When I was a child I read a book that I found in our basement shortly after moving in. It was about plastic surgery, and had photos of celebrities who had plastic surgery. I was amazed that just about all the actors and actresses had something done. The photos were simply of a particular celebrity such as Marilyn Monroe in her early years and some of her after she had her famous nose job. It showed close ups of her face, pointing out that there were other operations that supplemented her nose surgery. There was also a story about how Ann Margaret had a disfigured face from a stage accident, and it showed photos of how she appeared after her plastic surgery.
I remember hearing people saying, "Ann Margaret had it all done," and recalled hearing of how Dean Martin looked nerdy before the nose job. But now, with the book in my hands I was seeing it for myself. The gods and goddesses were not simply perfect specimens who were born lucky. They were awkward, gangly, humans with big noses, and jutted chins, just like anyone else.
I thought how nice it would be to do what Raquel Welsh did. She started out relatively attractive, and came out of surgery looking perfect. Plastic surgery seemed like a miracle, and It was rampant indeed for Hollywood stars, but never openly discussed.
So, how did they get away with it? How did they have their faces redone and not end up with the whole country talking about it?
I believe the answer is, they had good surgery.
It is simply human nature that we always assume everything gets better with time, and therefore surgeries and surgeons are must be better too. I do not agree with the above statement because of the "bad plastic surgery" results that I am seeing everywhere.
There are more procedures today, and surgery is being performed by many surgeons, but that does not change the fact that a plastic surgeon must have an artistic eye for detail, and the talent to perform the operation.
Whenever there is a huge market for something, it brings out more unskilled, and greedy people who want to cash in on the new movement. There are a lot more unskilled surgeons who are out to make a fast buck, and plastic surgery is a great way to achieve that. Some of these unskilled surgeons who are performing subpar work are not even plastic surgeons, they are dentists and chiropractors who's practices are not doing well.
The 1950s may have had less plastic surgeons, but my guess would be that they were highly ethical and talented surgeons who took their work seriously.
More about plastic surgery here.