My So-Called Life: Never mind the Botox, I'm lovely inside

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Apparently, the number of cosmetic surgery operations in Britain shot up by a massive 52 per cent in the past year - and that doesn't include 72,000 lesser procedures, such as collagen injections or Botox, the deadly poison that gives you the charming look of a tambourine minus the jingle- jangle bits, although I'm sure that's only a matter of time. (That way, at least, you'll always be able to tell when Anne Robinson or Princess Michael of Kent are coming up behind you, which must be worth something in anyone's book.)

Much has been written about these new figures and, in particular, society's now blinding obsession with appearance over what is inside a person - or, as Sartre would have put it if he'd ever bothered, the lazy old so- and-so: "Let the true beauty of your soul shine through, even though, frankly, it's no guarantee of attractiveness and you may just be leaking."

It's a cliche, I know - beauty only being skin deep, and all that - but as someone who is radiantly gorgeous inside, I do know it to be true. In particular, I have a stunning left kidney. I know this is so because I once consulted a urologist when my pee went a funny colour and he said: "Your left kidney is perfect." Really? "Oh yes. It's totally adorable." You don't think it needs augmenting, then? Or lifting, stretching and then wrapping round the back of my ears? Whitening, or peeling, or tucking in a bit? Rhinoplasty, performed by specially trained rhinos? "It's a lovely kidney," he confirmed. "Most fetching."

Well, I was chuffed, as you can imagine, and immediately raced to Models 1, who would have sent me on numerous go-sees first thing Monday morning if their security people hadn't manhandled me out their offices. "But I have beautiful insides," I protested, "and that, after all, is what counts. Haven't you read what Sartre would have written if he hadn't been such a lazy old so-and-so?"

It was the same at Elite and Storm, and even Crufts. I reckon Kate Moss had bad-mouthed me. Kate Moss is ugly, ugly, ugly on the inside - hideous! - and it matters so much that she can only earn pounds 20,000 a day and take home all the frocks she likes. Or, as Plato said (because he had very little interest in high fashion): "Piss off. I'm busy."

Let's turn, instead, to Socrates, who was very interested in high fashion and always subscribed to Vogue: "You can never go wrong with navy. It's smart without being too smart and casual without being too casual. And always remember; accessories can make an outfit, especially a well-placed brooch." I wish he'd also said something specific about hats but, alas, his writings say nothing specific about hats. Quite why Socrates never addressed hats puzzles scholars to this day.

People think that being internally ravishing, as I am, must be a blessing. But it can, in fact, set you apart rather. Wives are naturally envious and do not want you sitting next to their husbands at weddings and dinners and so forth. I have even spotted them swapping name cards around, and their husbands affecting to be happy about this so as not to hurt their feelings: "Thanks darling, I couldn't have stood an entire evening next to the bloody kidney woman with the pig-ugly face and thighs like old sausage and yellow teeth and hair like a mad witch." What jokers they can be! And nutters. There's never even a single woman in the room fitting that description!

However, all that said, relationships with men can be tricky because, on the whole, they can't see beyond the inside to the outside, except in those instances when they can and they either don't turn up or refuse to be seen in public with you even though you say that if you leak it's OK because you've got pads in... (The true beauty of my soul once shone through at the opera, which was very embarrassing. I had to apologise to the lady sitting next to me, who did not reappear after the interval.) Anyway, as Bertrand Russell once said: "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, like a contact lens can be." I'll say one thing for Bert; he wasn't a looker, but he was certainly a deep thinker, which is my point, really.

Obviously, all this is something we should be teaching our children, especially after a recent survey of 2,000 kids for a magazine revealed that 92 per cent of teenage girls are unhappy with their bodies. This is a very worrying figure, although possibly not as worrying as theirs, which may be fat and covered in spots and topped with lank hair; and then there's the sticky-out teeth, which mean they'll be called Bugs Bunny and offered carrots and such like. Kids can be so cruel.

But as I would say, if called upon: "It's what's inside that matters. Appearance is no clue to the truth. Now, what's up doc? Don't cry. I was only teasing. You've got to have a sense of humour about these things or you'll never get though life, especially looking as you do."

I have even written to the Department for Education to offer my services to schools. "Dear Ms Kelly," I wrote. "I am beautiful inside, as confirmed by a urologist and my radiant light that sometimes leaks. I believe that girls today are too preoccupied with their looks and weight and, as such, I would be willing to visit schools and talk to them about what is important in life. I would stress that being physically alluring isn't the be all and end all, although it does help if you want a boyfriend and a good job and to get married one day and to have people generally being nice to you."

I am waiting for a reply. I am sure my offer will be keenly accepted, despite the fact that James Herriot once said: "No one gives a stuff about what's inside. Get yourself some bigger tits, love, and some of that blubber taken off your arse... everyone out the way! This calf's a breech!"

d.ross@independent.co.uk

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