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On a routine visit to a new dermatologist, as mine had moved to NYC, I was referred to Dr. Zuckerman in Beverly Hills.
I had a new mole on my left arm and wanted it looked at at as a preventative measure.
He was located in the swanky Bedford Drive section of BH, where you will typically find lot of paps hanging around hoping to see Lindsey Lohan or Britney Spears emerge from any number of cosmetic establishments offering facials, nips, tucks, hair extensions, veneers and of course the world renowned eyebrow lady.
Zuckerman’s office was in a tall glass building with icy blue tint, one populated by famous surgeons to the stars with secret tunnels that expunged patients wearing thick head gear and wrapped in blankets into secret care facilities.
The office itself was not crowded; in fact it was empty, so that was good. After filling out 15 pages of paperwork concerning my health, and some not, which I didn’t answer, such as, “How many sexual partners have you had?” I was lead to the examining room.
On the walls, next to his five diplomas were framed pictures of A-listers ripped from the front page of glamour magazines. He must have had a thing for Scarlett Johannson and Rihanna because their pretty mugs were everywhere.
On the other wall were example pictures of anonymous women with their eyes blacked out. These shots were not as flattering. Thin, cracked lips, sunken eyes, flattened cheeks, extremely blotchy facial skin, droopy necks, saggy jawlines, and hound dog-like jowls.
One wall was devoted entirely to cellulite-ridden asses attached to cellulite ridden roundish thighs, with huge arrows that read “Saddle bags! Cellulite! Yuck!”
I sat in a kind of dental chair, surrounded by all the latest laser technology, huge machines with detachable arms, needles, wands and so on.
In walked Dr. Zuckerman, 40’s taut face, Chiclet teeth, and perfect skin you might find on a super model. The man had no pores. The rest of him didn’t match his Beverly Hills face. He had a paunch, hairy hands and sausage fingers.
“Hello. You must be Rhonda. So you have a mole. Yep. Sun can wreak damage, utterly ravage the skin, destroy it, literally turn you old before your time.”
“Yes I’ve heard. I wear sunscreen.”
“Unfortunately that’s not enough. Not in this day and age.”
He put on thick glassed, a mask and pulled out a magnifying glass to examine my face.
“The mole is on my arm.”
He took a quick look
“Oh, that’s nothing. But if it starts to itch, bleed, grow and look strange let me know.”
He went back to examining my face.
“You have nice skin but that won’t last. In ten years, maybe less, all that sun damage will catch up to you.”
He showed me a picture form the wall of an older women who looked like her face had been chewed off.
“I will never look like that.”
“That’s what she thought. Now of course it’s too late. We could start preventive measures. When I showed that to Rhi-Rhi she almost flipped out. Not to mention names.”
“Luckily, I have the IPL, the V Beam, CO2, Fraxel. I think the V-beam would be best for you especially if you are going to Africa, because the face swells up for three weeks, often purple in tone, ghastly looking, but by the time you come back, your skin will be perfect.”
“I’m not going to Africa. That doesn’t even make sense.”
“I guess Africa has been on my mind because my last appointment with Paris Hilton, not to mention names, was going on a safari, so we went with the strongest pulse. She looks like a monster, but will have the skin of a baby’s ass on her return.”
“I’m good, thanks.”
“Oh. You could use some plumper’s too. Radiess, Juvaderm, Restalyn, Sculptra, Dysport. All great fillers.”
“I don’t need any plumper’s. I don’t have any wrinkles.”
“True. Smile for me.”
He shoved this giant mirror in my face.
“Those lines when you smile. I can get rid of them.”
“What? Why? Those are my smile lines. My 9- year olds have them!”
“Just saying, it’s a good look when they are plumped.”
Now he was staring at my lips. Then he TOOK a picture.
“You’re lips are fine, but they won’t be in ten years. See this lady over here. “
“You mean the one with NO lips.”
“Yes. She used to have lips like yours. Getting my drift here?”
“I’ll take my chances. I like my lips fine."
“Suit yourself. Not to drop names, but Kim Kardashian went from a size 4 to a 0 in one day using my laser cellulite technique. She has the smoothest legs ever.”
“I don’t have a weight problem.”
“Exactly. Either did she. Either did Heidi Klum. Or Madonna. Not to mention names.”
“Look doc, I don’t want anything. If the mole is fine, we’re done here.”
He looked at my chart. There was no way this guy was going to let me go until I forked over money for some treatment I didn’t want or need.
I guess he found it.
“You had twins! We can fix that.”
“Fix what? Are you going to take them from me?”
“Ever notice how Jennifer Lopez, or Julia Roberts have perfectly flat stomachs?”
“There is a very noninvasive technique to pull the stomach skin down, cut it off, and sew it up. The stitch is hidden just above the pelvis. Virtually hidden.”
“I don’t want a tummy tuck. My stomach is fine. Are you are drugs. Are you listening to anything I am saying?” He took another picture!
“Let's see. Your breasts are lovely, but that won’t last. They will start to sag, surprised they aren’t sagging already what with the twins. I could give you Scarlett Johannson's luscious breasts. Technically I am not a surgeon, but we have come so far. Not to drop names.”
He seemed to pull the picture from behind his back. I was convinced now this guy was either on too much Adderall or cocaine. I had to get out of there.
"Lovely, but I like mine."
“Hmm. We could start you off on a low acid peel to give you that perfect dewy glow, like Jennifer Aniston or Beyonce. Not to mention names. Most people think it's make-up, but..."
“Dr. Zuckerman. I am not into surgery… I have young girls. I don’t buy into any this shit. ..”
“Pfft. Every woman wants to have Scarlett Johannson’s body and breasts, Katherine Heigl’s skin, Natalie Portman’s nose, Cate Blanchett’s cheekbones, Halle Berry’s nose, Jessica Alba’s smile, Taylor Swift’s hair, Nicole Kidman’s eyebrows, Bette Davis’ eyes and Angelina Jolie’s lips. Not to mention names. I’ve been doing this for years. I made a composite.”
He pointed to a picture above one of his diplomas I actually thought was a “surgery warning” ad. It was essentially a Barbie doll head with heaving breasts. They actually moved.
“Well maybe you need to spend some time in Africa, Dr. Zuckerman.”
I got up to leave.
“Hey, are you seeing anyone. Dating?”
“I suspect you won’t be coming back but would love to take you to dinner.”
“Sorry, I’m gay. Hooked up recently with Scarlett Johannson, so I can actually feel her boobs pretty much whenever I want.”
“OH.” He tried to raise an eyebrow but the Botox got in the way.
“Thanks for all the tips.”
“No prob. Keep it low and hanging!”
What the fuck?
I ran out of there, knowing he was going to tell his next client his previous client dates Johannson. I told the receptionist, who looked like a freak on her way to becoming the scary poster girl: