cost will do whatever they want to do.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  116. wally Ruehmann las Vegas nv

    doesnt that cost a lot of money? maybe i should find out where they get that stuff done. maybe i could get a loan from one of them so i could but a couple gallons of gas, and a half dozen egg's.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:05 pm |
  117. Mike in St. Pete Beach, Florida

    It means there are two types of recession: ours and theirs.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:08 pm |
  118. Mike in Colorado

    That twenty percent of the population think the economy will improve
    and that they will have enough gas to go to the doctor

    June 25, 2008 at 4:11 pm |
  119. john marlton nj

    McMansions, McPerfectTeeth, McBoobs and McTummy tucks are all fine with me as long as I am not paying for them. What annoys me are the second and third generation medicaid moms with $75 painted nails and $150 hair-do's screaming that they are entitled to the same cosmetic surgery .

    June 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  120. Toni Boutwell, Myrtle Beach SC

    It means that 20% of us are to shallow . They think changing the way they look will change who they are! Dumb!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:12 pm |
  121. Brian from Fort Mill, S.C.

    If anybody out there is contemplating whether to get plastic surgery, I have two words that should stop you in your tracks.

    Michael Jackson!

    He collects noses like Arnold Schwarzenegger collects Hummers! He's also developing a new line of face cream. It's called Spackle!

    I bet that if he stuck a straw up his nose, he could blow his brains out!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  122. Carolyn Pottsville PA

    What scares me, Jack, are the people who are getting breast augmentations and cannot pay their bills and have no medical insurance for their families. They are begging their parents for money yet blowing it on unnecessary surgery. It says that 20% of Americans are intellectually challenged. It's a shame they cannot get a cerebral augmentation. They are running up hospital ER bills when their kids get sick and the rest of us are paying for it. For those who have the money, go for it...if you so desire.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm |
  123. Jen

    It means we value the wrong things (and we’re influencing the rest of the world now too). Our focus should be on character and relationships, raising our children and living full lives no matter what we look like. I’m guilty of complaining about my featrures, sure. But when I’m old and wrinkled I’d like to tell stories about all the money I spent traveling the world with loved ones. Not about my face lift gone wrong, and the breast implants that ruined my back. If there is a true medical benefit- go for it. Otherwise, spend the money somewhere else.

    Jen C.
    Orlando, FL

    June 25, 2008 at 4:17 pm |
  124. Linda in Minnesota

    It says that we are a pathetic bunch of losers who care more about the superficial- isn't it obvious? We have too many who care about looking "young" (usually it becomes SCARY, instead) when we should care more about the lives of others....Perhaps the surgery 1 in 5 people really need is to remove their heads from their........!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  125. KenB, Michigan

    I've got a fractured cheek bone...if I had the money I'd have the surgery...any extreme makeover offers out there?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:18 pm |
  126. Christine in Natchez, MS

    Jack, it means that while I'm standing on the side of the road because I ran out of gas, I'll at least look pretty.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm |
  127. gina in long beach california

    Well, it kinda states the obvious; that some Americans are shallow, empty drones, who have nothing better to do with their time and money than spend it on unnecessary surgery. I don't know about you Jack, but I'd rather use that money to imrprove my life, or more importantly, help improve the lives of those in my community who have more needs than they do means.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  128. Harry

    After the last 7 years only 1 in 5 can afford it.

    Or maybe this one..

    1 in 5 are will be able to afford it, with the money they saved from buying gas in Mexico.

    Or even this one..

    That Bush's supporters are getting afraid to show their faces in public.

    Pick one.


    June 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  129. Mari, Salt Lake City, Utah

    NUTS! And these are likely the same people moaning and complaining about the price of oil!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:22 pm |
  130. Nikki, Ridgefield, WA

    Jack, it means 1 in 5 obviously haven't figured out priorities. What would happen if each one of those who get cosmetic surgery gave that 'throw-away money' to our orphans, homeless, needy seniors and medically challenged people? I'll bet they'd feel alot better on the inside, and wouldn't give a damn about their outside appearance.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:23 pm |
  131. Moses

    I honestly think that projecting stuff like this will trigger the American people who never thought about to start thinking it. So please, let us not manipulate any further, our brains that are already manipulated enough.

