Recently, Heidi Montag came out with what many consider her latest desperate stab at publicity: she unveiled in an interview with Life & Style magazine the scars, lumps, bald spots and blemishes she sustained from the countless plastic surgeries that made her a cause célèbre in the first place.
Detractors have been snidely calling her botched plastic surgery procedures as nothing more than a testament to her vanity. As much as there is to dislike about Montag, the accusations that there was nothing but narcissism behind her surgery are a bit unfair. After all, not only isn't she the first person to have undergone so much surgery, practically all of Hollywood has undergone some nipping and tucking-- even celebrities who are at the height of their youth and beauty.--ENTERTAINMENT
Clearly, the reality TV star was less a victim of her own vanity than a reflection of an out of control plastic surgery industry, as well as a prevailing culture in Hollywood that hates anything that is aging, imperfect, or unnatural. If she were not, how else could you explain these top 15 disastrous celebrity plastic surgery cases, some which preceeded Montag's own surgery by at least two decades?
15. Jennifer Grey
Jennifer Grey's nose job is probably one of the most ironic examples of how plastic surgery can actually make things worse for someone, even when it goes right. By all appearances, Grey's transformation couldn't have gone more perfectly. When she emerged with her new refined nose, the star honestly looked "prettier" by Hollywood standards, with none of the unnaturalness that tends to come with plastic surgery. Yet in altering the most defining feature about her-- her nose-- she not only became unrecognizable, she removed the very "girl next door" look that had caused her to become America's sweetheart in the first place. The transformation was so extreme, that not even some of her closest friends were able to recognize her.
Not surprisingly, after her huge meteoric rise in the '80s Grey's career never really recovered post-surgery. With fans shaking their heads in disappointment over her new look, demand for the actress dwindled. You could hardly blame them-- the cute young woman whose face exuded so much personality and spunk was now a generic beauty.
14. Kenny Rogers (Picture)
It was the moment that shocked longtime music fans across the country. In season five of American Idol, Kenny Rogers, the bearded country singer who'd aged gracefully in his later years, dropped by for "country music week". Older viewers tuned in to see Rogers in all his greying, yet handsome glory. Instead, what they got was not the Rogers they'd known and loved throughout the years, but a strange facsimile-- a "prettier" version with tightly pulled skin, a porcelain complexion, and eyes that a deer caught in the headlights would've been proud of.
What would've possessed the ruggedly-handsome Rogers to mess with the looks that had made him so well loved amongst country and non-country fans alike for decades? Especially when so much of his persona was based on being a down to earth everyman? By his own admission, Rogers began feeling self conscious about the age difference between he and his very young wife, so he decided to get some work done. It was a decision he would immediately regret.
"They're too tight around the eyelids for me," he told People magazine in 2006, "It drives me crazy." It drove his fans crazy as well, who to this day grumble about the plastic surgery that wound up ruining an image so distinctive, that even English funnyman Benny Hill admired it enough to dress up as the singer on his show.
It was no secret that Rogers was devastated by his eye job-- he told the press that he was seeking corrective surgery to fix the botched operation. But even in his determination to reverse what was lost, it seemed as if the singer had the sense that there was very little he could do to fix the damage. "If we can fix that, then I'll be glad I did it. If we can't fix it, I'll regret it or get used to it," he said with a sense of pessimism and in a rare moment of vulnerability. The man who'd become a symbol of confident risk taking had taken a gamble at reversing the sands of time-- and lost.
|BEFORE PLASTIC SURGERY|
|AFTER PLASTIC SURGERY|
When Young and the Restless fans heard that TV veteran Joan Van Ark was joining their favorite show, they couldn't have been more excited-- that is, until they actually saw her. Jumping on the lip augmentation bandwagon, Ark had transformed from the thin-lipped beauty she was in the '80s into a fish-lipped woman with puckers far out of proportion to the rest of her face. Soap opera fans are a catty lot, so they wasted no time cackling about the former Knots Landing star's plastic surgery on message boards and fan forums. Eventually Ark left the show for personal reasons (the official explanation being that she was unable to meet the high pressure demands of daytime television). However, a few were left wondering if maybe constant complaints and insults from viewers about her jarring appearance weren't a factor.
