The concept of plastic surgery is a fascinating one for the physiognomist. If our face reflects our personality then does it work in reverse? Can changing our face change our personality? Certainly, changing our appearance changes how people treat us. Women have done this since the invention of cosmetics. But my answer is “not really”. Plastic surgery creates a mask and until/unless the underlying personality matches that mask, the discontinuity will probably be more harmful than the baseline. Personalities don’t change quickly, and genetics/childhood experiences not at all, which is why physiognomy is face reading not facial expression reading.
But there are situations in which having a better mask could help. Sales/vendor work, for example, or simply to feel better about yourself. Plastic surgery to erase a birthmark, acne scarring or obvious deformity that you believe is crimping your social life? Go for it. Plastic surgery to hypnotize a modern Tinderwhore into bed like a vampire? Bad idea.
Hat tip to youTuber Monday FA, who has the most magnificent “disappointment” nasolabial lines I’ve yet seen. He looks otherwise normal to me, although that scraggly facial hair seems out-of-place. Make it a goatee as thick as his head hair and he’d do fine.
How Many Bones Would You Break to Get Laid?
By Alice Hines, 28 May 2019
Truth4lie was 27, depressed, and living in a student apartment after a year in a psychiatric hospital on suicide watch when a friend showed him Neil Strauss’s pickup-artist guidebook, The Game. Together they practiced lines from the book, planning to use them on girls in nightclubs. “Would you like to kiss me? I didn’t say you could.”
In real life, pickup artistry made Truth4lie anxious. One rule stated he needed to initiate conversation with a woman three seconds after seeing her, which felt like taking an exam. Still, he tried the techniques for a few years, with middling success. Eventually, he stumbled on a forum called Sluthate, where anonymous men gathered to “discredit the effectiveness of pickup art.” In one post, a user described coming to the realization that it didn’t matter what he said because of the way he looked.
The underlying problem here is fried ice. Women want looks because it’s a status sign and they want Game because they want the emotional experience and they want $$$ because who doesn’t and they want blah blah blah. There’s no end to the demands. Sadly, in a matriarchy a man either tries constantly to meet those impossible demands or gives up and goes MGTOW. Burnout or loneliness is a painful choice.
The user uploaded a selfie, and other Sluthate posters agreed, mocking the flaws in his face. They congratulated him for “taking the black pill,” shorthand for waking up to the tragedy of being ugly. Ugly people, especially ugly men, they said, are destined to lead unhappy lives and die alone.
Reading this, Truth4lie felt exhilarated.
Because he thought his problem had a solution. Problem: I’m ugly. Solution: Plastic surgery. Except I’d bet he wasn’t actually ugly, just normal.
Women don’t want X, Y and Z. They want MORE. Never forget that Donald Trump Jr. got divorced by his wife while his father was freakin’ POTUS. There’s no upper limit to female hypergamy.
In the mental hospital, counselors had told him the roots of his depression and anxiety were repressed childhood traumas. In therapy, he relived getting in physical fights as a kid with his dad and the time he punched his sister in the head. Cognition determined emotions, the counselors told him. By changing his mind-set, he could change his behavior. But what if his problems weren’t inside him but outside? Looks can’t be changed with a mind-set adjustment; neither can the cruelly superficial world that values them above all else. The realization was awful and great all at once, as if someone were finally telling him the truth about himself after a lifetime of fake validation.
Looks can be changed with a mind-set adjustment. Lift in the gym, smile more, shoulders back, lose weight… all these start as a change in mindset. Also, looks can be changed with different hairstyles, cosmetics and choice of eyeglasses & clothing. And of course, more regular showers. As a D&D gamer, I believe bad hygiene causes actual ugliness at least as often as poor genetics.
There’s no “ugly” or “undesirable” in physiognomy. Not even “stupid”, excepting specific situations like Down’s Syndrome. In fact, ultraintelligent men frequently read as ordinary intellect because they don’t have concentration lines on the forehead.
“The difference between a mirror image and non-flipped image of myself drives me crazy,” he typed one night, after spending hours comparing his phone’s selfies to his reflection. “I see all my asymmetries … How can it only be my brain?”
