Plastic Surgery's Double-Edged Knife

Donda West and the pressure to be perfect
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2007 11:19 AM CST
Singer Kanye West performs with his mother, Donda West, outdoors during a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," in this May, 2006 file photo, in Burbank, Calif. A spokesman for West said Donda West died...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The American public that slammed Britney Spears for daring to show a little cellulite is just as rabidly eviscerating Donda West as vain for succumbing to our culture of perfection, reflects Robin Givhan of the Washington Post in the wake of West's death. Our dysfunctional relationship with beauty cuts deep, Givhan writes, yet it's surprising that it reached West.

"Celebrities are trapped: mocked if they look bad, mocked for trying desperately to look good," writes Givhan. But only 6% of those who go under the knife are African American, and one might have expected West, a former professor, to be beyond its reach. All the more damning, then, that the culture of celebrity beauty claimed even her.