Even after escaping the nastiness of the soap opera world, Van Ark has not been able to escape the cruel barbs about her appearance. As she moved on to other things, the tabloids picked up where Young and the Restless fans left off. In 2007, the British Daily Mail called her "cadaverous", and Fox News took its lead, going so far as to snicker about the actress's successful attempt at using makeup to camouflage her appearance. Internet sites since then have posted countless unflattering images of the star. It's the unfortunate price the actress has had to pay for her cosmetic procedures, which have left her looking more ravaged than had she just aged naturally.
12. Priscilla Presley (Picture)
It was supposed to be a wonderful alternative to botox-- at least that's what Dr. Daniel Serrano pitched to prospective clients about injections that contained a substance with properties that bordered on the miraculous. Many people were taken by the surgeon's claims, including Hollywood celebrities like Priscilla Presley, the gorgeous ex-wife of rock and roll's greatest legend. Unfortunately for her and the other doctor's patients, the so-called "miracle" substance wound up being nothing more than low grade silicone used to lubricate auto parts.
His victims emerged from his procedure with all sorts of disfigurement ranging from lumps to holes in the skin and facial paralysis. Presley didn't catch the worst of it, but she still suffered from shocking results-- the crude silicone injections caused her face to take on a waxen, dummy-like appearance. When she finally emerged in public after her appointments with Serrano, fans were stunned and horrified by what they saw. Rather than look rejuvenated, the former beauty looked like an embalmed stroke victim.
Fittingly, Serrano had the book thrown at him and smacked with a prison term of 18 months. Although some would say the doctor got what he deserved, patients forever marred by his scam most likely feel that no punishment is good enough.
11. Janice Dickinson (Picture)
She was once a fresh-faced model with soft, delicate facial features, but you wouldn't know it from the copious amounts of plastic surgery that Janice Dickinson has had over the years. Like so many women who go under the knife way too many times, the distinctive features that once made her an internationally famous high fashion model have all but disappeared. Making matters worse is that Dickinson, who was once the embodiment of femininity, has developed the exaggerated features of a drag queen.
Because of her excessive surgery, tabloids and detractors have had a field day posting bad shots of Dickinson online and in print. (An infamous article in one tabloid placed her image side by side with Steven Tyler). But Dickinson, well aware of the negative comments, has no plans of stopping. On a recent ABC Primetime special (Celebrity Plastic Surgery Gone too Far?) she sung the praises of cosmetic surgery, saying, "Plastic surgery is good for you". But judging from the increasingly cartoonish effects it's having on her appearance, many people might beg to differ.
10. Tara Reid (Picture)
Heidi Montag is doing a great job trying to put herself up as the most tragic case of a pretty young woman marred by bad surgery. But with Tara Reid already taking that spot, she's got her work cut out for her. Reid in some sense is lucky in that the plastic surgery she had didn't ruin her best asset, her beauty. Yet this still didn't diminish the horrible hackwork done by plastic surgeons on the rest of her body. Even the most hardened cynic was shocked by pictures that surfaced of her in 2008. The victim of several botched procedures (a boob job and liposuction), Reid was revealed to have terrible scar tissue forming around her nipples, as well as a saggy midsection that looked like it belonged to a middle aged woman and not to someone in the prime of her youth.
After becoming fodder for the tabloids and the internet (she was given the dishonorable distinction as having the "ugliest boob job"), Reid sought corrective surgery. She debuted her radically improved new look in the Jan/ Feb 2010 issue of Playboy with the hope of putting the embarrassing photo leaks of her ravaged body behind her. But with numerous pictures from 2008 still floating around on the web, it seems that she will never be able to live down the infamy of being one of plastic surgery's worst cases.
9. Bruce Jenner (Picture)
Back when he won America's heart as an Olympic champion in 1976, Bruce Jenner had it all-- fame, money, success, and above all, the classic "All American" good looks of a Christopher Reeve. But for some reason, not all the success and good fortune in the world made him immune to the trappings of Hollywood glamour, so he decided to get what he himself would later call an "ill-advised" face lift and nose job.
