From the Sparchives: Head over Heels
We know we’re having a good time strolling down memory lane and hope you are, too — enjoy our third edition of From the Sparchives!
Oh, the things we did in the name of looking our best.
This picture, taken in 1961 for Life magazine, shows a sand bath, one of the skincare techniques at a Bel-Air, California, treatment center under the auspices of plastic surgeon Robert Alan Franklyn, M.D. But the article never ran, so the details remain mysterious: Was this treatment given before plastic surgery? After? Instead of? And just what did the good doctor think it would do?
Some of Franklyn’s other innovations were certainly out-there: The 2002 book Think Pink: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons describes a procedure he called Cleopatra’s Needle—the injection of silicone around the eyes to prevent bags—and “breast implants made of a polyether sponge called Surgifoam,” which were encased in Teflon and so durable that Franklyn boasted that 100 years later, “the only trace left of some patients will be two plastic foam sponges.”
Suddenly, sitting in sand doesn’t seem so bizarre.
—Ann Abel (originally published in Luxury SpaFinder)