Ask Jeff Bezos, the wealthiest man on the planet.
Friends and family said he had body-dysmorphic disorder, a condition the International OCD Foundation says affects about one in every 50 people. Psychiatric manuals describe it as an obsession with perceived flaws in one’s appearance that others don’t see or notice. But Truth4lie’s imperfections were perfectly noticeable to other forum users: weak jawline, feminine nose, small frame, thinning hair. To Truth4lie, their assessments explained why he hadn’t fit in in high school, why his ex didn’t love him, why women he looked at on the street didn’t make eye contact.
That does sound like obsession with perceived flaws. I have a weak chin but y’know, after four years of HIIT in the gym and directing my anger in productive ways, my jaw has slowly fleshed out and looks stronger. I’ll probably have jowls later in life, when stuff inevitably begins to sag. Having square shoulders and big trapezius muscles draws the viewer’s attention away from my chin so I don’t worry over it anyway.
Physiognomy isn’t destiny!
Truth4lie had for a while tried to write a novel about his time in the psychiatric hospital. He read Camus, who said that life has no great meaning. He pondered nihilistic theories posited on the forums he frequented. He discovered terms like “oneitis,” a disease of romantic obsession that enslaves men, and “hypergamy,” an evolutionary principle that pushes women to seek mates above their status. In a post-monogamy society, that means a tiny percentage of genetically superior alpha guys hoard most hetero sex. There were infographics to back it up, Tinder experiments with precise data. Beyond that, there was biology: Genetic wiring controls most everything about life, the forums’ users argued, ensuring the misery of people like him.
Heavy confirmation bias in his answer-searching. We’re a matriarchal society in which women swap lovers like baseball cards, not a post-monogamy (presumably meaning polygamous) society in which the top guys keep harems. Sultans & warlords didn’t give up a quarter of their lifetime wealth whenever one of their concubines wanted out, that’s for sure.
The forums’ posters blamed their plight on women’s rising social power. Once upon a time, women without careers married for stability; today they inevitably spent their 20s riding a “cock carousel” of the hottest guys they could land, settling for an ugly or average-looking man only when they were old and used, i.e., above 30. Even then, women could hardly be depended on for loyalty. Showered with attention on dating apps, favored by divorce courts, beloved by HR diversity initiatives, women had become a privileged class. The forums rarely mentioned wage gaps, pregnancy discrimination, or sexual violence, except in jest.
That paragraph tells us more about the post author than Truth4Lie.
“Truth4lie” was an early user name; over the next few years, he’d use others. His depression lingered well into his 30s. He started an online editing business and moved into his parents’ house in a small village in the Netherlands, where he knew almost no one. Most days, he would work from home, post on the forums, then eventually dress — leather jacket, torn jeans, fingerless leather gloves — and take a walk around the village, silently cataloguing how many people glanced at him or returned a smile.
His root problem is high insecurity, not low sex appeal. A poor candidate for plastic surgery, one would think.
Truth4lie’s friends hated Chad, but they were also convinced their lives would improve significantly if they could somehow become Chad. They tried “gymceling” and “steroidmaxxing” (incel-speak for bodybuilding and taking steroids). They tried (penis-stretching exercises) and mewing (chewing hard foods to bulk up the masseter muscles, said by British orthodontist Mike Mew to augment the jawline). They tried pulling on their faces to reshape them. They got into skin care.
Using steroids indicates a desire for shortcuts. Bulking the masseters is very hard because they’re already the strongest muscle in the body. Women would be lantern-jawed just from talking on the phone.
Some wanted more elemental improvements. More than pudgy flesh or pocked skin, it was their bones that made incels unfuckable, they believed. … “The difference between a Chad and an incel is literally a few millimeters of bone,” reads one meme.
Found it. Been making the rounds on the chans.
Let’s see… flattened forehead, lowered & more prominent brow, extended eyebrows, raised eye canthus, recessed nose root, nose tip turned up, stronger chin, thicker neck & shoulders, less flesh under the jaw. Somebody had fun with Photoshop but no, that is not a “few millimeters of bone”.