The procedures should have simply left Jenner looking more youthful and refined. Instead, they completely feminized his facial features. After unveiling his new look, he became more known for his botched surgery than his athletic accomplishments, and much like Jennifer Grey and Kenny Rogers, saw much of his career and legacy diminished as a result.
Jenner underwent the knife again in 2009 to restore the damage done in his youth. However, his facial features still remain highly feminized, which is often the case of bad plastic surgery that has been performed on males. An admirable effort, but a case of too little, too late.
8. Mickey Rourke (Picture)
With his attractive good looks and cocky smirk, Mickey Rourke was no doubt one of the sexiest male celebrities of the 1980s. Yet by the 1990s countless surgical procedures would so mar his face as to not only ruin his features but make him nearly unrecognizable. Rourke claimed that the surgery was reconstructive and not cosmetic, to fix physical damage he sustained to his face while pursuing a boxing career. However, a few sharp-eyed observers noticed that he was getting work done as far back as the film, Wild Orchid. Besides, it didn't seem as if the work he was getting done was corrective, as it appeared that he received cheek and chin implants, as well as a face lift.
Whether he got work due to outside social pressure to retain his youth or to fix facial damage is irrelevant. The fact is that his surgeons clearly did a hack job, which Rourke himself has even acknowledged, with much regret. Recently, the actor has started looking much better than he has in the past, causing many to speculate that he sought surgery to reverse the disastrous job that had been done to his face. With his features looking far softer and more natural than in recent years, it's most likely the case.
7. Joan Rivers (Picture)
Joan Rivers was never a stunning beauty, but then again she didn't need to be. After all, when you've built a successful comedy act based on ridiculing celebrities for being superficial and vacuous, the last thing you need to be is like the very people you're making fun. Unfortunately, it seemed that for whatever reason, Rivers began succumbing to the very culture she spent so many years mocking by getting plastic surgery-- and lots of it. Rather than leave her looking like a more natural, attractive version of herself, the surgery has made her look like a Hirschfeld drawing-- and at times a drag queen impersonation.
Like Janice Dickinson, Rivers hasn't shied away from the notoriety she's achieved from her plastic surgery-- not only has she been open about her countless procedures, she is one of the industry's strongest advocates. However, in spite of joining the "dark" side of Hollywood, the comedienne is no less hard on herself than she's been on celebrities in the past. In a famous Geico commercial that aired several years ago, she could be seen quipping, "This face has seen more knives than a Benihana!"
6. Lisa Rinna (Picture)
It almost seems downright uninspired to put Lisa Rinna on a worst celebrity plastic surgery list. But no list would be complete without the soap opera star who's become such a poster child for bad lip augmentation that she felt the need to finally cop to it publicly. In 2010 she finally revealed that some twenty years ago she decided to get injections in her upper lip to mimic Barbara Hershey's appearance. At first she contemplated getting cortisone but was disappointed that it was temporary, and chose to silicone instead.
This would have disastrous consequences. The silicone hardened, causing her upper lip to become huge, lumpy, and uneven. So unsettling were Rinna's lips overall that they became the stuff of legend. They also become the stuff of crude comparisons, as internet wags wasted no time giggling over the many rude body parts that they resembled.
After her public confession, Rinna underwent surgery to finally repair the damage to her upper lip. The corrective surgery appears to have been a success, as recent photos show the actress looking more natural looking and prettier as a result. This makes her one of the few celebrities on this list to successfully fix damage done by bad plastic surgery.
5. Carrot Top (Picture)
Carrot Top's career was in no way harmed by his cute, but geeky appearance, but no one could've faulted him for wanting to improve it just a little. The problem is that like so many celebs who seek to improve their look he went overboard, and in the process underwent a bizarre transformation that saw him become heavily masculine and feminine at the same time. Debate rages over whether he's had plastic surgery or not. He may not have had any major work done, but there's no doubt that his face has altered significantly over the years from some minor cosmetic procedures, and not in a flattering way. In spite of having developed an impressive physique, facially he's suffered the same problems as Jenner and Rogers-- his features have become softened too much to the point of being feminized. They also seem to have been exaggerated to a ridiculous degree. As a result, much like Joan Rivers, the comedian has become a caricature of himself.
