Job seekers invest in plastic surgery to compete

Wed Apr 8, 2009 1:52pm EDT
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By Sue Zeidler

LOS ANGELES (Reuters Life!) - When the going gets tough, some of the tough get going to the plastic surgeon's office.

The recession clearly took a cut out of plastic surgery in 2008 with U.S. cosmetic surgeries down 9 percent to $11.8 billion, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

But some surgeons and patients are now citing increased interest in surgery among people wanting to look younger and "fresher" for the ever-competitive job market.

"I'm 56 and I've been in the music business for 35 years. We're not having a good year and I know I'll soon have to interview," said Jeff Grabow, a music marketing executive in Los Angeles, who recently spent $17,000 on a facelift.

"The surgery made sense for me. I look at least 10 to 15 years younger and I have more confidence," he said.

Grabow's surgeon, Payman Simoni, performs what he calls a "wide awake facelift" using only local anesthesia, which he says slashes the recovery time as well as the cost by as much as $6,000, making it popular among job seekers.

"Before the economy turned down, people would come in because they wanted to have more fun and enjoyment out of life," he said. "But now plastic surgery has become a necessity for some. People cannot only rely on their skills in this market. They want to look refreshed and youthful so they can compete for jobs," he said.

COSMETIC TUNE-UPS   Continued...

<p>Music executive Jeff Grabow is shown before (L) and after plastic surgery in this combination photo released to Reuters April 7, 2009. REUTERS/Payman Simoni M.D./Handout</p>