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Do you put beauty before age?
(No. 86) There is no shame in being vain, says Marc Jacobs. Plus, blood shots, and no, don't do this, by Stephen P. Williams
Cosmetic lip injection. Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh on Unsplash
I remember seeing the young fashion designer Marc Jacobs around New York’s West Village decades ago. He was pudgy, shlumpy and shy, early in his career. Now, 35 years later, he runs his own empire and is buff, elegant and out there. Over the years, he’s undergone a lot of beauty “treatments,” including injections, hair implants and plastic surgery, much of which he documents on his Instagram account. Jacobs has a distinct attitude towards aging, beauty and what is necessary in the world. For this, he is widely adored. I’ll let you be the judge of this interview he gave to the writer, Lauren Valenti, in Vogue Magazine. I didn’t write any of this — I edited it to shorten the interview.
Fashion designer Marc Jacobs looking natural in the 1980s. I saw him around town a few times back then and marveled at how frumpy he was. Glamorous fashion designers just weren’t supposed to look like that.
The Vogue Interview
Vogue: How might you want to help push the conversation around aging and cosmetic procedures forward?
Marc Jacobs: I'm 58 years old. I don't think I look bad for 58 years old. I didn't feel like I had to do this, but I feel like all of these conversations around aging or around plastic surgery are just like any other conversations to me. The problem comes with the shame around them. And I don't want to live my life with shame, you know? I find that the way I do that is by being open, transparent, and honest about things. Yes, I’m vain. I find there is no shame in being vain. I find there's no shame in wanting attention. I find there's no shame in getting dressed up and showing off a look. You know what I mean?
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2004 Elizabeth Peyton painting of Marc Jacobs, midway into his glamorous transformation
Could you talk me through your relationship to cosmetic procedures and how you ultimately decided to get a facelift?
I started [getting cosmetic procedures] many years ago. What was really bothering me was my neck and how loose the skin was. I started to become very conservative with the Botox because I don't like the way guys looked when they were, like, very Botox’d and even with the filler, it seemed like it was just becoming too much. So I started doing thread lifts to hold up my jowls and the area of my face where the skin was sagging. But I found that the fillers were too heavy and the threads didn't really hold anything up anymore. My doctor told me to see Dr. Jacano (famous for his innovative facelifts that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars).
Jacobs sports diamond encrusted and turquoise colored grills over his aging teeth. They remind me of the plaque encrusted braces kids wore in my middle school.
You're about a week into your recovery. How are you feeling, and what do you think of the results so far?
I love the results. I'm very happy. I'm still in the process of going to this hyperbaric oxygen chamber every day for a couple of hours, which is supposed to help with healing. I’m just in the beginning of what will be a few weeks, or a couple of months, before I have a full recovery. There was some discomfort after the surgery where I took painkillers. I made sure I had a nurse who monitored those painkillers so that I wouldn’t abuse them because I do have a problem with addiction. I don’t really feel any discomfort. Just some tightness and pulling in my neck, which feels foreign, but not uncomfortable.
“Jacobs caused a stir on Instagram when he uploaded a selfie of himself post-op, his head wrapped in bandages and flanked by blood-filled drainage tubes. His caption—"#LiveLoveLift"—was met with much enthusiasm in the comment section, with many praising his honesty, openness, and sense of humor around going under the knife.” — Vogue
Did you have any reservations around sharing that you’d had a facelift, or had you been planning to share your journey all along?
I mean, there have been so many things that I’ve been transparent about. Like, once when I went to an event with a baseball cap, and people asked me, ‘Why are you wearing a baseball cap?’ And I said, ‘Well, I just had a hair transplant.’ People were amused and amazed that I answered. But, honestly, what’s the difference? I’m not covering my face. I’m not wearing sunglasses. I’m not incognito. I’ve got some scars around my ears, and my face is swollen, and I have a bruised neck, but I’m still posting on Instagram. I don’t care. I don’t even see it as an effort to be transparent. I’m doing what I normally do, which is I’m living my life and sharing it with anybody who is interested.
Why do you think there’s still shame around getting work done, particularly for those in the public eye?
It all comes down to shame and these old paradigms. That’s the part that I find really strange. In a world, especially one where a younger generation is all about transparency, disclosure, and honesty, I don't see why people have this shame around vanity or keeping up with a certain thing. It seems so crazy when an actor or public figure denies that they've done something. And they say like, ‘Oh, it's olive oil, I bathe in seltzer.' It's like, come on. Like all those things might be true, but they're not why your neck is tight.
Jacobs chilling in the hyperbaric chamber he thinks will help him heal. He looks prophet Marc here.
In terms of cosmetic enhancements and plastic surgery, how do you see the ubiquity and societal attitude changing in the years, or even decades to come?
If you ask most older people how they want to look, they don't say they want to look old. You know? I mean, youth has always been what people aesthetically want to achieve. There's no disgrace in being old or looking old. It's just a choice to want to look younger. I don't think there's any disgrace in that. I think you just need to start a conversation, and then maybe that will have a resounding echo that helps people feel less ashamed. I just don’t think there’s shame in being vain.
Thank you, Vogue.
Liver King stays forever young
Ok, I’m hitting you with a lot of weird male energy today. Must be me. Anyway, this guy Liver King combines the charm of Hulk Hogan with the deep intellectual appeal of your college room mate’s significant other extolling the virtues of dumpster diving. To stay racked, Liver King eats a pound of raw liver a day (an amount he says could be toxic to a novice liver licker). Below, he drinks 51 shots of blood in a culturally appropriated tribute to the Masai of Kenya.
Click on the Instagram post to view the video.
Liver King captioned this post:
“🩸Ask how Liver King can stomach 51 shots of blood...
I am part Scandinavian... part bloodthirsty Viking... and full King. Let a bloodthirsty Viking go hungry, and there will be dire consequences...
@liverkingchef knows this, so he prepared 51 shots of blood to keep Liver King satisfied until the main course.
Bones-to-blood is no joke... it means devouring every part of the animal, just like our ancestors did.
To be certain, blood is one of the most nutrient-dense parts of an animal. It contains all the growth factors, vitamins, and minerals required to fuel every bodily function.
I drank blood with the Massai in Africa, and you bet I honor this ancient practice in the Lonestar state.
He’s an easy guy to mock, but in truth, some of his practices are very good for easing the discomforts of aging. Such as this: “Walk barefoot and CONNECT to the Earth... Throw 500 lbs on the squat rack... Get into a 36- degree cold plunge. When you do these things, nothing else exists outside of yourself...”
I guess it would be obvious to say note that not everyone is convinced Liver King has any special knowledge. In a podcast, even a thinker as august as Joe Rogan said, “He has got an ass filled with steroids, is what that guy’s got.”
Here’s the dusty anti-aging cocktail I’ve been experimenting with lately: 1 gram of resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant, and one gram of NMN, a precursor to NAD, an important chemical found in the human body in increasingly lower levels as we age. I bought them in bulk powder form, rather than capsules, to save money. So each morning I ingest a gram of each, from a plastic spoon. I feel better, more energized. And this is totally anecdotal, although there’s a ton of research that supports the beneficial effects of resveratrol and NMN on the aging body and mind.
What else? I’ve attached a continuous blood glucose monitor to my arm. Every four minutes it broadcasts my blood sugar levels to my phone. Wearing the device has been an illuminating experience that has shown me I do not react well to refined carbohydrates and sugar. And also that a 20 minute walk after eating will minimize any blood sugar spikes that are coming my way.
Until next week, I wish you joy and productivity (if that’s what you desire).