    Altanta, GA.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  132. Kelley in Acworth, GA

    Why Jack, do you and Blitzer go get Botox treatments together? Rich people get on my nerves.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:25 pm |
  133. Kim, Dodge City, Kansas

    Plastic surgery can transform the life of a burn victim, or someone suffering from a terrible birth defect, or even damage from the horrors of war. To use it for the sake of pure vanity is a monumental waste of medical skills.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:28 pm |
  134. Bill from Alabama

    It says two things......(1)...Americans don't want to deal with their own mortality; and (2) We are a very vain society,that would rather feel good about our exteriors,than our interiors. We'll spend more on our vanity, to look pleasing,than we will give in charities to save or change lives.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:29 pm |
  135. Rishi from Colonia, NJ

    Hey Jack,

    I'm actually in medical school right now. Thanks for helping me choose my specialty!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:30 pm |
  136. Mark, Oklahoma City

    Jack, for the thousands of people who are maimed in accidents and in war, I thank God for plastic surgeons. For the rest of those who are spending most of the $13 Billion, I say, "shame on you." So many people, especially children, do without good food, clothing and shelter every day, and that money would go along way to helping others who need far more than just a good appearance in the mirror!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:31 pm |
  137. Alan, Buxton, Maine

    It says that Americans are very foolish. Foolish enough to elect Bush twice.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:32 pm |
  138. MBG (NY)

    I have plenty of unpretty adjectives of what that says about soceity. But there are a number of studies that have “proven” that attractive people have an easier time finding a job or rich mate, it may not be a bad investment after all.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  139. Mike Nunn - Hot Springs, Ar.

    Well, I guess it just confirms the fact that this nation is full of some real dumb people who do not want to be ugly too.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:34 pm |
  140. Mertis in Atlanta


    Some of this is a "Baby Boomer" thing. Lot's of things in American society are geared towards slowing the the aging process of people between the ages of 47 and 62. We just need to FACE it. We are all getting older no matter how much surgery we have done.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  141. Chris: Minneapolis, MN

    What this means is that people like Angelina Jolie, Pamela Anderson, and even Micheal Jackson have had a big impact on our society. Americans are no longer satisfied with what God has blessed them with from birth. 7 years fro now look for 20% of Americans demanding to celebrate Halloween more than once per year.
    Trick or treat!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  142. MBG (NY)

    I have plenty of unpretty adjectives of what that says about soceity. But there are a number of studies that have “proven” that attractive people have an easier time finding a job or rich mate, it may not be a bad investment after all. Hey, maybe those attractive people can find us some oil!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  143. Tom, Avon, Maine, The Heart of Democracy

    It says that on a world stage where other nationalities live lives in gross disfigurement, we still wear the name "The Ugly American" for our egocentricity. Thank God for Americans like Arwa Damon and our medical teams that go abroad.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:35 pm |
  144. Chris: Minneapolis, MN

    What this means is that people like Angelina Jolie, Pamela Anderson, and even Micheal Jackson have had a big impact on our society. Americans are no longer satisfied with what God has blessed them with from birth. 7 years fro now look for 20% of Americans demanding to celebrate Halloween more than once per year.
    Trick or treat!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:36 pm |
  145. Kerry


    It says 1 thing...We are still the most vain people in the world and the people who can afford it have too much money to spend...Could they be in the higher percentage that Bush's tax cuts benefited the most over the past 8 years?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  146. Kristine from Connecticut

    They must be anorexic and ride a bike. Who could afford new boobs with the economy in such a shamble?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  147. Jasmine in Germany

    Americans should put more thought and care into preventative health measures, such as establishing healthy eating habits and proper dental care, getting plenty of exercise, etc. early on. And of course, no smoking. The U. S. does not have the highest life expectancy in the world, maybe they should ask themselves "why not?". Most results of elective "improvements" do not influence the eyes of the beholder and are not neccessary. And Jack -don't worry about what "vince nizzardi from new jersey at 2:19" said – you look wonderful and don't need to change a thing!

