Plastic Surgery A Model Needs For the 'Perfect' Face (Yeah, Right)

Photo by: Marc Erwin Babej
Patient Y.Z., age 29: Filler injected into the nasolabial folds, lips and cheeks, to even out asymmetries. Rhinoplasty to be performed, to narrow the nose. Botox injected ... more 
Photo by: Marc Erwin Babej
Patient Y.Z., age 29: Filler injected into the nasolabial folds, lips and cheeks, to even out asymmetries. Rhinoplasty to be performed, to narrow the nose. Botox injected into the muscles just lateral to the eyes, to minimize wrinkles. less 
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Thu, Jul 25, 2013 12:08 PM EDT
Who says what's perfect? Photographer Marc Erwin Babej tackled that loaded question, and what it really means to ask it. In the series 'Mask of Perfection' Babej teamed up with New York City plastic surgeon Maria M. LoTempio, MD to discover the discrepancies between traditional views of natural beauty and how a doctor perceives perfection. Babej sought out 12 diverse women in their twenties who look like some of the last people in the world that would need a cosmetic consultation and then had LoTempio make her black permanent marker surgical guidelines on the women's faces.

Babej explains that people's perceptions of prettiness are intuitive and not something easily captured in words. On the other hand, he said, "The plastic surgeon's standard of beauty is fundamentally different: they can articulate it, it's conscious and there is a basis in science through geometry, symmetry and ratios." The pre-operative black marks on the faces of the "patients" represent LoTiempo's recommended procedures that would fix their faults according to professional standards. The photographs prove that biological flawlessness is hard to find. I think they're perfect just the way they are.