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Spring, Botox in the air

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Thursday, May 01, 2008


When the weather turns sunny it puts us in the mood to freshen up.

We’re constantly evolving the magazine, and in this issue we’re rearranging a bit of furniture. The state indicators, compiled by our whiz research editor Brandon Sawyer, and the state employment report are long-time fixtures in the magazine, delivering insightful statewide statistics about where the economy is headed. Why hide them in the back of the book? So we’re moving those two important snapshots to the front, alongside our rotating economists and Deal Watch to create a cohesive four-page report about the state we’re in.

Also, for the past year John Mitchell, Tom Potiowsky and Eric Fruits have been holding down the fort on the state’s economic issues, and next month we’ll add two well-known and widely quoted contributors to the lineup.

In June, Joe Cortright joins the magazine. Cortright is an economist with Impresa, a Portland consulting firm, and is the chief economic analyst for the Oregon Business Plan. One of Cortright’s signature studies is titled “The Young and the Restless,” about the migrating creative class. Tim Duy, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Oregon and director of the Oregon Economic Forum, joins us in July. Duy also is author of the University of Oregon Index of Economic Indicators and the Central Oregon Business Index. That’s five economists with five perspectives to help sort through an increasingly complex landscape.

Then there’s the personal freshening up. I received an email a few weeks ago touting the need to “Recession proof your face!” The reasoning: In a down economy, the last thing you want is to look down. The Beverly Hills Institute of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery noted that attractive people earn more and “looking your best may not only help you socially, but also economically.” (I’m waiting for the “Deflation proof your derierre!” email.)

I decided not to take it personally that it was sent directly to me, and called the institute’s Dr. Richard Fleming, who commiserated with me about this emphasis on good looks. “But appearance does count,” he said. “We don’t respect age in this society.” He noted that he is seeing more women and men coming in from all parts of the corporate world to have work done to remain competitive —“even accounting!”

I sent Dr. Fleming this column picture to get a rehab estimate on what it would take to get me back in the youth game. He reviewed my picture and called me back with the diagnosis: I’m not in bad enough shape yet for the full $30K facelift, but (isn’t there always a but?) … “Your brow is in great position, and on your jaw line and neck, it doesn’t look like there’s too much sagging.”  But! “I would remove the extra skin above the eyelids,” he said. “Just doing the eyes would make a huge difference.” Then he recommended we shoot a bit of Botox in the brow creases, add a little fat filler to the lower eyelid and in the commas alongside my mouth, and hallelujah! For around $4,000 I can respectably walk the streets again with my more attractive colleagues. (He noted that getting rid of the salt in the pepper hair would also help. )

But as I pencil this out, recovering that investment in a new job or a pay raise because of my more competitive face could take years. Instead, I’ve decided turn off the overhead lights and buy that $1.99 stick of undereye concealer. And maybe I’ll move more furniture. That always seems to help.


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