    June 25, 2008 at 4:41 pm |
  148. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    It is a good thing we are not horses. The doctor might choose to relieve our misery with a gun shot.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:42 pm |
  149. Marjorie

    To each his own. We should appreciate the fact that we are in a society that allows us the freedom to spend our money how we choose.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:43 pm |
  150. Nancy, Tennessee

    One in five Americans getting cosmetic surgery sounds extreme. We'll be wondering where all those baby boomers are that are supposed to be turning and looking 60. The kids won't know why they call their Grandmother, Granny. Grandparents are supposed to have wrinkles. It shows how much of life they have experienced. No, there won't be any plastic surgery for me. I earned every crevice that appears around my mouth, eyes and throat. How much did you say cosmetic surgery costs?

    June 25, 2008 at 4:46 pm |
  151. Ralph, Long Island, NY

    It makes you wonder, if we are God's children, how proud God must be of us.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  152. barbara actisdano

    God gave us our bodies, pretty or not, women are beauitful from the inside out--look at all the Tatooee everyone thinks that is cool, if God wanted us to be born with Tatooee`s all over our bodies, we would have them but he made us different and I think if I had the money waste on a Tatooee, I WOULD RATHER BUY MY OWN MADEUP AND DO THE BEST I CAN AND NOT WASTE MY MONEY OR RISK THEM MARKING ME ALL UP! In the end they are no more happier then the person who never had it done. My opinion!
    Barbara from Sebring, Fl.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:47 pm |
  153. Curtis in Philadelphia

    Jack , it means that more Americans need to visit third world countries or even some Indian reservations right here in the U.S., to see first hand what misery is really about. Trust me, when they see starving infants and true poverty, their tummy-tuck or face-lift won't seem nearly as dire.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  154. Travis ( In the real world)

    It means women are getting uglyer.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:52 pm |
  155. barbara actisdano

    My Grandaughter had a TATOO on her shoulder for 3 yrs. and when she got engaed to be married, she hated it as she got
    REBORN and read in the Bible God did not approve, she had to pay $3,000.00 to have it removed and done so immediately.
    She and her Husband has a little girl and is very happy, but beleives she should not wasted her money in the first place!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is very painful also to have it removed and takes
    3 months` of treatment....

    Barbara from FL.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  156. Josh (Waipahu, Hawaii)

    It shows that our society has more respect for young and beautiful, rather than old and wise. But, hey, why should we listen to old people anyway, it's not like history repeats itself or experience means anything...

    June 25, 2008 at 4:55 pm |
  157. Sam Taylor Oroville California

    i live in a nieghborhood where a new big Vehicle every 2 years is ok,
    but they prefer that it be big, and a new one every year.
    with the lowest gas mileage, they frown on Me for driving a subaru justy that gets about 50 MPG or My trust 1970 sunbeam Alpine GT that gets about 30.
    If they would get turned on to plastic surgery i would live in a place where everybody looked like george Clooney, or jayne Mansfield.
    I think america is addicted to apearance, and that is a shame.
    If we would accept ourselves for who We are, we could accept other means that work.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:57 pm |
  158. Carol in California

    Although we wish it were true, no one really believes that it's what's inside a person that counts. When competing for jobs and romance in our "throw out the old and get something new" society, youth and beauty always has the advantage. Don't believe me, Jack? Look around.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:58 pm |
  159. Aleesa from Atlanta

    I blame global warming.

    June 25, 2008 at 4:59 pm |
  160. Lenore Z.

    It says we in the U.S. live in a culture that is ageist, youth- worshipping, and materialistic. That we are denying of our mortality,
    and our much-vaunted religious beliefs are a hollow sham. Speaking generally, of course.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:00 pm |
  161. Kevin

    Jack, it says that with the help of chemicals and surgery the "Golden Years" will be a reality and 1 out of 5 people will have a perma-grin and won't be able to feel their face.

