The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

July 28, 2012

Solutions for 'toe-besity,' bad mug shots

By Kelly Kazek

— Here is what makes America great: A surgeon can make up an adorably scientific-sounding word like “toe-besity,” tell people they have fat toes and get rich from slicing them open and slimming them down.

In what other country could people be so concerned with plump appendages that they leave a doctor practically rolling in toe dough? It makes my heart swell with pride at our ingenuity.

Dr. Oliver Zong of New York has been resculpting toes for about a decade, beginning his career by tipping toes that were longer than the others on a foot.

Soon, though, he unselfishly realized he could enrich people’s lives — and his bank account — by modifying the extremities of those poor folks born with the equivalent of toe trucks.

I personally never worry about slimming down an area I can hide with a nice pair of Easy Spirits and instead concentrate on fat in places that could lead people to think I am pregnant … or a beached manatee … or a pregnant beached manatee.

Then again, I happen to have been blessed with particularly adorable digits. Just ask anybody.

I can better relate to a problem like Tonya Ann Fowler’s. Tonya Ann, 45, of Winder, Ga., just wanted her picture to look nice in the paper.

Well, sure.

It shouldn’t matter that the paper is called “Bad and Busted.” Tonya Ann had every right to call 911 to complain to Winder police that her mug shot was extremely unflattering and, because it was taken following a prior arrest, she was asserting her right to have a new one taken.

Police obliged, but only because they were now charging her with unlawful use of 911 and disorderly conduct.

The problem is, Tonya Ann may not be the best judge of photos for publication. In my opinion as a professional journalist, she traded a photo in which she looked 65 years old for a photo in which she looked like Marty Feldman.

Just sayin.’

Another indicator of society’s obsession with appearances is a recent news story about Chrissy Lance, 37, who recently was panhandling in a bikini and boots by the side of an Akron, Ohio, road, holding a sign that read: “Not homeless. Need boobs.”

If you saw a man holding that sign, you’d probably slap him.

But Chrissy has managed to raise about $90 toward the $5,000 she needs to get breast implants. She was responsible and got the required panhandling license from the city, but I can think of better things to beg for — like Channing Tatum, for one.

Chrissy said, “Why not panhandle for boobs,” adding they would help improve her “self-esteem.” I can see how begging on the side of the road would be a confidence builder.

But here’s the thing, Chrissy: If you are standing on the side of a road in a bikini and cowboy boots, telling the world you want to fill out your top better, you aren’t really hurting in the self-esteem department, know what I mean?

Here’s a cheaper and less painful solution: Gain about 40 pounds. I guarantee you will fill out a bikini top, although you probably won’t want to wear one anymore.

My advice to all those worried about appearances: Be happy with what you’ve got today.

You could look worse tomorrow.

(You have my permission to quote this, or cross-stitch it on a pillow. No need to thank me.)