Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Legend of Cat Woman

This is Jocelyn Wildenstein.



This is Jocelyn Wildenstein after plastic surgery.



You may recognize this photo of the New York Society Cat Woman, but you may not know her story. I found it incredibly sad.

Jocelyn was a middle-class girl in Switzerland when she met and married billionaire art collector, Alec Wildenstein. She was completely in love with him.

When his eyes began to wander after several years of marriage, Jocelyn grew jealous and became panicked.

Almost 50 and already insecure about her fading beauty, Jocelyn visited a plastic surgeon to enhance her looks. It worked! Her husband was thrilled with the results and for a while, it seemed like her marriage was finally back on its feet.

But to her dismay, she found out her husband was still eyeing younger and prettier women. Out of desperation, she made a decision that would change her life forever and haunt the entire world.



Jocelyn realized that her husband, Alec, loved his jungle estate and the cats that inhabited it, more than anything else in life. He was so enamoured with lions, he had paintings of them all over the house.

With this information, she went to her plastic surgeon and told him: transform me into a giant cat. She thought if she looked like one of the lions her husband loved so much, he would love her again. The plastic surgeon (probably after realizing how much money was involved) complied with her crazy scheme.

She received seven face lifts and drastic eye reconstruction surgery and received collagen injections to her lips, cheeks and chin. It cost millions of dollars.

The first time Alec saw his newly sculpted wife, he screamed in terror and didn't recognize her. Jocelyn was heartbroken and dismayed.

Her plastic surgeon also lost a significant number of clients, including many who fled his waiting room in horror when Jocelyn would stop by for her after-surgery check-ups.



Jocelyn and Alec, who have two children, ended up getting divorced in 1999 when Jocelyn accidentally stumbled upon her husband in bed with a 19-year-old model.

Oddly enough, even though her tragic face has become a symbol for the dangers of plastic surgery, the socialite grew to be content with her look. She often appears at red carpet events and loves the spotlight. She laughs off her famous nickname, Cat Woman.

The 65-year-old has even found a handsome younger boyfriend who doesn't seem to care about her mutilated face.



While I am absolutely horrified with her transformation, I am kind of awed that Jocelyn has such rockin' self-esteem. If I looked like a jungle freak show, I would retreat into my mansion, tail between my legs (haha). I would never be able to face anyone again.

Well, rumor has it that Jocelyn has reversed most of her surgeries within the past year. In fact, dozens of tabloids ran this photo a few months ago, claiming it was the famed socialite.



I have absolutely no idea if this news is true or if that photo is her, but I sincerely hope so. Because if that is the case, Jocelyn now looks rather pretty and way more normal. But who knows...


What are your thoughts on plastic surgery? Does it scare you or tempt you?

77 comments:

Meri said...

AAAAAACK! Yikes!

Jasmin said...

this is such a brilliant post. what an astonishing woman, her self confidence is very inspiring. i honestly can never make my mind up about plastic surgery. i often say i want a nose job or a breast reduction but i think i'd actually be too scared to ever go through with either! x

lalabang said...

:S what a face!such a interesting post! xoxo

MG said...

I'm not going to lie, the photos of her freaked me out. I too really really hope that last photo is her now. She looks great!

I have seriously been considering cosmetic surgery for years. I want to get my boobs done so bad. I know I will one day. Probably get a face lift (once I need it, of course) as well.

Chic 'n Cheap Living said...

What a sad, sad story. I hope she's comfortable with herself and got her face back!

xoxo,
Chic 'n Cheap Living

Melanie's Randomness said...

I really hope she changed back!!!

btd. said...

Wow, that's really scary. I've seen other horrors of plastic surgery, but I think this is the worst. I never want to get plastic surgery. I hope she does look like a normal person now. I have to applaude her for her self esteem though.
To reply to the comment on my post, thanks :), and I probably will go back and forth from curling it and keeping it straight. :)

Alexa said...

Her story is so tragic.. I remember seeing her picture a couple years back and wiki-ing her biography. If that really is her, I hope she's gotten the help she very clearly needs.

www.cashmereandcandy.com

Sam said...

that is a really sad story. it's amazing how money can corrupt people!

http://samalamode.blogspot.com/

indianmakeupways said...

the question is whether or not i would do plastic surgery, it is sad to see the lengths one can go and do things for LOVE!!!! Poor thing. I feel bad :( anyway if thats her in the last pic, then she looks human again and looks pretty!

Josie said...