    Warren, MI

    June 25, 2008 at 5:01 pm |
  162. Jay-Mississippi

    It says more than anything we are superficial and need to learn to love and appreciate ourselves. The way were are. I say this mind you as I contemplate a little surgery myself. Seriously though, Madison Avenue, and Hollywood contribute to our image of what is beautiful and given time their images and messages work on many of us. let us know how your surgery goes.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  163. L.M.,Arizona

    I just had my knee replaced I don't know if that is plastic surgery,but my knee feels so good that I am going to get the other one replaced. Then Jack let's get together and do this hair thing.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:05 pm |
  164. Frank, Connellsville, Pa

    It says that naturally good looking guys like Jack and me will finally get the same visual enjoyment from the 80% of the population that they have been getting from us for all these years!

    June 25, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
  165. Nia - AZ

    That we are living our lives by someone elses standards. I'm all for it if there is serious work that need to be done, for example folks who lose alot of weight and have sagging skin. or due to an excident or birth defect, medical reasons or just a refreashed look. But I have to disagree with teenie bopers and those with extremely low self esteem going under the knife.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:08 pm |
  166. Lynn, Columbia, Mo..

    We've always been self-mutilatory for aesthetics ie tatoos and piercings. Why not Barbie doll surgeries to make us look like our heroes on TV and in movies. Everybody should feel good about themselves no matter what it takes. Personally, I prefer brains to looks, but what do I know? By the way, you sound handsomely to me.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:10 pm |
  167. Rob, Arvada, CO

    It means that 20% percent of Americans are sadly throwing their money away, when they should be using it on psycho-therapists to get their head right again. These people have a poor self image of themselves, and think that fixing up their face or increasing their breast-size is going to fix everything. More people have anger issues, and personality disorders than ever before. They should be more focused on improving their minds and not so much on their appearance.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:11 pm |
  168. ken Millington Mi

    Hell Jack its all vanity, vanity of life. While kids are going hungry here in the good old U. S. A. Schools closing in the inner cities . the national deficit spiraling out of control. But what the hell we will look good while america falls apart.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:12 pm |
  169. Marty, Idaho

    Realistically it means we are a self-centered, materialistic culture that thinks it's important to look good no matter the cost. We worship the young and beautiful and are criticized if we don't mind looking our age or are fine with the body God gave us. It's curious to me that these statistics are so high in a nation where we like to boast about our morals and values. To me, the actions don't follow up the words.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:14 pm |
  170. Don Bezler

    Jack.The American people have let there EGO run away there will
    allways be UGLY people Cindy McBush has to face it.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:16 pm |
  171. Steven Bradley West Sand Lake NY

    You can always count on people being lazy so replacing lifelong exercise with cigarettes then surgery is no mystery. The surprise is that nobody has come up with a grass-hybrid you don't have to mow.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:22 pm |
  172. Gail in Colorado

    Jack, I am in my late 50s, and I feel bad about my neck (plagiarizing Norah Ephron). I have always been a pretty woman, and losing that is painful. I don't want the Joan Rivers/Kenny Rogers look, but a neck lift and eye lift are looking pretty good. We do remodels on our cars and houses – why not do a little work on the face and body when they need it?

    June 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  173. Bill in Albuquerque

    It says that we're running out of ideas on how to spend our money because there's too much of it.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:24 pm |
  174. Daniel From Englewood Florida


    It means a country of Barbie and Kens.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:26 pm |
  175. jose

    yes, I used to take my kids out like two times a week
    now i can not because of gas prices.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:28 pm |
  176. Rod


    It means that our society is embracing a brave new world where individuals no longer have to accept the way they look physically. I always thought that character, decency and sincerity were far more beautiful than anything surgery could accomplish. Physical appearance can only be judged subjectively. I don’t know why so many individuals have to try to conform to what the media and society as a whole say is beautiful. Every person is their own individual and they should have the self-esteem to be happy with how they look. Or maybe, as a teenager, I am just too old fashioned. Perhaps clichés like “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” are nothing more than unappreciated statements.

