Last week....while on vacation in Greece....I sat up one night and watched German TV (the series 39 Degrees). It's on state-run German TV, and it's an interesting weekly piece. They take a journalist and camera guy.....then toss them a story....which takes weeks and months. They go out....visit....ask a few questions....come back a month later....ask more, and watch for the story to develop. There's some creative nature to the series.....I will admit.
This past week? They had these German teenage girls....thirteen to eighteen years old. They were all of the mind that they had a bad nose. Yeah.....a bad nose.
So they wanted a nose job.
For the curious among you.....German plastic surgeons charge roughly 6,000 Euro ($7,200 in general numbers) for such a job.
So on for about forty-five minutes.....we get these stories revolving around these young ladies. The eighteen year old gal....by the end....has made the decision and done it. I personally couldn't tell much difference in her nose, but she was all happy for some apparent reason.
The thirteen year old gal? Well....she is a four-star bitch of a kid, and bound and determined to have this done ASAP. I've seen these types of characters in the US, but this is the first German kid that I've seen that was just plain nuts about this stuff.
Mom tried hard to convince the young gal to abandon this. Then mom turned to dad. Dad was supposed to say "NO" until eighteen. Well....dad answered she could do at sixteen to eighteen. I got the impression....maybe dad didn't answer right, and this invited more issues.
So finally, the thirteen year old gal talks mom and dad into going over to the plastic surgeon. He is awful careful.....knowing he's on camera. He finally comes to some point and says his ethics are clean, and he won't do it for such a young gal (meaning she could come back at eighteen). You could sense her frustration with the guy.
I sat there....sadly.....thinking "yes, we do need to tax wealthy folks more, to prevent stupidity like this". Then it hit me....I was admitting to taxing wealthy folks more.....something I'd never ever say in public. Reality sunk in for that brief moment.....I probably needed a drink to settle my nerves and come back to the real world.
A decade ago? I don't think German teenagers would ever have done something like this or dreamed of nose jobs at thirteen or fifteen years old. Their source of inspiration? I can only guess MTV or some nutty TV show.....from the US.
Reality? Sadly, I'd guess that ten thousand teenage girls around Germany are dreaming of some nose job, and by age twenty-one....some boob job.....and by age thirty....some butt-job. And to think fifty years ago....they would have been happy with just a fancy new blouse.