Who's Had Work?
The New York Observer, October 30, 2006

One of Dr. Copeland's satisfied patients mentions her in a book.

by Spencer Morgan

Alex Kuczynski had a book party on Thursday. Her book is about plastic surgery.

The Transom thought it would be funny to go up to random blondes and say, "Alex, it's a pleasure to meet you, loved the book." (Get it? Like she was unrecognizable from the knife?) But the first two both said, "What? I didn't write the book." Har har. Anyway, Ms. Kuczynski's hair is now her "natural" brown.

And then there she was: Ms. Kuczynski's cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Michelle Copeland.

"She did my eyes, my posterior, and my Botox," brayed Ms. Kuczynski, directing an affectionate almond-shaped gaze downward onto the diminutive doctor. The leggy author wore a red and black dress, black tights and heels that put her in line for tallest-person-in-the-room status.

"Everybody should have such a wonderful subject," said Ms. Copeland. "Alex is a delight. It's easy to make her look good."

"You're so cute," responded her 38-year-old subject, her upper lip remaining remarkably stiff. Ms. Kuczynski, who writes the "Critical Shopper" column for The Times and is somehow the First Daughter of Peru, then turned a critical eye on The Transom.

"Have you had any work done?" she asked.

On that note, Ms. Copeland, what was more challenging—fixing Ms. Kuczynski's eyes, or her ass?

"Eyes are more difficult," said the doctor, "because first of all there's one on each side, so you have to make them symmetrical. And they're so visible—they're right there, up front and center, so you wanna make it look natural."

Ms. Kuczynski later explained that while her eye issue made her look like the "cartoon character Bill the Cat"—one was prone to sagging half-shut—the issue with her posterior was less severe. Thbbbt!

"There were two teeny-tiny teaspoon-size wiggling portions in what, in the industry, is called the saddle-bag region," she said. Despite a year of training for the New York Marathon, the "junk in the trunk" persisted. So she had Ms. Copeland liposuction it out. That was five years ago, and "the wiggly portion" is generally still gone.

Indeed, Ms. Kuczynski said, the twin themes of her book Beauty Junkies are: "It's O.K. to be you, and watch out who does your ass." And that "people really need to understand who is an actual plastic surgeon, and who is a dermatologist who just took a weekend seminar."

"A few years ago," she said, "I was on the brink of just doing every new thing, and I'm really glad I pulled back."

"It's not the Holy Grail. It's more like fur—it should be done sparingly," said Candace Bushnell.