    Miami, FL

    June 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  177. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    Jack- as it was in the movie "The Graduate", when Mr. Mcguire said to Dustin Hoffman (Benjamin) at his graduation party regarding a suggested career choice: "I want to say one word to you. Just one word...are you listening...?Plastics.


    June 25, 2008 at 5:30 pm |
  178. Big Jeff, Los Angeles


    It means the rest of the country is trying to catch up with Los Angeles. We hit 20% back in the mid-nineties. Our pets get plastic surgery out here.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  179. TR in TX

    How are they going to get there and back to get it done? I thought nobody could afford the $4+/gallon gas. Remember this recession thing the media is trying to convince everyone we are having?

    June 25, 2008 at 5:32 pm |
  180. Chris

    We have all of these wonderful new technologies and treatments. Why not take advantage of all that science has to offer? I did so 4 years ago & have no regrets. I had enough money saved up. The procedure was not that expensive. A small & simple change made me more comfortable in my own skin. I was a lot more outgoing after the procedure. I am dating regularly now where my social life was very limited before. Whether we like to admit it or not appearances do matter in the dating world regardless of our culture. It is biological. Why not take advantage of new technologies to make yourself look a little bit better. It doesn't mean you are vain in any way. It is the same reason why we get hair cuts regularly & groom ourselves each morning.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:33 pm |
  181. Shaul Hanuka

    It means that it was a good idea to specialise in medical malpractice law.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  182. charles

    hey jack, im confident that most americans have more tack, then to remark about someones appearence, so i would have to say that its a sad situation when a person i so unpleased with what they see in the mirror that they would choose to undergo a knife. Equally, its sad that a person with "experience" sees it necessary to compete with other people by looks alone instead of what they bring to the table.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm |
  183. Ralph, Corpus Christi

    It means Jack- as it was in the movie “The Graduate”, when Mr. Mcguire said to Dustin Hoffman (Benjamin) at his graduation party regarding a suggested career choice: “I want to say one word to you. Just one word…are you listening…?Plastics."

    June 25, 2008 at 5:35 pm |
  184. Debra Rich, Washington, DC

    This is the newest fad. The last one was tattoos and piercings, before that it was starving yourself to be thin, and the list goes on and on. We do things to our bodies to get attention,, and seek acceptance. It's just ashamed we can't except what God gave us, and the consequences of what we've done to ourselves. Plastic surgery is the quick fix to delay the inevidable, we're still going to get old....daugh.

    What happens when these people are so racked with arthritis and stuck in wheel chairs......will their youthful appearence make the pain go away? And let's not forget, those tattoos that were so fashion forward now will be withered and wrinkled, too. It's just ashamed we can't do platic surgery, or tattoo on our hearts and minds to make us take care of our bodies, and to appreciate and love ourselves for who we are.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:38 pm |
  185. Rachael in NJ

    It's like Americans go to one extreme or the other. Plastic surgery rates increase while the obesity epidemic is still climbing. We need to learn to eat healthy, exercise and age gracefully.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  186. Deb

    It means somehow we get from 4 out of 5 people not being able to afford a gallon of gas & go for an annual check-up w/ their family doctor to 1 out of 5 being able to afford elective surgery. Wow & I thought the trickle down theory wasn't working. Don't worry- Be happy....

    June 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  187. Glen in Laurel, MD

    If we all understand spending thousands of dollars closing a child's harelip, and if braces are a rite of passage for every middle-class child with crooked but functional teeth, who are we to tell other people where to draw the line? Should we tell someone, "You've got a face only a mother could love, but that's how God made ya, so if you're 45 and have never been on a date, those are the breaks!"

    June 25, 2008 at 5:39 pm |
  188. Chuck in Eugene Oregon


    This only goes to show how superficial we have grown as Americans. We continuously fail to look at the person beyond the obvious which unfortunately is our appearance. It is a shame that so many work on the outside with out looking at themselves from with in. It is a shame that we do not have cosmetic surgery available for what ails us from within. I think a few politicians would greatly benefit from this as well as many Americans.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  189. Rich Dillman

    It's a sorry state when 20% of the American public think so little of themselves that they have to resort to plastic surgery. How vain? Nothing better to do with your money? How about donating to your favorite charity.


