WDRB 41 Louisville NewsSagging job market leads to facelifts, other surgeries

Sagging job market leads to facelifts, other surgeries

-- by Julie Tam, FOX 41 News

The job market is about as tough as it has ever been. But what if you're trying to compete against job seekers with youthful looks and lower salary demands?

Older job seekers are trying to get an edge over their younger competitors, as Kentucky's unemployment rate rose in June to 10.9 percent -- the highest in 26 years.

Even if you don't reveal your age, in most cases your face and your body will. So a lot more job seekers are trying to reverse negative aging effects because they believe it will get them the job.

Going under the needle or the knife is all about reversing the biological clock or improving what you have -- something Chandea Happel has been doing. The 40-something consulting computer technician from Floyds Knobs, Indiana is looking for a new job, after being laid off several months ago.

"My competition are very, they're very youthful," she said. "So therefore, I feel like if I'm going to go into a job interview, first impressions are everything. I don't want to look tired and old. I want to have confidence."

She found that confidence in laser treatments, chemical peels, surgery to lift and tighten her eyelids, and other cosmetic enhancements.

"We are a youth-oriented and age-discriminating society, whether we admit it or not," said Dr. Tom Haas, who founded the Imaage surgery center. "This is not the time to go bankrupt trying to get plastic surgery. If you've got discretionary income and you want to have a new bathroom or you want an investment in yourself and your looks and your career, maybe plastic surgery is a good investment for you."

Dr. Haas says some of the most common procedures he's doing are liposuction, breast jobs, and nose jobs. In the last three months, he's performed nine times as many nose surgeries as the same period last year. Consultations for future procedures also have jumped.

As for Happel: "I just feel good about myself. But you have to do it all the time in order to stay looking young."

Several other plastic surgery practices in Kentuckiana also have seen recent increases in cosmetic procedures, from Botox to facelifts.

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