4. Michael Jackson (Picture)
When it comes to plastic surgery, no case is sadder and more ironic than Michael Jackson's. When the King of Pop first went under the knife, he was actually a model example of good plastic surgery. Although he'd always been good looking, the plastic surgery brought out his inner beauty in every sense of the word. When Thriller came out, Jackson could arguably considered one of the most gorgeous men of the '80s.
Then came more surgery. The new Michael that debuted in 1985 looked decidedly different from "Thriller" Michael, but there were still vestiges of the pop star that everyone knew and love, albeit with a slimmer nose. Two decades later, endless transformations at the hands of unscrupulous plastic surgeons left him not only looking completely different from his former self, but almost grotesque in appearance. In his worst state, he looked more like an anime character come to life than a flesh and blood human being.
Jackson's plastic surgery excesses were so extreme that rumors that his face was disintegrating ran wild throughout his career. When a photo surfaced of him with a piece of flesh-colored tape over his nose, it was all many people needed as proof that his nose was either falling off or caving in. As with Tara Reid, Jackson became forever haunted by this photo, as everyone from gossip mavens to even South Park wondered just how bad a shape his face was in.
With Jackson gone, no one will really knows why he developed an obsession with plastic surgery. What is certain is that surgeons took the money and ran without caring about what his demands would do to his appearance. It is a shocking indictment of the industry, one that still seems to operate in the same way today.
3. Li'l Kim (Picture)
Ever since the likes of Jocelyn Wildenstein, there always seems to be a race to supplant her position as the most bizarre-looking plastic surgery case ever. Although not as bad as #1 and #2 (see below), the former rap star, Li'l Kim, is coming fairly close. Before getting plastic surgery,she was a good looking, dark-skinned black woman who exuded a sizzling sexuality. After many rounds of skin bleaching and surgery, all traces of Li'l Kim-- including her ethnicity--have disappeared, leaving her an ever-changing kaleidoscope of various ethnicities ranging from hispanic to Pacific Islander. At one point she didn't even look human, and as you can expect, internet wags wasted no time ridiculing her new look, comparing her to everything from an Oompa Loompa (due to her strange skin coloring) to a troll doll.
Li'l Kim's excesses were so over the top that even her fans felt the need to set up an intervention to keep her from pursuing more surgery, perhaps in the hopes of preventing her from becoming the next Michael Jackson. But given how addicted their favorite rapper seems to be, it's likely that their pleas will fall on deaf ears.
2. Donatella Versace (Picture)
If there were ever a case of overkill, you would need to look no further than Donatella Versace. In her pre-surgery state, Versace a masculine looking, yet slightly attractive woman whose appearance could've easily been softened with some good old-fashioned makeup. Instead she went the plastic surgery route to make herself over to resemble the stereotypical hot blonde in the vein of Barbie.
Usually when plastic surgery goes wrong, it results in the person who underwent it either looking strange, unnatural, or unrecognizable. Versace is probably one of the few victims whose doctors managed to enhance her worst features and in the process, make her less attractive than she was before. These days, Versace is becoming so cartoonish that many are comparing her to Janice the Muppet from the Muppet Show. It sounds like nothing more than a crude exaggeration, but a side by side comparison of them both shows that there's more than a litle bit of truth to the comparison.
1. Pete Burns (Picture)
Living according to his belief that his face is an artform, the former frontman of the 80s band Dead and Alive has pursued a seemingly endless round of plastic surgeries to drastically alter his appearance. Unfortunately, the popstar got more than he bargained for when he had lip augmentation done back in 2002. The pop star suffered such severe allergic reactions to the lip fillers that were implanted that he became very ill to the point of near-death. (His condition was so severe that a few doctors suggested amputation of his lips and jaw.) Burns eventually recovered from his ordeal and successfully sued his surgeon for malpractice.
One would think that after suffering so much, this would've ended Burn's forays into plastic surgery for good. But the singer is showing no signs of actually stopping his obsession, and admitted to having had more work done recently. Unfortunately, much like Li'l Kim and Michael Jackson, this obsession is having grotesque results. Looking now like a bizarre amalgam of Cher and Octomom, Burns' art piece is less likely to draw awe but shock. One can only wonder how much farther Burns will go to destroy his once a handsome face.