on cosmetic surgery and inner beauty: the belo vs. abunda (non) scandal

okay, so before i disappear for the AMCI anniversary weekend (hoping for juicy blog topics, nice photographs, and interesting footage) over in talipanan, puerto galera, let me just talk about something that has been hogging a few bandwagon blogs of late: the belo vs. calayan and boy abunda matter. to provide you with a recap, vicky belo said in last sunday's episode of showbiz central, in reply to a question by mo twister, that "if you want to look like boy abunda, go to dr. calayan. but if you want to look like dingdong dantes and piolo pascual, come to belo." note that she omitted the title "doctor" when referring to her clinic.

this comment, taken alone, seems completely devoid of anything remotely derogatory. after all, it was just a comparison of endorsers. but for those who do know the disparity between dingdong and boy, or piolo and boy, the statement was far from innocent. now whenever i travel the length of EDSA and see boy's face promoting calayan, i am always perplexed because i don't think that he's the most competent person to endorse a cosmetic surgery clinic. simply because he isn't exactly easy on the eyes. not that i agree with herding all these beautiful celebrities to promote your services because in most cases, they have always been beautiful, and little of their outward appearance had anything to do with science -- these are mostly genetic. of course there have been countless stars who have gone under the knife to enhance whatever part of their bodies they felt needed help, but few have actually admitted to getting something major such as a bust lift or a rhinoplasty. it seems that the least invasive -- and hence, the most acceptable -- is the liposuction, which many actors past their prime have resorted to.

that is why in this case, i think that the marketing approach of beverly hills 6750 was a bit more effective because they actually got someone you'd completely ignore should you see her on, say, a pedestrian overpass, and transformed her into a vamp. or that whitening soap billboard which seems to be jinky oda's audition for the role of a white lady. cosmetic surgery is all about transformations. maintenance is secondary.

now boy's response to vicky's statement was a little overly dramatic. in showbiz news ngayon, he expressed his derision over the insult: "kahapon, right after the buzz, my first caller po, was ruffa gutierrez, na sinasabi nya sa akin kung narinig ko na yung sinabi ni dr. vicky belo sa central, sa kabila. hindi pa, that was the first time i was hearing it... sabi ko nga, wala naman kaming pinag-awayan ni vicky. nasindak po ako, na-surprise po ako. hindi ako makapaniwala... nabigla po ako, dahil, first of all, because i didn't expect... dahil kaibigan ko pong matalik si dr. vicky belo for many years... i served her well as a professional... vicky, if you are watching, alam mo, na kahit kailan, kahit kailan, hindi ako namuhunan sa gandang panlabas dahil alam ko wala ako masyado nun. alam mo na namuhunan ako ng lakas ng loob, sipag, tyaga, dasal. at vicky, wala akong ilusyong maganda ako. wala akong ilusyon. pero wala, wala rin nino man may karapatan manlait sa aking pagkatao."

while i just said that vicky's statement was far from being innocent, it wasn't so harsh a statement that boy should react in the way he did, cracking and choking as he was on the verge of crying. boy hosts showbiz oriented talk shows where they propagate news, rumors, controversies on famous people, whether proven or hearsay. he should be able to take it, in the same way that he dishes it out. and he admits the marketing mistake of the calayans here by saying that he knows he doesn't have much physical beauty. cosmetic surgery, after all, is all about improving one's outward appearance. i just wonder what kind of treatment boy received because i didn't really notice any significant change in his looks. besides, he was actually collateral damage to the war between the two clinics.

but i think the response of the calayans in support of boy has revealed the comedy and the sham behind this "scandal". in an official statement, they said:

We are behind Boy Abunda, 101 percent. We understand his feelings and reactions to the ridiculing and insulting remarks he sustained from Dra. Belo. Promoting one's business or services by stepping on someone was uncalled for. Besides, Dingdong Dantes used to be our endorser and part of what he has become came from our services, and so did other of her big named endorsers: Claudine Barretto, Ruffa Gutierrez, and Katrina Halili.

There's a simple reason for our 'TO C IS TO BELIEVE' campaign and that's more about inner beauty that's from a good and sincere heart like Boy Abunda, which transcends outward a person's life and touches other people's lives. And through that inner beauty, we see and believe in the beauty of other people and we believe in their goodness! We accept whoever you are, we make you feel good. That's the Calayan experience and that's TO 'C' IS TO BELIEVE.
since when were cosmetic surgeons in the business of promoting or enhancing inner beauty? the dictionary on my iPhone defines cosmetic as an adjective 1) serving an esthetic rather than a useful purpose; 2) serving an aesthetic purpose in beautifying the body. if true that they looked into what was inside, then why would they even offer services that had to change your body? if inner beauty was far more important, i swear they'd go out of business, and life-changing seminars (like that people synergistically involved thing) would be in demand because they make people beautiful inside and let that beauty shine through. people desire cosmetic changes because most other people are superficial and don't look beyond what's outside. i also take exception to that part where the calayans say that they're partly responsible for dingdong's appearance.

like i said, unless cosmetic surgery now dealt with genetic modification, or were parents, or was God, you can't claim to be responsible for a person's good looks, unless dingdong used to look like, say, kuhol.

i really just think that companies should rethink their marketing strategies and quit treating filipinos as a bunch of pea-brained robots who swallow untruths and half-lies. and that was the point of all this.