    Lake Barrington, IL

    June 25, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  190. Brian

    I don't know, Jack, but you're sure starting to get wrinkly...

    Moscow, Idaho

    June 25, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  191. Charles, Missouri

    hey jack, don't alter your appearence, you are perfect the way you are. Our society is lacking in self-esteem as a whole but, some people finds surgery is the only way they can compete in high profile positions. If that is the case, we all understand how the Nixon – Kennedy debates were seen in the 60s. Sentor McCain I hope u are listening.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  192. David from Maryland

    Just goes to prove what you've been saying, Jack... ITS GETTING UGLY OUT THERE.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:43 pm |
  193. Mary - PA

    It says we are more concerned about ourselves and our looks then we are about others. The money that is being spent on our looks could be spent for the betterment of others. We are a very shallow society.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  194. Joe

    I would'nt know Jack. I can't afford the gas to get to the Surgeons Office let alone the Surgery. I guess I'm stuck with my big beautifull nose.


    June 25, 2008 at 5:46 pm |
  195. Paul


    It says that about 1 out of 5 people in this country have an obsession with image. One should ask, however, how many of those cases are related to being disfigured from military conflicts? Cosmetic surgeries have likely increased since the Bush administration took over, and this is partly due to the onslaught of surgeries for members of the Bush administration (Libby, Cheney, Rove, etc.) who have likely had nose reduction surgery to save face, so to speak, from all their lies and deception.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:48 pm |
  196. Tom in Desoto Texas

    In 2015 I would be 67 years old. To listen to the hyperpoblist they'll say 67 is the new 47. Perhaps they can change the cover, but the inner working parts will still be 67. Unless they add those 20 years to actual lifespan it's all an illusion.

    June 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  197. Mike McKibben, lady lake, Fl

    I won't be one of them

    June 25, 2008 at 5:50 pm |
  198. jennifer from Cape Cod

    Life is short and we should enjoy it while we are healthy enough to fully live. What's so wrong with trying to look our best? I was very heavy for a long time, lost weight, and am now planning on having a tummy tuck with Lipo-I don't feel guilty or ashamed, I feel empowered that I can spend my VERY hard earned money to look (and most importantly feel) my best. I know my husband will also enjoy "the new me"...so what's so gosh darn wrong with that ?
    Jenn Cape Cod

    June 25, 2008 at 5:54 pm |
  199. Betty - AL

    It means the surgeons will be wealthy.

    I'm 65 and my face no longer fits, but I'd rather age gracefully (as intended) that to have my face stretched to the point that some of those women do. Now THAT is scarey.


    June 25, 2008 at 5:59 pm |
  200. Steve O'Brien Kansas City, MO

    This is America at it's most decadent. We spend billions annually on quick fixes, band-aid solutions, and treating the symptoms, not the problems. Largely, we are so self-absorbed in our appearances, expensive toys, and, to put it politely, size and staying power, that we'd rather concentrate on these petty, childish desires than the issues that effect us as Americans every day. Go on a diet, exercise, accept the fact that age, and spend that money on cancer research, AIDS research, stem-cell research, alternative energy, anything besides indulging in such narcissistic behavior.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  201. Casey

    it would be nice to have that kind of money to spare, wouldn't it? My diet is just not having enough money to overeat.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:01 pm |
  202. Raymond Duke/Gatesville,Tx.

    It says how vain americans are and how much they are in love with themselves. I could see having this type of operation if you had an accident , disease or birth defect that needed to be corrected. If you are doing it to beat life, I got news for you. You can get carved on all you want to but the body ages. As Edgar Allen POE said "death holds domain over all". I have no pity for these people who do it just to look younger.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  203. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    It makes you wonder if we are really having a recession if so many seem to think they can afford cosmetic surgery. Do you suppose that these folks if given a choice between $100 per month for three years to pay for their tummy tuck or paying the higher price of gas, would choose to walk to work so that they could afford the surgery. No wait, if they walked a lot, wouldn't they be able to skip the surgery?.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:09 pm |
  204. Edmond, St Pete, FL

    Zero morality..... what else can this mean?

