Category: Archive

A look in the mirror

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Entitled “Mirror, Mirror” and subtitled “Confessions of a Plastic-Surgery Addict,” it is the autobiographical account of an obsession with remolding her face. The book, published by Dublin’s Sitric Books, is available in the U.S. through Dufour Editions ([610] 458-5005).
However, even a seasoned media performer like Prone has difficulty in coming clean about her surgery. Her advice to others is to tell no one, an approach that Prone adheres to rigorously, to such an extent that even her husband is unsuspecting when she jets off to Florida for a facelift.
The book is an honest and humorous account of a harrowing experience and the journey back to normalcy.
Prone was in her 30s when she was badly injured in a car crash. The accident left her with devastating injuries, including caved-in cheekbones, broken jaws and smashed teeth. Her appearance was irreversibly altered. The book starts with a description of her ever-present and patient husband, Tom Savage, feeding her through bandages with a straw. It is he who cares for her after every procedure, dutifully cleaning the crust that forms on her face after a laser peel, emptying blood drains after a face lift and so on.
She describes the shock she got when she caught the first glimpse of her damaged face in the reflection of a Christmas bauble.
Having always thought that surgery was for “the vain, self-regarding and rich,” her opinions change as she struggles to become accustomed to her changed appearance.
Prone decides to have her teeth fixed. Never having been possessed with great gnashers, she has worn dentures for years. The accident completes the damage and she is left with four original teeth and uncomfortable dentures.
Prone picks up odds and ends of information from magazines and the radio. Hearing somewhere that a lack of teeth will cause the jaw-bone to soften and will eventually result in her nose and chin meeting, witch-like, in the middle, she invests in tooth implants.
The mundane details of the procedure are interspersed with vignettes about George Washington’s dentures, Egyptian implants and scientific experiments with mice and titanium.
With time, Prone, now nearly 40, begins to recover and starts to examine her appearance with an exacting eye. Her face has become “baggier” and has a “puckered quality.” She decides to find out more about facial surgery and facelifts.
The descriptions of her investigations provide the most humorous sections of the book, as Prone goes from seminars full of like-minded surgery savants straight to the operating room in various clinics in Florida, all while under the guise of a business trip or holiday.
Having researched the cost and the practical results, she goes ahead with a lower facelift, believing that all the good dental work will go to waste if her face can’t compete favorably.
Prone comes across as an attractive mix of sparky intelligence and vulnerability, a woman who wants to be proud of her appearance but someone who recognizes the inherent narcissism of changing her face.
She presents numerous reasons for wanting to reconstruct her face, the primary reason being a desire to look the way she did before the accident. She also thinks that if someone has a lot to offer, her potential will be spotted quicker if she looks well.
She also makes the point that a facelift rarely leaves one looking younger. If done well, it should convey the impression of post-holiday glow, a better looking version of the pre-surgery face.

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