I hate to say it, Jen, but I didn't make it through this post... I think I'm going to have nightmares about her for the rest of my life.
xo Josie
http://winksmilestyle.blogspot.com

sugar sugar said...

ahhh her story is so inspiring and sad at the same time. :/ i do hope that the last photo is really her so that she can also live a normal life. ^_^

Fashion, Art and other fancies said...

Incredibly sad story indeed. Shows us how fragile and vunerable we all can be in different areas of life. I am not keen on plastic surgery and have never tried it, but perhaps it works well for others if not exaggerated to the extreme.

Leia said...

Ahhhh this is so scary! I would never, never, never go for plastic surgery. Age gracefully and find a man who will love you even when you're no longer 19!

Leia

Vanilla said...

Such a great post, I am a bit scared of plastic surgery, I think if I was in an accident and needed re constructive surgery then fine... but not otherwise :)

Love, Vanilla

Sarah said...

It's such a sad story. I would never have plastic surgery for cosmetic reasons, and can't help but feel that the doctor who performed these surgeries wasn't acting in the best interests of their patient. Having said that, it's great that she's not letting it get her down, and if that last photo is of her, then great!
x

{Selma} Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

I truly hope it's her in that last picture. I really do, because she looks more natural. :)
And oh boy...never did I hear a sadder story...the urge to make someone love you more (or still love you) and to go through so much just to later on realize it does not matter. :(

Leia said...

Ahhhh this is so scary! I would never, never, never go for plastic surgery. Age gracefully and find a man who will love you even when you're no longer 19!

Leia

anton said...

So dangerous. I really feel pity for you. So sad story you have here to share. Wish best for you.
rhinoplasty

Renée said...

ooh I didn't know that story, it's so sad :(
but we may never forget that when someone doesn't like us for who we are, he or she isn't worth us.

Pistachio said...

Yeah, she has always been a fascinating person. Funny how her journey ended up seeming to have a very happy ending. Good for her.
Cheers!!

gleenn said...

I heard this story a long time back but didn't really get the complete details. Thanks for writing about it.

I'd say "NO" to plastic surgery. Even if I hate the idea of wrinkles, I would rather choose natural way of fighting age such as early sleep, good diet and exercise. I was told not to use botox, or I'll forever be surprised. :)

Kristin said...

That is absolutely tragic. I was once friends with a woman who felt like it was her duty as a wife to get surgery to keep herself looking "young" in order to keep her husband. The day she told me that I thanked my lucky stars that my hubs makes me feel beautiful no matter what!

Olga said...

I know the story of this woman. I really feel sorry for her. Her life experience seems to indicate that she has many insecurities, and how much she depended on the opinion of her husband. I think we should love ourselves and our individuality.

Bonnie said...

NIGHTMARES.

I hate you.

And plastic surgery scares me. There is no way I would ever have a needle voluntarily shoved into my skin or a knife voluntarily ripping me open for such physical appearance reasons. I have enough of this with my liver disease. kthx.

http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Movies on my Mind said...

A friend of ours had plastic surgery when, in puberty, he developed breasts. This is something that can happen due to hormonal imbalances occurring naturally in the body. In his case I think plastic surgery was entirely acceptable.

Couture Carrie said...

Such a scary story, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of too much surgery!

xoxox,
CC

Jennifer said...

oh gosh i hope that really is her int he photo! her story has always made me so so sad =(

drollgirl said...

vanity fair did an article on her years ago. it was fascinating, and my first introduction to her/her face/her story/her plastic surgery.

if that last photo is for real, it is a huge relief. she used to be a beauty before all of the surgery, and it is just so crazy to mostly be known for having TERRIBLE plastic surgery. that can't be much fun!

OceanDreams said...

Wowser! That is super truper scary!!! I hope you'll forgive me for not reading the entire post - I couldn't stand seeing her pictures, ha ha and I hope that the last picture is her current picture as well.

I sent you an e-mail back in response to the guest post. Thanks so much for offering to do one! Can't wait to see your post on my blog. xoxo!

little t said...

What an interesting post!

F. said...

She really looks like a cat..it's so awkward! :s

xoxo F.

Ashley said...

Wow I never knew her story before, it's so sad that she did all this to try to keep her husband from cheating on her. I really hope that last picture is her, because she looks soooo much better minus the surgeries! But kudos to her for keeping high self esteem through it all!

-Ashley
http://breakfastatsaks.blogspot.com

marialε said...

She was scary, I hope is her in the las pic.

xx
mariale

myfashionbug.blogspot.com

Rachel {Inspiration in Italy} said...