My makeover. Artificial eyebrows via cosmetics and the goatee I mentioned for Monday FA to strengthen the chin. Almost as good, allowing for my poor artistic skills, and way cheaper & safer than completely rebuilding one’s face. He might darken his skin a bit, too. Preferably by going outdoors.
To transform skull and skeleton could be done only with great expense and pain. It would take surgery. Some incels spent years researching procedures. More and more, they congregated around a single name: Barry Eppley, a cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon in Indiana.
“I had a dream: to meet the great Dr. Eppley,” wrote Truth4lie in one of over 1,100 Lookism posts mentioning the doctor. “I finally met the man, the true master artist, a superior human being. He should be mentioned with the likes of Mandela, Shakespeare, Luther King, Descartes, and Mother Teresa. He is the Einstein of Aesthetics,” he wrote. “He’s changed thousands of incel lives for the better.”
The article gives three examples of “naturally occurring Chads”. Clockwise from left, David Gandy, Jordan Barrett and Lucky Blue Smith.
All three pinged my gaydar. Healthy men don’t obsess that much over their appearance. Jordan in particular looks homosexual. Dr. Eppley is no better:
A good example of new-moon eyes, indicating deceit and cunning.
When we meet at his office in Carmel, a suburb of Indianapolis, Dr. Barry Eppley says he has never heard of incels. This surprises me. How could someone become an incel celebrity unwittingly?
On the walls of his consultation rooms hang black-and-white photos of beautiful humans. The men have zygomatic arches hanging like precipices over their caved-in cheeks. Their jaws are wide and sharp, as if drawn by protractors. They have long eyelashes and full lips that never smile.
The zygomatic arch is behind the cheekbone, making a “shelf” towards the ear.
“I call it the male-model look,” Eppley tells me, sitting on his right hand and gesturing with his left. He is 63 and wears a paisley tie, monk-strap loafers, and a white coat and speaks with a mischievous ease. “Chiseled features, an angular, sculpted face. It’s been the standard for the annals of time. Now there’s a practical way to actually achieve it.”
Looks fake as heck to me. Prominent cheekbones are an indicator of dominance but this takes it too far: sunken cheeks indicate resignation and powerlessness. These look sunken even though they aren’t.
And every male facial feature is exaggerated. I remember Roosh once commented that the reason women like totally shredded men is because they can’t tell the difference between a strong man and a weak man unless it’s that obvious. This face is that obviously masculine. It’s a physiognometric parody.
Cosmetic surgery among people who identify as male rose 325 percent between 1997 and 2015 in the U.S., according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Note the red flag, “people who identify as male”. Sexual deviancy surely plays a part in this.
Eppley, who is boarded in oral and maxillofacial surgery as well as plastic surgery, is one of a handful of doctors explicitly targeting young men with procedures to transform the face and body rather than to reverse aging. It’s a burgeoning demographic: Patients fly here from around the world, looking for something their local surgeon doesn’t perform, often a procedure Eppley invented. He does around 450 surgeries a year — eight to ten a week.
He’s homosexual himself. Perhaps not surprising for a surgeon specializing in elective vanities.
He performed his first custom facial implant in 1997 while on the faculty at Indiana University, practicing plastic surgery at the hospital there. A machinist from Terre Haute had wanted his jawline augmented — and wanted to design it himself. He and Eppley worked together, carving a model out of clay. Eppley now designs custom jaws with CAD, the software used by architects and engineers. “Some people may call my practice on the edge,” he tells me, “but it’s only cavalier if you don’t have the background, working at the university and doing free flaps and complex cases and these sorts of things, which 99 percent of plastic surgeons haven’t done.” (“Free flaps” are a type of tissue transplant used in reconstruction after trauma.)
I doubt 99% of his peers are incapable of what he does. More likely, 99% are unwilling. Also, Eppley doesn’t do custom CAD work if he’s cranking out 8-10 surgeries a week. Skilled surgeon, probably. Pathological liar, almost certainly.
Eppley’s range of services includes shoulder widening and narrowing (the clavicle bones are broken, then reconstructed), deltoid and quadriceps implants, and rib removal.
