Screw the wings, I want a tail

This month's Harper's has an article on a plastic surgeon who wants to go beyond lifts and tucks. Way beyond.

Dr. Joe Rosen wants to give people wings and gills and webbed digits, and not many people are very happy about it. I don't see why, though I'm not surprised. It's still not really accepted socially that people might want to put things on their bodies as adornment(tattoos, piercings and such), much less make direct modifications to them. Colleagues have lobbed the Hippocratic Oath at him, though as far as I know, it only involves not causing harm and doing best to help the patient. If the patient wants to look different and is willing to put forth the money, go for it. As hideous as Jocelyn Wildenstein is, I have to respect that she went through with her desire. So what if I think she's not at all cat-like and instead looks like some societé version of the Sensory Man that was in all our high school health books, distorted to show the relative importance of touch/sight/taste/smell/hearing to the body. Strange...her lips are huge. I guess there really is no accounting for taste.

He brings up, in a deeper and yet still more literal way, how most people's claim to appreciate and desire for beauty actually ends up being a desire for sameness. Extra fingers are chopped off at birth, even though he knows of at least one person who is better at his job for having two thumbs on a hand. Yet, he isn't allowed to add a thumb to someone if he should want it. Nor is a doctor allowed to perform an amputation as an elective process, even though the "patients" will likely try it themselves , the results not always as neat. Why not at least give these people the benefit of a job well done?

Instead of the suburban boringness of tummy tucks for women and butt implants for men(all the rage in South Florida right now), wouldn't it be more fun to see people looking the way they think of themselves, the way they want to look rather than how they think everyone expects them to? Given the chance, and with acceptance, wouldn't you want retractable claws, echolocation or even fur, and I mean real fur, not just being hairy? Most people like having their hair played with. What if someone could do that with your entire body?

Coincidentally enough, the doctor and his wife take notice of the author's ears at one point in the article, informing her she's missing the scapha , and that it's a birth defect. She freaks, until they tell her they would be great to sculpt(the wife is an artist). I apparently share this defect, and it was actually part of a recent e-mail conversation with PK about my piercings. Granted, it's a minor difference, but wouldn't it be better if they could all be seen that way; just different. Everyone would have the option to express themselves with themselves, rather than be forced to result to external means, not that there's anything wrong with art, but why not be art instead?

Divers would be lighter, poets would be able to make their tragedy more apparent, and I...I could swing my tail just that little bit harder when someone is pissing me off. And only people who know me will recognize it.