Cosmetic surgery instinctively seems like a modern phenomenon.Yet it has a much longer and more complicated history than most people likely imagine.
American otolaryngologist John Orlando Roe’s discovery of a method for performing rhinoplasties inside the nose, without leaving a tell-tale external scar, was a crucial development in the 1880s.
As is the case today, patients wanted to be able to “pass” (in this case as “white”) and for their surgery to be undetectable.
By the 1880s, with the further refinement of anaesthesia, cosmetic surgery became a relatively safe and painless prospect for healthy people who felt unattractive.
The Derma-Featural Co advertised its “treatments” for “humped, depressed or …
Some of the first recorded surgeries took place in 16th-century Britain and Europe.
Tudor “barber-surgeons” treated facial injuries, which as medical historian Margaret Pelling explains, was crucial in a culture where damaged or ugly faces were seen to reflect a disfigured inner self.
The frequency of these ads in popular magazines suggests that use of these devices was socially acceptable.
In comparison, coloured cosmetics such as rouge and kohl eyeliner were rarely advertised.
ill-shaped noses”, protruding ears, and wrinkles (“the finger marks of Time”) in the English magazine World of Dress in 1901.
A report from a 1908 court case involving the company shows that they continued to use skin harvested from – and attached to – the arm for rhinoplasties.