My gym’s basic membership is $10/month and does all but the latter, which is unethical. You don’t mutilate somebody’s body just because she wants a literal wasp waist and has money.
Pixee Fox, plastic surgery addict. She gave Adam his rib back.
Some 10,000 blog posts on his website respond pragmatically to patients’ queries: “Do Neck-Muscle Implants Exist?” They could. “Can My Face Be Changed to Look a Lot Like Someone Else?” Perhaps, pictures needed. “Am I Too Old for Skull Reshaping at 57?” He’s had patients who are over 70. “What Is the Maximum Size of Testicular-Enlargement Implants?” The largest Eppley has done so far is seven centimeters in diameter.
You wouldn’t even be able to walk normally. This guy’s a pervert… both the doc and the patient.
Eppley’s not sure exactly why a patient would want testicles of dinosaur-egg size. But that’s true of many of his procedures, which he tends to design in response to patients’ requests. If his practice had a slogan, it would be “We don’t care why you want it,’’ he tells me. “And I suspect patients seek me out because they know I won’t ask them. I don’t see it as my job to cast a judgment.”
Goodbye, Hippocratic Oath. You were only magical words of power, a meaningless ritual spoken to open the gate of board certification.
Often his rib-removal patients are transgender and will get hip implants in the same trip. Transgender female patients make up 10 to 15 percent of his practice. He performs facial-feminization surgery on around 25 patients a year. He does far more facial-masculinization surgeries — on over 100 patients annually — although all but one or two of them are on cisgender men.
Female hypergamy leads to male obsession over male appearance, which coincides with rising rates of sodomy and other sexual confusions. Transgender surgery in not just unethical, it’s immoral and impossible. And a growth industry.
“What makes a head shape manly?” I ask. Turns out it depends on whom it belongs to. One recent patient asked for a more angular skull with a peak at the top; another requested the exact inverse, to have his naturally peaked skull rounded. The first patient was black, and the second was white; Eppley suspected cultural standards were at the root of the difference. Some Eppley specialties — like a wide jaw or prominent brow — are universally male, triggered by the hormone testosterone during puberty. Others are arbitrary. Eppley credits the fashion industry for popularizing angular “male model” cheekbones, for instance. Custom implants allow him to adapt to trends more rapidly than other surgeons, who mostly use standard shapes.
Also true of physiognomy. There are racial traits, hormonal traits and contextual traits. I hypothesize that for racial traits, the more unusual are the sexier because hypergamy automatically rejects baseline normal.
While Eppley consults with patients, his wife, Andréa, the practice’s COO, sits in their shared office and works on an Excel spreadsheet. She manages the finances; Eppley tries to stay in the dark about the cost of the procedures he performs. Andréa has a short blonde pixie cut…
Probably what I call the New York City haircut, a feminist staple.
…a lineless face, and fantastically high cheekbones (they’re “genetic,” she tells me).
Not likely. But no pic.
She says she’s noticed a shift lately in the type of face male patients are looking for. It’s still masculine, but now they want a dash of the feminine, too. “It’s breathtaking bone structure with prominent, full lips,” she says. “A lot of people are headed in androgynous directions.”
God, I don’t want America to die like this.
The article has a few pics of incels photoshopping themselves into “Chads”:
I see what changed but really, it doesn’t seem worth the effort of surgery. The thicker neck is the biggest improvement and that’s just gym work.
Nothing a well-trimmed beard couldn’t have fixed in my opinion. Disorderly hair is a bigger issue for me than a triangular, intellectual/passive-aggressive face shape.
If his original face shape is “Sun”, ovalish, then his predicted personality is one that’s generally nonsocial. He enjoys the party but doesn’t take it personally if he’s not invited. Of course, all men want sex…
On another visit to Eppley’s office, I meet Matthew, 31, who has flown in from the East Coast for a checkup on his third round of chin implants. He has also gotten a rhinoplasty, temple implants, and mouth widening from Eppley. “Women today are definitely pressured more to look a certain way, but if you’re a man, getting work done is more stigmatized,” he says, asking me not to use his last name.