Wow, this story is crazy Jennifer! It's very sad. It's also hard to swallow just how much emphasis society places upon surface beauty. Also, the quest to be loved haunts us all and it's so sad that she had a husband who drove her to insanity. It's amazing what the emptiness of the world will sometimes offer you. I'm hoping that she is doing better now and has found some peace in her life! Thanks for sharing this!

xo
Rachel

Lisa said...

wow the last photo does kinda look like her.. her eyes especially.. i hope it is her.. because if she so actually looks pretty freakin' fantastic.

i'm not really against plastic surgery myself.. but i don't really feel the need to alter anything about myself.. although i probably wouldnt' say no to some botox later on in life hahah.

My Republic of Fashion said...

This has put me off plastic surgery for life. Imagining wanting to look like a cat? And worse, she did it for a man! Madness. She looks lovely in the last photo, though. Hope it is her. :)SarahD

FashionJazz said...

Really interesting post hun! Its really hectic, what has happened to her. Hope u have a lovely Monday xx

Jack W. said...

Plastic Surgery is a really wierd subject, I think if used sparingly it can provide good anti aging results.
However it is easy to go overboard with it and it's quite disturbing when people develop an addiction to it... I've always thought that people look infinitely better without cosmetic surgery.

Tabatha said...

I can barely look at her photos, her face makes me sad.
While I agree it's necessary to have a lot of self-esteem to leave the house with such a face, it's the result of having very little self-esteem that made her look like this.

If the last photo shows her "new" face, that would be very good news indeed! Anyways, I hope she's happy no matter what she looks like :-)

Haute World said...

Let's just say that if you need to reconstruct your face to please a man, you deserve a better guy in your life. It's very sad she felt a need to do this considering how pretty she was. I really hope that is her in the last pic. I had no idea she actually wanted to look like a wild cat... crazy stuff. I wouldn't get plastic surgery simply because I really don't want any unnecessary surgery. The exception would be facial reconstruction as a result of injury or an accident.

Mouthwash said...

wow. Looking at her cat photos, I feel so very very sad. And what a HORRIBLE doctor! He should have his license re-voked. Ugh. I have a love/hate relationships with plastic surgeons. Last year, I started saving up for botox, and part way through it I just stopped. I hate needles, and I hate that I would think of spending money on something that I am so afraid of. I'm on the fence about plastic surgery. A huge part of me wants to say F.CK YOU to people who tell women that they're not thin enough, pretty enough or young enough. But, there is a small part of me that falls victim to those lies. It's a constant tug of war. It's a war every woman has to fight whether she wants to or not. I just hope we win, and not lose like this cat woman did.

Mirela said...

Thank you dear!

Oh gosh she looks so awful.. it's true what they say, only you can destroy your self this way!

Twenty.Something said...

What a crazy story! Plastic surgery can be so scary. I really hope she finds true happiness, because this is just so sad. Amazing what love can make us do!

http://artfashiontwentysomething.blogspot.com

Charmalade said...

Ever since I was old enough to know what plastic surgery was, I was ADAMANT in my belief that unless something truly terrible (let's say, a car accident) has happened to you, plastic surgery was never an option.

While I'd like to think that I've somewhat evolved from my young, naive mindset, I basically still believe this, at least for myself. If someone else wants to do that, a nose job here, an ass tweak here, that's YOUR body. Though I find it sad if someone does it just for the sake of someone else (like in the Cat Woman's case), which we can see turns out badly for the most part.

I'm tentative in not jinxing myself when I say that I'm fairly content with my physical self for the most part. Though that's not to say that I don't mind a push-up bra here and there, either. :)

Toast with Charmalade

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

wow what a scary/sad story....plastic surgery really scares me.

kayla marie said...

scare me all the way!!

xo-Kayla Marie
www.wildchildfashion.blogspot.com

Francesca said...

OH WOWWWWWWW ..crazy

♥ Monica ♥ said...

so so so beautiful and interesting post! I don't know her story and I'm so sad about it.

Nicole✗✗ said...

That poor woman! Yeah she definitely scares me at first but after reading her backstory I can't help but feel soo bad for her. I love that you posted this because it is so good to look past the physical and actually learn about the individual. I also feel bad (sort of) for the doctor because technically he gave her exactly what she wanted. I feel like if people want to do it then go for it but personally it scares the hell out of me. I'm more scared about the cutting into the face... yikes.

YUI said...

well, i'm against plastic surgery of course! it's better for ppl to love to be what they are. :)

xoxo

wardrobemag said...

Sometimes I think I wouldn't mind having some liposuction or laser hair removal (this is in an imaginary world where I could afford those things) but I guess it's because it's a quick fix for a long term problem we want solved.

Even laser eye surgery freaks me out, even though in the long run, I bet it's cheaper than buying glasses and lenses.

