Plastic People: Gina and Jason

Plastic People: Gina and Jason

"Gina is obsessed with plastic surgery," says Jason about his fiancée. "Gina and I have been dating for a year and a half. Gina is the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth. She doesn't need any plastic surgery. This addiction that Gina has is more addicting than any drug, piercing, or tattoo frenzy that I've ever seen."

"My obsession drives Jason crazy," says Gina. "The need for plastic surgery does consume me. What's wrong with wanting to look good? As far as I can remember, I've always wanted plastic surgery. The procedures I have had done so far are my breast augmentation, Botox injections, Restylane injections, several skin peels, and microderma. I'm a Botox junky. When I've had the Botox, I am happy and content, but when I haven't had the Botox, I'm miserable, sad, constantly pressing on the wrinkles on my forehead because I want to remember not to make many expressions."

 

Gina wants more plastic surgery. "My wish list is: I want a nose job, lipo around the waist, a tummy tuck, I have a vein in my leg I want removed, brow lift, permanent lip injections, I have a scar on my arm I'd like removed, and I also want butt implants. Jason and I are planning to have another child and I want to have vaginal reconstruction done as well. I think I'd be content after I'm done with all of that."

 

One of the reasons Gina's obsession bothers Jason is the cost. "When Gina does not pay her bills, it makes me very angry," says Jason. "I bought a motorcycle one time and she was like, 'That's my tummy tuck sitting in the garage.'"


Gina admits, "If I had $500 right now, I would go get my lips done. I'm more concerned with saving money for a face-lift than I am for my retirement."

 

"I have worries about how long this addiction is going to go on," says Jason.

 

"I don't want to ruin my relationship, but I feel like I need all these things. Jason cannot change my mind. I don't even know if Dr. Phil can change my mind," says Gina.

 

Dr. Phil goes back over the list of procedures Gina has had done and the list that she wants to have done. "What is it going to solve for you if you get all that done?" he asks her.

"I think it would help me feel more confident. It would help me feel better about how I look at myself when I see myself in the mirror," says Gina.

"OK, so you don't feel confident now?" asks Dr. Phil.

"I feel confident because I know I look better now than I did three or four years ago," she says.

Jason disagrees. "She doesn't feel as confident as she says she does," he says.

"I want to feel more confident," she explains. "I want a perfect body."

"What if that doesn't exist?" Dr. Phil asks. "You're after the perfect body. You say you look at all the movie stars. Do you get that they don't look like that? I live here. I know these people. I'm serious, they don't look like that."


As proof, Dr. Phil shows Gina some photos of Cameron Diaz, Pamela Anderson and Jennifer Lopez without makeup and before getting glamorous for the camera. "So what I'm saying is, you're trying to get to a place that doesn't exist," he tells her.

"I want to look as good as them. I'm not saying I want to look just like J-Lo or Pamela Anderson, but I want to look as good as they do," she says.

"Do you think you're out of control with this?"

"No," says Gina.

 

Gina wants more surgery before their upcoming wedding. "My nose needs to be fixed before the wedding. I am having so much anxiety with the upcoming wedding," she admits. "We're going on a cruise. Most of our friends and family are going to be there and everybody's going to be in swimsuits, so I'm having some anxiety over them seeing my stomach the way it looks now. Jason and I have discussed it, and he has told me that after our child is born, I could have the stomach surgery done. I'm not happy waiting that long. I got him so upset that he said we should adopt children and get it done."

Jason admits that he's having second thoughts about marrying Gina.

 

"I asked you if this is out of control on your part, and you said no. Here's you what you said in your letters and your interviews. You said, 'I'm very addicted. Why do I need to keep doing these things to my body? It consumes me. I don't think it's normal. I need to reevaluate my priorities. I absolutely think I should.' Those are your words," Dr. Phil points out to Gina.


"The reason I think it isn't normal is because when I talk to my friends, when I talk to Jason, when I talk to my family members who I discuss this with, they think I'm crazy. But they don't see all those fine lines that are coming out," she says.

 

"You know why you have all those fine lines? It's because you're getting older," says Dr. Phil.


"I don't want to get old," she says.

"OK, but there is nothing you can do about that. Plastic surgery is not anti-aging, it's age-masking. All that does is mask it. And the minute they put in the last stitch and tie it off, you start aging again," says Dr. Phil.