Beauty is all women have. Men have muscles, brains, even wisdom once upon a time, but now that the government is womens’ financial security, she prefers men who obsess over their looks as much as she does.
Matthew isn’t an incel. He knows what one is — he stumbled on their forums while researching Eppley and found them “degrading” to women. He is bisexual and hoped cosmetic surgery would help him date more. He saw it as within the normal, if expensive, range of body improvements, like dieting. He also wants to be famous: “I became obsessed with a lot of models around my age who had that real chiseled bone structure,” he recalls. There was one in particular — Colton Haynes from Teen Wolf — who spoke in a monotone voice that reminded Matthew a lot of his own. Haynes never went to college, while Matthew has a master’s in engineering. “These people have all these followers on Instagram,” Matthew says, “and you’re like, Why can’t I have all these followers?”
One supposes that vanity is a prerequisite for extensive, elective surgery.
Matthew has striking blue eyes with pale lashes, and, thanks to the procedures, a wide jaw and jutting chin. “I’m definitely more happy with the way I look now,” he tells me, although his life is far from transformed. He lives with his parents and works at Best Buy, an arrangement he originally conceived to help save up for surgery. He’s now planning new procedures, including one to fix what he describes as a bump on the tip of his nose, although I don’t notice it.
I thought he had a master’s in engineering? There’s got to be enough demand for engineers that something is wrong if he’s working at Best Buy to save money. Back in the day, men got satisfaction from their career and the act of creating stuff. Now, men get satisfaction from nose jobs and bisexual experiments.
Most of Eppley’s patients are happy with their results in one go, Eppley tells me. But cases like Matthew’s are not uncommon: Roughly 25 percent of his surgeries are revisions of his own work or another doctor’s. That’s higher than most doctors’, because implants often require more adjustments than other types of procedures.
Also, because many of his patients have body-dysmorphic disorder and are psychiatrically unable to be happy with their appearance. Hold the thought.
Incels began discussing Eppley’s results around 2014 on Sluthate. They were particularly interested in the custom facial implants designed by Eppley and a team of engineers at the Colorado firm 3D Systems, which are then manufactured, usually in silicone, by a California company called Implant Tech. Patients participate in the process down to the millimeter.
Yeah, I didn’t think he did his own CAD. Nothing wrong with that, as far as it goes.
When I show an incel forum to Eppley, he at first seems confused by the anonymous usernames. We look at a thread by a user named Saiyan who has posted images of his designs for Eppley cheekbone implants and post-op selfies. Finally, it seems to dawn on Eppley: “That patient has done more to promote that style of implant than anyone I know,” he says. He has fielded requests from dozens of patients who specifically reference Saiyan’s photographs. He hadn’t known where they’d found them.
Hard to believe that Eppley never asked how his patients found him in sufficient numbers that he was doing 8-10 surgeries a week.
Eppley’s “whatever you want” philosophy is certainly part of his appeal. Some surgeons will not operate on patients they believe may have body dysmorphia. “To me, that’s a red flag when someone has 200 pictures of themselves on their phone,” says Joe Niamtu, a cosmetic surgeon in Virginia, who declines to operate on many young male patients seeking sculpted faces. “The risk is they’ll never be happy.” Niamtu has referred some patients to Eppley.
On forums, incels argue that the diagnosis is often a kind of reverse discrimination and that women seeking invasive procedures to fix relatively small flaws are not greeted as skeptically. “Social media and ease of access/exposure to plenty of top 3% chaddy hunks has literally set the bar much higher for men,” wrote one user. Body dysmorphia “was invented by oldcel psychologists who grew up in the 50s and had NO problem to find a looksmatched or even better-looking wife,” noted another.
It wasn’t about looks back then. It was traditional marriage and no welfare state. Generalizing from this article is risky but there seems to be much confirmation bias in the incel forums.
I get it. You want to believe your sociosexual problems are solvable. But that doesn’t mean they are.
But even Eppley’s learned to be more cautious. In 2009, he sued a former patient who was waging an online war on his practice, creating dozens of SEO-hogging sites (e.g., Dreppleysucks.com). Her face-lift revision had resulted in a permanent breathing problem, she claimed to filmmakers in the 2006 HBO documentary Plastic Disasters, although she never filed a medical-malpractice suit and doctors who subsequently examined her found no surgery-related abnormalities. Shortly before the court ruled in Eppley’s favor, the patient committed suicide.
