Denise MannDenise Mann, Editor of PSPBy Denise Mann, Editor of PSP

Of Presidential politics and plastic surgery.

By the time you are reading this issue, Election 2012 will likely have come to a close and we should know with certainty who will be the President the United States of America for the next 4 years.

Will Barack Obama and his family be staying on, or will Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov Mitt Romney et al be moving into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in
Washington, DC?

As of now, it’s anyone’s race, according to the pundits and the polls.

But whoever does take the White House in 2012 will likely have some effect on the practice of plastic surgery (and no, I am not just talking about the fate of the Affordable Care Act).

The President and First Lady do help shape our ideals of beauty. Was there not a pronounced uptick in interest in upper arms after First Lady Michele Obama first showed us her taut, toned arms in her signature sleeveless dresses? Some women were lucky enough to achieve that sculpted look with Pilates, but others may have considered surgery to go from armed-and-flabulous to armed-and-fabulous.

Surgeons have also told me that President Obama helped usher in a new era of ethnic plastic surgery in which patients of various ethnic backgrounds and nationalities no longer look to change or obscure their identity with cosmetic surgery, but to enhance it. (And ethnic plastic surgery has been rising steadily during his first term.)

Vote 2012 buttonThere was likely a time when what the president or his wife looked like didn’t matter. This all changed during the first televised Presidential debates in 1960. (I wasn’t born yet, but what happened was fodder in every American history and journalism class that I ever took.) If you heard the debate on the radio, President Richard Nixon was the clear winner, but if you saw it on TV, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the champ. Nixon, already wane and peaked from a recent hospitalization, began sweating profusely under the hot studio lights. Kennedy, however, came across as calm, cool, and debonair.

Now we see candidates everywhere, and they certainly can impact fashion
and style.

So as far as image goes, the Obamas are a known quantity, but what about the Romney clan? We have an idea of what a Romney administration may mean for health care and business owners, but what about image and appearance?

Romney, should he be elected, may add even more fuel to the surge in chinplants. Part of his distinguished, anchorman good looks are no doubt due to his well-defined chin, and may push more men to consider chin augmentation with implants. (He is really handsome, and perhaps this too will encourage even more men to embrace their metrosexual tendencies.)

And Ann Romney too could usher in a new type of look—she is a bit older, but certainly as stunning and elegant as Michelle Obama. Maybe we will see the blonde, bobbed haircut come swinging back during a Romney-led Administration. She is also a breast cancer survivor, and perhaps she will help reinforce the Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day, or BRA Day USA, efforts that are gaining traction. This initiative is designed to promote education, awareness, and access regarding post-mastectomy breast reconstruction.

Are there bigger things at stake during election 2012? Absolutely, but let’s not discount how presidential politics impacts the practice of plastic surgery.