Dr. Oz, looking younger. September 15, 2009Posted by ourfriendben in wit and wisdom.
Tags: Dr. Gupta, Dr. Oz, Mehmet Oz, Oprah, RealAge
Silence Dogood here. I’ll bet most of you are familiar with Dr. Mehmet Oz, one of the “YOU” docs on RealAge, coauthor of YOU: Staying Young, and a frequent guest on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Oprah’s Harpo Productions has now created “The Dr. Oz Show,” which of course is being promoted on the RealAge website, complete with promotional photos of Dr. Oz.
Now, I have nothing but admiration for Dr. Oz. In his 49 years, he’s accomplished more than most of us would in 20 lifetimes, beginning with an undergraduate degree from Harvard and simultaneous graduate degrees—an M.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Wharton Business School. (As if getting either one from these prestigious schools wouldn’t be challenging enough!) And that’s just the beginning, as you’ll discover if you check out his bio on Wikipedia as I did. This is one high achiever. And (cover your ears, OFB) he’s very easy on the eyes as well.
So you can imagine my shock when I saw the photos of the “new and improved” Dr. Oz being used to promote his new show. To repeat, we’re talking about a 49-year-old, attractive, incredibly high-achieving cardiothoracic surgeon here, not a candidate for “Extreme Makeover.” But the promotional photos showed, shall we say, a strikingly younger Dr. Oz. His face was smoother, more chiseled, and considerably leaner than the photos of the “original” Dr. Oz that had graced the RealAge website.
Not that there was anything wrong with the appearance of the “new” Dr. Oz. He looked fantastic. But it strikes me as a condemnation of our superficial society when a comparatively young, undeniably attractive, and hugely respected surgeon has to get a facelift and presumably go on a crash diet in order to get his own TV show.
The RealAge website, and books such as YOU: Looking Younger, are all about choosing the right foods and supplements and exercising, as opposed to, say, plastic surgery. But the “do as I say, not as I do” message clearly reinforces that you’d better never look older than your college-age kids or else. And, folks, we’ve all seen the ghastly results when people just keep trying and trying. (Cher, anyone? George Hamilton?)
Just this past weekend, I was watching a PBS special on Julia Child. And one thing that struck me was how old most of the people being interviewed looked. These were real people, editors and chefs and food mavens and the like who had known Julia back in the day, in all their current wrinkled glory. (Julia looked old too, but since she really was ninety-something at the time of filming, it’s understandable. If you can’t look old in your nineties, even on television, all is lost.)
What I thought as I was watching the special was that you simply never see anyone who looks old on TV or in the movies or in magazines. Sure, character actors may be supposed to be old, the crusty grandpa or fiesty grandma, but even they don’t look old. The hair may be white, they may be wearing “old folks” costumes and walking with a cane, but look at their smooth, made-up faces. Yow. Not a wrinkle in sight. So seeing actual people showing their actual age on this special came as a shock. Look, people really do get old! People really do look old!
As I read about more people in their 30s, and increasingly in their 20s, getting plastic surgery, not to improve some unfortunate feature but to erase the signs of “age,” I have to wonder where on earth our youth-obsessed culture is taking us. Maybe the fact that my family never gets wrinkles has warped my perspective, and if I had prominent crow’s feet in my 20s I’d have been rushing off to the surgeon, too. But I hope not. (And no, we’re not vampires, just in case you’re wondering.) I’d prefer to keep my money in the bank instead of handing it over to the plastic surgeons and ultimately turning into a laughingstock.
Much as I admire Dr. Oz, I think I’m switching allegiance to Dr. Gupta.
‘Til next time,