By Jelani Lowe

30,000 expect at anti-aging and cosmetic enhancement show

Get that look off your face.

If the rise in television make­over shows, like The Swan, Nip/Tuck, Extreme Makeover, and Skin Deep are any indication, people are becoming more ticked off with the person in the mirror.

That’s good news to organizers behind the New You 2004 Cosmetic Enhancement, Anti-aging Show.

An estimated 30,000 are expected to turn out this weekend for the Toronto show which will feature presentations from cosmetic surgeons, dermatologists and other beauty experts on everything from laser hair removal and teeth whitening to breast jobs.

But despite the added publicity these procedures may gain on the beauty-obsessed small screen, New You founder Ann Kaplan is wary of their influence in the big picture.

“Everything has been sensationalized,” said Kaplan, who also runs a company that provides financing for patients of these procedures.

“But I do believe doctors are keeping people in check. They will make sure that people are informed and know the risks of any kind of medical procedure.”

Still, if there were ever a place to go overboard, this might be it. The show is said to feature 300 booths where consumers can watch live demonstrations such as Botox injections that reduce frown lines and crows feet. The technologies and know-how have advanced to the point that someone could go out on their lunch hour and come back a new person, she said.

Although Kaplan is quick to point out the potential for cosmetic surgery to deal with some of the debilitating effects of skin cancer, there is no denying its power to provide self-esteem.
“Women don’t need counselling, they need boobs,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Otto Weiglein.

Body Image

For women who have problems with their body image, an hour in the operating room could be worth 10 years on the psychiatrist’s couch, he said.

But if you think cosmetic treatments are for women only, think again. Weiglein, who admits having had Botox injections himself, said be sees more men coming into his office these days.

“It’s no longer taboo, and is out of the closet,” Weiglein explained. “And for a lot of men, by the time they get to be 5O, it’s just not a big deal anymore. We’ve had TLC for 1O years, and all these things that say, hey, it’s okay.”

New You runs from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. today and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

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