This may seem like an easily answered question — people get plastic procedures hoping to look young and beautiful forever — but given a recent spate of cosmetic surgery horrorshows, we increasingly just don't understand why anyone gets "work done."

Look at how plastic surgery is trending, right now!

Remember Heidi Montag? She's a character from MTV's The Hills who used to be a person. That was many moons and several faces ago, and now Heidi looks like this:

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Bahhh! That's a new highly humorous PSA about credit card regulations or something, the joke being that Heidi is now entirely made of plastic and chemical, just like the credit cards she's saying bad things about. You know who directed this thing? Ron Howard. What an enabler! But also, why is Heidi joking about her face and not being able to smile and things like that? I mean, she actually can't smile and things like that. And she seems to know that. So why would she get the surgeries done in the first place?

In her case the reasoning is, yes, fairly obvious. Because she's dumb and vain and on TV. But she's also young, only twenty-three years old, and used to look like this. She wasn't ugly at all! She had nice sorta WASPy, horsey Kennedy features. She'd have fit right in at Hyannis Port! But now... Oh now it's all an ugly, too-smooth, melony mess. But again, she's a vain and vapid reality star, one who is paid to be vain and vapid, and who is told by the likes of Ron Howard that if she keeps augmenting herself, we'll keep paying attention. This is depressing, but vaguely understandable.

But what I truly don't get is how normal people, regular folks like you and your mom, could see those results and still say "Yes, sign me up!"

How could they hear about Mexican singer Alejandra Guzman winding up in the hospital, severely unwell, after a botched butt injection, and want to go in themselves. Only to be shocked and horrified when something goes awry for them:

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Ha ha, a doctor was putting caulk in their ass. (Get it?) I know that people can be, like famous-ish Heidi, vain and dumb creatures (so blinded by vanity they are), but come on. When people found out that Olestra might cause you to poop your pants a little, they dropped that product like a hot potato. Are people really more frightened of the idea of something coming out of their butts than they are with the idea of their butts, in entirety, simply falling off? That's disheartening. In 2010, that is very disheartening.

Call me naive, but so much noise has been made lately about plastic surgery disasters — a conversation resurrected from the '90s after a brief lull, it feels — that I'm just staggered that so many people, women especially, are subjecting themselves to the possibilities of, at best, having their faces ending up looking like mangled Laffy Taffy and, at worse, contracting fatal butt fall-offitis.

Watching the Oscars on Sunday, there were some celebrities who have maybe gotten work and pulled it off — Kathryn Bigelow, at 59, can't possibly look that good naturally, can she? — but those cases were very rare. Mostly, even in Hollywood circles that can afford the most expensive and exclusive doctors, you get Nicole Kidmans and Meg Ryans. Once-beautiful women who now look like sad, Twilight Zone wax versions of themselves. It seems better, more dignified, to admit to America that, yes, you are in fact a mortal who is affected by time, and let yourself look your age (Meryl Streep), than to strut down a red carpet with an embarrassing bulbous death mask of make-believe skin grafted onto your skull.

I guess I just don't get why, when so much evidence seems to suggest that most of this tucking and stretching and squeezing rarely ever works (the Bravo television channel does a whole series about this fact), we're still hearing all these nightmare stories about people who willingly went under the knife. I generally like to think that we aren't that broken of a culture. But maybe we are?