EST. May 2000 (AD)


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By Jessica Becht

Admit it. You've always craved reality television stardom, but were just too homely to compete for a millionaire husband. We all know that reality programs reserve their slots for beauties with silicone implants, denture-white teeth, and sinewy jaws. Well, fret no longer. The newest craze in pixilated nationwide humiliation actually requires eyesores like you.

Why should you continue to object? Nevermind your belief that haggard hausfraus with low self-esteem must not lust after prime-time television fame. Of course, during the daytime hours, you could always blubber to small-time panderers like Maury Povich about your ponderous thighs and unkempt chin hair, but you never dared dream of a greater destiny. Any quiet yearnings for compliments, fawning, and unadulterated envy seemed feckless and foolish.

But, haven't you heard? Reality television programs are now offering pro bono plastic surgery to the pulchritudinally-challenged. You would certainly qualify. Finally, an opportunity to select from a surgical smorgasbord of liposuction, brow lifts, lip collagen, cheek implants, rhinoplasty, tummy tucks, rib removal, breasts implants, hymenoplasty, and more. What, you say? You don't think you need that much work? Au contraire, my little naïf. The surgeon is clutching his cannula and weeping at the challenge.

Well, you say, as long as the hotel stay is complimentary. Thanks for finally coming around. Not only will you receive free mints and a sample-sized bar of soap, but you will undergo bonus spa procedures such as botulism injections, permanent makeup tattoos, and equine teeth implants. Our fairy-tale team of experts will transform you from draggled hag to virginal maiden before you can finish counting the cellulite dimples on your elbow.

Once you sign all waivers, a camera crew will enter your modest home to document the squalor. Please don't be mortified as they pan over the unwashed dishes, the beer cans hurriedly thrust under the sofa, and your bleary, bloated face. The network must request that you wear this tattered and voluminous pair of sweatpants for the shoot, the better to capture your dour flabbiness for the nation's viewing audience. Perhaps your husband could tell that anecdote about how lucky you felt when he deigned to marry you. After all, you never had any other suitors. Encourage your children to sniffle and cling picturesquely to your leg as you explain about mama's new priorities. Don't forget to inform any daughters that you'll arrange the same services for them once they're old enough for elective surgery. After all, you do share the ugly gene.

Your trite goodbyes over, the team will whisk you to a glamorous McMansion for an evaluation by a scornful plastic surgeon. He'll dubiously conclude that something might be done, but only if you agree to submit to a baker's dozen of procedures. Remember to express no opinions of your own. He is a medical professional, and his deft hands could transform you into a sculptured beauty like Tori Spelling, Melissa Rivers, or even Jocelyn Wildenstein. You are naught but a lump of particularly splotchy clay.

Of course, you'll emerge from these procedures a mite swollen and raw, with distended lips, and skin red as hamburger meat. Don't mope. Remember the old adage, "No pain, no gain", as you anticipate your prime time unveiling.

Just dream of the loveliness that awaits.

© 2007 Jessica Becht