Plastic Surgeons’ Wives: Pressured to Look Perfect?

Elana Pruitt

by Elana Pruitt | May 18, 2012 @ 09:00AM

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Dr. Robert Rey with wife and business manger, Hailey ReyDay in and day out, plastic surgeons practice an unparalleled craft that is specifically focused on beauty. Whether they specialize in in reconstructive surgery or in enhancing a person's face, breasts, or body for aesthetic reasons, their work could be described as making people pretty - or prettier. So it isn't outrageous to presume that the spouse of a surgeon may feel a great deal of responsibility in maintaining an overall beautiful look. Yet for some women, such as Lisa Holcomb, wife of Dr. J. David Holcomb, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon of Sarasota, Fla., being married to a surgeon doesn't create any sort of demands that differ from what many people already experience in society. "I think by far the greatest 'pressures' anyone faces regarding beauty are the overtly unrealistic ones imposed by the media," says Lisa.

"While I don't feel in any way pressured to indulge in anti-aging or 'beauty' treatments, I do realize the incredible blessing it is having access to them," says Lisa.

Thanks to reality television, the general public has been able to glance inside the personal lives of surgeons, as certain shows featured the doctors' spouses and the significant roles they play. A few years ago, E!'s "Dr. 90210" introduced us to Hailey Rey, Dr. Robert Rey's wife (pictured above) and business manager, as well as Jessica Diamond, Dr. Jason B. Diamond's wife, a medical specialist who led her own practice as a pediatrician. And now, with the explosion of one Bravo TV's popular series, we are getting to know American businesswoman Adrian Maloof, Dr. Paul Nassif's wife on "The Housewives of Beverly Hills," and actress Heather Dubrow, Dr. Terry Dubrow's wife, on "The Housewives of Orange County."

"While I don't feel in any way pressured [by my husband or anyone else] to indulge in anti-aging or 'beauty' treatments, I do realize the incredible blessing it is having access to them," says Lisa. "I do personally enjoy their benefits and sharing my results with others so they know they can have the same results."

She says she has "enjoyed the benefits of" IPL (intense pulsed light) treatments to get rid of brown spots and admits to being "diligent" about applying sunscreen and implementing an at-home skin-care regimen. "I also love the refreshed look well-placed Botox can provide. I am very lucky that my husband Dr. Holcomb is a facial plastic surgeon," Lisa says. "Having a fair complexion and living in Florida, sun exposure and hyper-pigmentation are my constant foes in the fight against premature aging."

As for whether she thinks a plastic surgeon's reputation could be impacted by having a less-than perfect-looking spouse, Lisa says: "No, but 'overdone' is a big 'no-no!' And remember, as my grandmother always said, 'Pretty is as pretty does.'" Not only is Lisa proud to be married to a "truly humble man," she works with him at his plastic surgery practice. "I'm thankful for his skills and desire to have me join him as his partner in both life and his career path." However, she says, "I've sometimes quipped that I have to share my husband with scores of women '...from the neck up!'"

Dr. David Alessi and his wife, Debora AlessiDeborah Alessi, the wife of Los Angeles cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. David Alessi (pictured left), does not admit to feeling unnecessary pressure to look perfect. "I think beauty is on the inside as well as the outside." Yet, she says: "I feel like I always have to represent my husband, which means looking good at all times. People do look at you when they know you are married to a surgeon."

"I feel better now than I did when I was 20. There are so many procedures you can do without going under the knife," says Deborah.

When it comes to the general fight against aging, Deborah says that, being from Europe, she does not feel the same type of "anxiety" that many people may experience in the states. "I feel better now than I did when I was 20. There are so many procedures you can do without going under the knife," says Deborah.

Having people always look to her to see what type of surgery she has had, Deborah says, "I have never had plastic surgery, but I have had CO2 fractionated laser and Botox. I have no problem going under the knife if needed, but hopefully that's a long time away." As for Deborah's response as to whether she thinks a less-than-perfect spouse would impact the reputation of a surgeon, she says: "Maybe not in other states, but I would say that Los Angeles is based on image and looks."

Together with her husband Dr. Alessi, Deborah heads Face Forward, a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to providing pro-bono reconstructive surgery to deserving adults and kids alike who have suffered traumatic and severe physical abuse. Fascinated by her husband's work, she says, "We work together as a great team. I feel it brings us closer."

Although one could argue that a surgeon's wife will always feel pressure to appear near perfect, what can be said for certain: Society's value and obsession of beauty is universal.

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