    June 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  205. Paul Ransom

    it means more and more Americans are not comfortable in their own skin. Why not donate your money to scientists who study the aging process. I know of one at Cambridge university in England who thinks he can hault it altogether I will never get plastic surgery because I love myself and couldn't care a less what I look like as long as there's no wax in my ears or plague on my teeth.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  206. Eric Scheirq

    Jack! I moved away from Plasticville, Southern California to Natural Northwest: Seattle. Plastic are not for humans, but i's okay for Sharpei dogs.

    Seattle, Washington

    June 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  207. Elvis N. in Nashvile, TN

    It means that the American society has misplaced priorities, but I guess John McCain might be one those statistics because he will definitely need something done.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:21 pm |
  208. Kelly from Rochester, NY

    It means, Jack, that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons are also psychics. Who knows what will happen culturally in seven years? Maybe Americans will have a revelation and realize that plastic will not cover up emotional insecurities with their bodies. But, if this does happen, I can bet that the number of clients for the American Society of Therapists will also rise.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  209. Margot

    I would say that the Democrats won the White House, the war is over, economy woes are over, America is back on top. The down side, people may look younger on the outside, but the inside knows better.


    June 25, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  210. Elisabeth, Bloomington, IN

    I have never been happy with my looks, but I would never consider plastic surgery as a remedy either. I am what a I am.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  211. Gregory

    American society is insane. it has and always will be, as long as this country is free, people will just spend there money to look like a super model.

    but in my own personal opinion, Getting plasic surgery is like smacking God in the face.

    -Greg, new york

    June 25, 2008 at 6:22 pm |
  212. Pam


    I've had plastic surgery and am not a vain person like you might think. I'm an average middle age wife/mom from middle America. I've never regretted having plastic surgery because it fixed something I had struggled with all my life. I feel better about myself and would recommend having plastic surgery for anyone that can afford the procedure.

    Yes, plastic surgery will continually increase as procesures become more cost effective and safer.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  213. Jack, Portland, Oregon

    The answer to that question seems pretty simple to someone my age, Jack. We live in a society where at least one in five people are plastic, trying to avoid or survive in a 'real life' world. That's why they call it 'plastic surgery' in the first place.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  214. Bea Steelman

    I was born and raised in Los Angeles, Calif. I call myself a young senior, I am a young 83. I have surfed in the ocean till I was 75. I played a lot of sports, that has kept me in the sun. I have no wrinkles on my face, except the laugh line around the mouth that everyone gets when they get older. I enjoyed your part of the CNN. I wish you where on longer. First time writer. Thanks...

    June 25, 2008 at 6:23 pm |
  215. Ann, Newton, New Jersey

    What does it say about Americans who forget that no matter what they do with their looks, your body clock cannot be fixed unless you become the bionic man or woman. Does it mean that they want people to comment on how young they look when they pass away?

    June 25, 2008 at 6:37 pm |
  216. Brendan

    It's sad Jack. Our priorities are all screwed up. We still don't understand that the contentment and joy we all desire is really found within, and not in what we have or how we look. It just shows us how unevolved we are and where the motivation of many of our doctors are......money, money, money!

    June 25, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  217. Tanya

    So what's the difference between having cosmetic surgery and working out 7 days a week to have 6-pack abs and power buns , Jack?

    Joshua Tree, CA

    June 25, 2008 at 6:38 pm |
  218. David E Rhoads

    Is all this vanity really needed in our society? We all look the same dead – ugly! Leave the lid on the casket closed.

    June 25, 2008 at 6:40 pm |
  219. Philip

    I wonder why plastic surgery is so popular? Maybe it's all those news broadcasters you see on tv?

    June 25, 2008 at 6:41 pm |
  220. Marie, Shepherdstown, WV

    Maybe it means we're getting ugly out here?!

    June 25, 2008 at 6:43 pm |