Comedy has long been one of the world’s favorite pastimes. From the original plays of Aristophanes in 425 BCE to the brash, raucous (and often raunchy) humor of the late Joan Rivers, comedy is as much a part of our society as any other artistic medium. But unlike some forms of artwork, comedy has the ability to do more than just entertain. It can make us feel, think and take a closer look at ourselves – for better or for worse. So, it makes sense that comedy, and more specifically comediennes, have played a profound role in helping to normalize the field of plastic surgery for us all.
It probably began with Joan Rivers, a comedienne who arguably became more famous for her plastic surgeries than for her actual comedy. But despite Rivers’ multiple surgeries turning her into a punchline at times, nobody had a bigger laugh at her expense than Rivers herself. In fact, Rivers’ candor about going under the knife is widely credited with making plastic surgery more normal and more accessible to average, everyday people. That could be because, before she came along, plastic surgery was only thought of for the rich and famous – and though Rivers herself was rich and famous, her wit and candor, not to mention her non-movie-star looks, made her seem more relatable to audiences, like one of the girls, not some untouchable celebrity who was born gorgeous.
Following Rivers’ candor about plastic surgery, many other comediennes embraced the field, including Kathy Griffin and Roseanne Barr, who have both transformed for the better over time. Even celebrities like Jenny McCarthy, who is known for her less-than-serious take on life, has been seen looking a bit more refreshed lately, too.
Take My Nose … Please!
Rivers and other comediennes are now the subject of a new documentary film by filmmaker Joan Kron, who in the film takes a closer look at women in comedy and their love/hate relationship with plastic surgery. In the film, which is now available on digital and streaming media, Kron discusses plastic surgery with comediennes like Judy Gold, Jackie Halston and Lisa Lampanelli – all the while examining the impact these and other comediennes have had on the industry and its perception. Kron’s film isn’t the first piece of media to tackle the topic, either. The late author, director and comedienne Nora Ephron also touched on the subject in her 2006 book “I Feel Bad About My Neck.”
Today, getting plastic surgery is easier and more stigma-free than ever, thanks in no small part to the contributions of these funny ladies, who made getting “work done” acceptable for misfits, rebels and average, everyday women alike. And while the focus on plastic surgery procedures seems to be less a part of stand-up comedy lately, the plastic surgery torch has already been handed down to another, more accessible group: social media celebrities. With YouTube stars bringing cameras into the operating room and Instagram models showing off their freshly plumped lips, these self-made stars are proving yet again that not only can anyone get plastic surgery, but anyone can also look like a star.