I think it's kinda scary how addictive surgery can be, but I totally understand how once you have one procedure done it could lead to many more.

Hope she has laid off the surgeon's knife!

Bhav x

Cafe Fashionista said...

I tink that, when it comes to plastic surgery, to each their own. It should be a decision made solely by the person undergoing whatever procedure is desired. :)

Imogen said...

OMG ew that is just scary, far worse than Michael Jackson. I just don't know what goes through people's minds and plastic surgery goes so wrong. Generally I am against it but I recognise there could be a few circumstances where it is mecessary. Overall the whole thing freaks me out a little.

Diego R. Wyatt said...

Some of the most beautiful people get plastic surgery and a lot of the time it's for other people. I love her confidence, but she spent a lot of money to look pretty bad. I don't get plastic surgery though. But I do feel that people have the right to enhance whatever they want as long as they are not trying to use it to build confidence. That must come from within (my Oprah moment).

Diego
www.howtozipyourfly.com

StyleID said...

I am really hoping that is her, that would be nice.
Its really sad to see how this woman 'trade' herself for a man.....Didn't know her story but interesting.

http://styleidnet.blogspot.com/
http://www.filomenascloset.com/

Betty Manousos@ CUT AND DRY said...

So scary!
Thanks for such an interesting post!

Have a great day!
Betty xx

BlueVanilla said...

Awww sad...so sad! You shouldnt have to change for anyone is a great moral to this story...perfect writing i might add!
xx
Hot Pink Day

Venus In Virgo said...

I remember when she first came out in public I felt sorry for her. I mean I love cats too but sheesh! XOXO

Oh to Be a Muse said...

oh my goodness! i've seen this lady and she always freaked me out. her story is sad, but her plastic surgery is even worse. the doctor should have lost his license for allowing that.

but, if that last photo is her, then that's awesome because she looks a lot better!

Heather Taylor said...

Lauren Bacall has a great quote on how your life shows in your face and you should be proud of that. This is pretty much my answer to cosmetic surgery, I believe that true beauty is within and it can be seen reflected through you. I really hope she had the surgery reversed though because she was pretty to begin with.

love jenny xoxo said...

I'm so happy she reversed her surgeries! I had no idea!! I thought she liked looking like a cat!

XOXO

bravegrrl said...

that is so scary... but very interesting.... i just feel bad that she felt she had to do that to keep a man...

Stephanie said...

That really is so very sad. Thanks for sharing a heartbreaking story. Sometimes all of the sadness in the world threatens to crush me.

I don't know how I feel about plastic surgery. I mean, I'd never have it myself...and I think it's sad that people think that they need it...but everyone has their own reasons for the decisions that they make. Sometimes I'm kind of bothered by how many models and actresses have had plastic surgery. It doesn't seem fair that The Ordinary Woman compares herself to people who've been surgically altered.

But then, who am I to judge?

Katie said...

She asked the surgeon to make her look like a cat? For reals??

Rachel said...

I've seen her photos and heard about her before, but I didn't know her story. It's so sad to read. And it's unfortunate that she was willing to go through so much plastic surgery to try to keep her husband. I don't think there's anything wrong with plastic surgery if there's something you really dislike about yourself. But it's not for me. And people like this and Heidi Montag just take things way too far.

annie said...

Wow. I have never hear of her! Great information! It is very interesting...

Elisse said...

Another fab feature! I've missed reading your blog while I was away!

What an interesting story - it really shows what some people will do for love - on the other hand it also shows how we could make the most of what we have (i.e. how she learned to embrace her looks).

Great post!

Shannon | Liposuction in Costa Rica said...

I really pity her because she has become the perfect example of a plastic surgery failure. Her photos are everywhere. Plastic surgery can be very helpful only if not abused or done too much.

Tummy Tuck in Thailand said...

I feel sorry for her and let's make her example a lesson to everyone who plans to undergo plastic surgery without knowing all the necessary precautions before the treatment.

Anonymous said...

Omigosh! she's so ugly. She's got self esteem but that doesn't mean she should turn herself into a monster.Well i hope she can enjoy being a cat.

Anonymous said...

Omigosh! she's so ugly. She's got self esteem but that doesn't mean she should turn herself into a monster.Well i hope she can enjoy being a cat.

Hair Removal said...

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Rhea said...

Wow! This was an amazing post. An eye - opener definitely. Its crazy what people do after they become famous. I find plastic surgery (well, surgery of any kind) so scary! Ageing gracefully is the way to go. Loved the post.
Xx
Rhea
http://fuss.co.in

Anonymous said...

what the hell.. how can any of you be considering plastic surgery after seeing this woman??

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