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Star Trek Plastic Surgery

by Chip Baddaladucci

As the revamped Star Trek franchise comes to movie theaters this month, producers are hopeful that the film will capture the attention of an even wider audience that the series’ already well documented cult following. In the meantime, a recent survey indicated that more than 10% of people attending the new film’s weekend opening would be doing so in costume. These fans are known, of course, as Trekkies, and their devotion to their favorite sci-fi show is the stuff of legend. Perhaps rivaled only by the Jedi lovers over in the Star Wars camp, Trekkies take their fandom very seriously, often seeing Star Trek less as a show and more as a way of life.

So, just how far are some Trekkies willing to go to show their love for Spock, Captain Kirk, and the rest of the gang? Well, further than you might imagine. While the majority of Star Trek fans are content just to watch the film, some have to live it. This can mean fashioning one’s own Starfleet uniform, bringing a box of Tribbles to the theater, wearing a Klingon mask, or in the most extreme cases, undergoing an actual cosmetic surgery procedure to permanently look more like your favorite character.

In fairness, plastic surgeons aren’t exactly being overwhelmed with requests for Star Trek plastic surgery procedures, but it does happen from time to time. And while fashioning a normal looking humanoid into a Klingon is a tad beyond what any plastic surgeon would be willing to attempt, making a Trekkie look a little more like Kirk (William Shatner or Chris Pine) or Spock (Leonard Nimoy or Zachary Quinto) is hardly out of the question.

In the documentary film Trekkies, which included interviews with fans from various Star Trek conventions around the globe, more than one Trekkie talked about the possibility of cosmetic surgery to permanently enhance their respective costumes. The simplest potential procedure among these options, naturally, is the Vulcan plastic surgery option. Yes, some Trekkies have gone as far as to seek out cosmetic surgery to have their ears pointed like Mr. Spock’s. Some even ask for a brow lift, as well, to better capture the full Vulcan mystique.

The irony of people undergoing Vulcan ear surgery is that many other people are looking for the exact opposite. A small percentage of people (prodimently Asian) are actually born with an auricle ear deformity, or pointed ears. This condition is known as the Stahl Ear Deformity. For a follower of Spock, this might be a blessing, but for most people with the Stahl Ear Deformity, plastic surgery becomes a means of getting rid of pointed ears, rather than creating them.

It remains to be seen if the new Star Trek film will cause a spike in Star Trek cosmetic surgery requests. These days, plastic surgery is simpler, safer, and more affordable than ever before, so such requests are more common than ever. As for the wisdom behind such procedures, one may not completely relate to the motivations of a Trekkie, but if looking like a Vulcan brings more joy into someone’s life, why rain on their parade? As another captain of the Enterprise famously said, “Make it so.”

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