"But you don't look like you've been aging," she responds.

"But all the rest of us are aging."

"But I don't want it to happen to me."

"That's what I mean. You're after a fantasy," says Dr. Phil.

 

Gina has a theory as to why she's terrified of aging. "When I was a teenager, my mom was killed by a drunk driver. She was only 34. I never saw my mom grow old, and now I can't imagine growing old. I have nightmares about aging. I don't want to get old, wrinkled, gray and saggy," she says. Gina also never saw her grandmother get old.

Dr. Phil asks her about her mother, while a photo of her is shown. "How did she look at 34?"

"Beautiful," says Gina.

"Was she having a lot of surgeries and stuff?"

"No, she had a natural [look.] Her nose was straight and nice, and her teeth were ... That's real," she says.

"But it scares you because you didn't see her get old so you don't know — "

"What's going to happen to me," finishes Gina. "I think that plays a big part, and I've told Jason that."

Dr. Phil asks Gina if she'd like to see what her mother would possibly look like if she'd lived to the age of 65. "We aged your mother from this picture to age 65, taking into account she didn't smoke, she didn't drink, she took good care of herself. Would you like to see that?"

"OK," says Gina.

 

A photo appears, showing Gina what her mom looked like before she passed away and the age-progression photo.

"It's really strange to see that, isn't it?" Dr. Phil asks.


"Yes, it's hard," says Gina, as tears well in her eyes.

"But don't you think she looks absolutely delightful?"

"Yes," she says. "That's overwhelming. Wow. She looks beautiful."

"Clearly, the anticipation, because of her lifestyle, is that she would have aged gracefully?" he asks

"Yes, she ate healthy and took vitamins. She exercised, and she was very into taking care of herself as well," says Gina.

 

"Tell me what is bad about aging gracefully. You've seen it with this progression with your mother. Do you see anything negative about that?" asks Dr. Phil.

"I'm just afraid that that's not going to happen to me," she says.

Dr. Phil is convinced Gina doesn't want to change. She agrees. "I don't think there's anything you or anyone can tell me to change my mind," she says.


"One of the things I did early on in my career was screen patients for surgeons to see if they were candidates for surgery, whatever you might be getting ready to do. And among those were candidates for plastic surgery. And a responsible surgeon will assess whether or not the patient is a good candidate. Do they have the right motive? Do they have realistic expectations? Do they want these things for the right reasons? You wouldn't pass my screening, not even almost," Dr. Phil tells her. "Would you like to know why you wouldn't pass my screening
?"

"Why?" she asks.

"You wouldn't pass my screening because you are dealing with a fantasy; you are not being realistic. There are some people who mix body image and self-image. They think their value as a person, they think their acceptance of themselves is contingent upon how they look. You are going to age, it's just a matter of when," Dr. Phil warns. "You are a candidate who is likely to wind up over-surgerized because there are people who will cut on you. You've got the cash? They've got the knife."

"I agree with you, but I'm not one of those people," argues Gina.

Dr. Phil can't believe what he hears. "OK, let me add one more thing to my list of why you wouldn't clear my screening: Because you don't recognize that you're one of those people!"

 

Dr. Phil also brings up that Gina wants to work for a plastic surgeon, which he thinks is a warning sign. "I'd be keeping my eye on that," he tells Jason.

"Trust me, I am," says Jason.

"Is that such a bad thing?" Gina asks.


"To work for a plastic surgeon when you are obsessed with plastic surgery, and you are doing it for an ulterior motive of hoping that you can get around it and get a big discount? Yeah, there's something wrong with that!" exclaims Dr. Phil. "It is clear to me, as clear as if you had a big sign flashing over your head, that you have not accepted yourself, flaws, fallacies and all, and you are trying to fix self by tweaking body, and that will never, ever work. You haven't accepted yourself and decided that you don't have to be perfect to be OK."

Dr. Phil explains that his wife, Robin, once wanted a face lift, until she saw one on TV. Now, she wants to age gracefully and look the best she can for her age.

"So do I," says Gina.

"No, you said you want to look like you're 30 when your 50. You want to look like you're 20 when your 30. That's not aging gracefully, that's trying to cheat the game," says Dr. Phil. "And what never gets old is your spirit, and what never gets old is your soul. That is what you need to focus on, not just your face."