Except for the ending, typical hysterical modern female.
Eppley now trains assistants on how to monitor patient communications for signs of mental instability. But he doesn’t turn away those he suspects of having body dysmorphia. “Many of my patients have it to some degree,” he tells me. “These procedures can be really transformative.”
“Nature isn’t fair,” Truth4lie, who is half-Dutch and half–North African, tells me. “Some races are more attractive than others,” and biology, he says, determines beauty, not cultural norms.
Again, this is only true in the context of today’s welfare-based, post-scarcity economy for women. Which is not going to last much longer.
In 1993, a 34-year-old neo-Nazi…
Skip. The author probably included this because she was disgusted at low-SMV men presenting themselves as high-SMV. A 26-year old news story, seriously?
In forum posts, incels classify Chads by phenotype (“Keltic Nordid,” “Gracile Mediterranid”) and style (jock, lumberjack, vampire, pretty boy). They repost scientific research on the importance of symmetry and harmony in universal standards of beauty. They discuss the Golden Mask, a Platonic ideal of a face designed by a California surgeon using the ratio of phi.
A promising topic, too much for a segue but here’s a link.
Truth4lie’s preferred Chad was a common incel favorite: David Gandy, the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s Light Blue cologne ads, in which the British model has a bronzed six-pack, a plump Speedo, and crystal-blue eyes. (That Stefano Gabbana and Domenico Dolce are gay designers best known for an aesthetic of homoerotic high camp was an irony most incels missed.)
The more Truth4lie read about Eppley, the more the doctor seemed capable of turning even Truth4lie into a Chad. He remembers one widely shared photo showing what it said was an Eppley patient with a new chin, a new jaw, a new forehead, new temples, and a new skull. “It was like Eppley created a whole new person,” Truth4lie recalls. “Incels have this idea of an ideal superman, and Eppley is the one who does that crazy stuff.”
The first time Truth4lie saw Eppley was during a video consultation one summer afternoon in 2016. He was living in an apartment his parents owned. His bedroom was what he calls “typical incel,” i.e., “trillions of fruit flies multiplying, cigarettes and ash on the floor, dirty clothes all over the place, not a glimmer of light.” He took his laptop to the garden outside.
I hope many incels would disagree with that statement. On that note, the article returns to Truth4Lie’s experience:
Truth4lie’s jaw wasn’t severely recessed, Eppley noted, peering at the videoconference feed of the dark-haired 35-year-old side by side with pictures he’d sent by email. Eppley said he could fix his slightly weak chin, asymmetry, and lack of vertical length with a custom jaw implant based on a CT scan of Truth4lie’s skull. (Truth4lie wouldn’t send me pictures of himself, but I found a few online, although I wasn’t sure if they were pre- or post-op. He has short dark hair and dark eyes, a cupid’s bow on his upper lip. He is squinting into the camera. He reminds me of Joseph Gordon-Levitt with a wider face.)
The surgery came with risks, Eppley explained: infection, malposition, asymmetry. In young men getting multiple procedures, the likelihood that one would need to be revised was high. And it was impossible to precisely predict, even for an experienced surgeon, how large or small an implant would look once it was covered with soft tissue. Truth4lie understood, he told the doctor. He made a deposit and booked a date for the surgery, which would cost $18,500, plus the price of a trip to Indianapolis from the Netherlands.
Doesn’t pay for his own apartment. Has $20k discretionary income for plastic surgery.
The operation would include a rhinoplasty revision. Truth4lie had his first cosmetic surgery when he was 19 from a local surgeon who transformed his naturally concave “Arabic” nose into a bunny ski slope, a result Truth4lie had come to see as a botch. Eppley would give his nose a shape that Truth4lie considered “more masculine” — aquiline or Roman, straight with a slight curve at the tip.
The concave nose is indecisive or sometimes intuitive. If “bunny ski slope” means convex then that’s a decisive nose. The straight nose is rational, thus the most masculine, because Barbie doesn’t do NON-emotional.
