By Mara Hileman
While reality TV has never been known for its ability to be deep and soul-searching, Oxygen’s new series, Addicted To Beauty, really takes the cake—or Botox, if you will. The series follows the staff of Changes Spa and Plastic Surgery in La Jolla, Calif.
What is supposed to be a reality TV show is thrown off by a cast of some of the most horrifically fake people ever put on cable, and not just personality-wise.
Combined, the cast has had nose jobs, breast implants, cheek implants, chin implants, teeth bonded, neck liposuction, waist liposuction, eye lifts, eye shaping, laser hair removal, laser vein therapy, breast lifts and Botox injected into every place imaginable. The owner of the spa even had the bottoms of her feet injected with Restylane, which supposedly gives her extra padding when she walks. This doesn’t include all the fake tans administered in every show.
The staff freely admits that most people from La Jolla are “addicted to beauty” and refer to Botox as a gateway drug—once you start to get rid of little things, you begin seeing what other little things you can tweak.
Beyond their physical alterations, the staff are hardly endearing. They are all perfect caricatures—the aging woman trying to look twenty again, two men who are milking the flaming gay stereotype for all it’s worth (and apparently it’s not too much), and a few younger women who are determined to be cutthroat business people.
The show features endless displays of cattiness from all sectors. If Gary the receptionist isn’t straightening his hair, he’s avoiding being fired by claiming he has ADHD—though he doesn’t know exactly what that entails. One employee helped another by spraying on a coating of tan and even adding some muscle definition, only to write the words “I love Dianne” on his back. A tearful, staged conversation about a divorce came to an abrupt end upon the discovery of a new laugh line which was instantly filled in by a bewildered—if entirely willing—Dr. Lee. With needles-a-plenty, this show is not for the squeamish.
Despite all that, Addicted to Beauty is oddly mesmerizing, like a car crash. More a cautionary tale than a reality TV show, it leaves you with a clear moral: she who starts getting Botox is she who will soon look like Godzilla.
Addicted To Beauty airs Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. on Oxygen.