Seems his personality didn’t change as quickly as his nose.
That October, Truth4lie would take the 11-hour flight to Indianapolis, his first trip to America. He was more nervous about being unable to shield himself from judgmental glances at the crowded airport than about the procedure. When he pulled up to Eppley’s office in a suburban medical park, the parking lot felt like another ocean. Everything in America was too big.
That’s psych trouble, not physio trouble, if he felt judged by random strangers at a busy airport.
A nurse had him read some paperwork. The procedures would take six weeks to heal, and the swelling might continue even longer. When Truth4lie woke up from the anesthesia in Eppley’s surgical center, the room was dark. He felt no pain. Later, Eppley came in, removed the bandage from Truth4lie’s nose, and handed him a mirror. The appendage looked straighter, more male. As Truth4lie left the surgical center, he made eye contact with the nurses and staff, trying to gauge their reaction to his new face.
Back at his hotel, he ordered room service and watched TV. His jaw was still swaddled in bandages, and his mouth was filled with blood. When he removed the bandages, his jaw was not yet swollen. He admired its width and dreamed of a new life.
“I hope everything goes well and this will be a real change,” he wrote on the forum. “But where do I need to begin? I need women, lots of women, to make up for my miserable life. I need a new social circle, a new identity, a new life. I’ve been thinking of leaving my country. I want to live in hotels in tropical countries and live a playboy life there, only fucking hot blonde European girls. I have the money, I have the freedom. I need to go and leave this goddamn rotten place, need to leave everything behind, my old life.”
“I think you are expecting too much from just some jaw implants,” replied another user.
I think that sounds like Borderline Personality Disorder but don’t take my word for it. I’ve never been married to find out. *ducks*
When I discovered his real-world identity and tracked him down, Truth4lie at first denied he was the user from the Lookism forum. Then he came clean.
“I feel ashamed about everything,” he told me. “I’m talking to a woman, and I said bad things about them. I’m actually a nice person in real life.” He declined to speak further, preferring not to be reminded of this dark chapter in his past.
A few minutes later, he changed his mind and called me.
Concave nose forever!
By that time, Truth4lie’s account on Lookism had been dormant for roughly a year. One of his last posts, from June 2017, announced he was leaving the online community for good. “Slowly slithering back into society, because looks = NT,” he wrote, using an acronym for “neurologically typical.” In Truth4lie’s view, mental illness was a by-product of his outward appearance; if he were better looking, his depression would disappear.
As a thought, perhaps Truth4lie’s real problem was living among a population that doesn’t look like him. I don’t know where on Earth a half-Dutch, half-North African might find one. But one wonders if this kind of insecurity is a direct consequence of forced diversity.
After his first surgery with Eppley, he tells me, he returned to the Netherlands to wait for the swelling to go down. He was happy with his rhinoplasty revision but couldn’t figure out whether his new jaw was too big. Some days the results seemed perfect. Other days one side looked horrifically large. “Just realized my face is slightly too flat,” he wrote one morning. “Should I fly back to the U.S.?” Eppley pressed him to wait. To feel calmer, Truth4lie listened to long videos of rain sounds.
“My self-image fluctuates all the time,” he wrote on the forum as he waited. “I want to live in a plastic surgeon’s office. I just want to have a bed in one of his labs. Just a bed, a small kitchen, and an internet connection. I want to feel pure within my body and self-validate by looking in the mirror and seeing the flawless skull. When detecting a tiny deformity, I call the surgeon and he’ll be there immediately, along with his assistant and a knife in his hand to cut me open.”
If that’s not body dysmorphia then I don’t know what is.
He would come back to Indianapolis three more times that year, staying at the same Holiday Inn off the side of the interstate near Eppley’s office for weeks at a time. For the first revision, in January 2017, Eppley shaved off part of the original silicone implant that Truth4lie thought was too big.
The time in his life when Truth4lie remembers being happiest was that spring, after his second surgery. Before he began to notice new flaws, he spent a brief few months when he felt transformed into a new person. He contacted an old friend in a neighboring town and rebuilt his relationship with his parents. When he took pictures of himself or looked in the mirror, he felt calm. People’s reactions to him appeared to change. They seemed to make eye contact more and smile, though Truth4lie couldn’t be sure if it was all in his head.
But by May, he’d returned for a second revision, during which Eppley replaced the implant altogether to correct a small asymmetry. Another revision corrected for a shape that Truth4lie found, once again, too big. After his last revision with Eppley, over the summer, Truth4lie developed an open wound that took months to close.
On the phone, Truth4lie told me he had recently had his fifth jawline-implant revision, this time with a local surgeon in Holland. “Do you say, ‘I’m happy with how I look now?’ ” he asks. “Or do you go deeper down the rabbit hole with the chance to fuck up everything with another procedure because you can always be better looking?”
Dude, who pays your medical bills? Your body’s been rebuilt more times than Robocop’s.
He says he doesn’t hate women anymore. But he hasn’t left behind most of the theories about life that he was exposed to on incel forums. Sometimes when he notices a woman making eye contact with other men in the street, the entire world seems to narrow to a harsh, suffocating plane of power dynamics, in which sexual attraction determines all. “Every time I try to talk myself out of things I used to believe, of the black pill, it feels like I am moving away from the truth,” he tells me. It’s hard to want to live when that happens.
The second time we speak on the phone, Truth4lie tells me he has just been released from the hospital after attempting suicide. His last jaw-implant revision was still monstrously swollen, and he was so anxious about it that death seemed easier than looking at his face in the mirror.
Maybe some Generalized Anxiety Disorder, too?
He swallowed pills, then read on Google that his final hours would be slow and painful. So he called an ambulance. When he woke up in the hospital, it felt like being reborn, joyous, akin to the dopamine rush he always felt after being operated on.
“The prospect of a better surgery result is keeping me alive,” he tells me.
Truth4lie is psych-bait wacko. His story ends here.
In 2014, a self-described incel named Elliot Rodger…
When incel Alek Minassian…
Skip. Can’t we have a single conversation about incels without those two being brought up? Alek wasn’t even incel. He identified as a housecat.
Much like women getting breast implants, South Koreans getting eyelid surgery, or bodybuilders taking steroids, the posters on incel forums seem at first to be motivated by the undeniably relatable desire to look better — and therefore be treated better.
Understandable but when the standard of male attractiveness is set by Slutwalk Barbie swiping on Tinder, it’s a target moving too quickly for something permanent like surgery.
Unlike transgender people who pursue surgery, of course, incels tend to be perpetrators, rather than targets, of violence and discrimination.
Total bullshit. Incels aren’t dropping $20k at a time on plastic surgeries because a shooting spree would be more expensive.
“Getting treated better after surgery feels sickening,” wrote one user, LegendOfBrickTamland. Brick had gotten a new jaw, nose, and cheekbones from a surgeon in California, costing him around $30,000, and still he was furious at women and the world. “It’s like, I am the same fucking person, and yet I am somehow better because I spent some money and had a man cut my face up. Might as well just go with prostitutes. At least it’s an honest exchange.”
The author’s increasingly visible bias against incels makes it impossible to predict if this experience is normative for post-op incels… what is this world coming to?… but it sounds right, that their frustration at the world wouldn’t end immediately with the world being more accepting of them. I can’t forget how women treated me when I was young, either. But I don’t let it drag me down. Christ wouldn’t want that and in hindsight, I dodged a bullet.
In conversations like this, it was difficult to empathize with incels — they had so little empathy for anyone else. It’s not as if straight men are the only ones who experience punishing standards of hotness and social-media alienation. But only incels react with bile.
This female journalist writing for New York Magazine complains that incels lack empathy. The article degenerates quickly from here.
Plastic surgery has its place in helping one achieve a natural appearance. Using it to achieve a supernatural appearance such as “everybody likes me on sight” is ill-advised and unethical. And one should never use plastic surgery as a proxy for personality surgery because most of what the surgery can do for you personality-wise, can be equally well done with better grooming, clothing and lifestyle choices.
There’s no shortcut to good character.