This is the first post of three on Jocelyn Wildenstein, the New York Society Lion Woman. While many of us recognize her face, not many of us really know her story. By understanding how she came to be, maybe we can better understand why she has made herself look the way she does. Divas the site.com has an excellent writeup of her personal story, which doesn't just trash her and her plastic surgery. Here is the Cliff Notes version:
Jocelyn grew up in a middle class family in Switzerland. There she became a skilled hunter and pilot. She eventually met and married billionaire art collector Alec Wildenstein. Marriage was difficult. Though Jocelyne tried as hard as she could, it was sometimes a thankless task to jolly her husband out of his somber moods. The only consolations, it seemed, were the lions in his private jungle and his priceless art collection. When Alec's eye began to wander after many years of marriage, Jocelyne grew jealous and believed that drastic measures were called for.
Pushing fifty and insecure about her looks, Jocelyne visited a renowned plastic surgeon. She wanted to revitalize her appearance in order to recapture the Alec she was so desperately in love with. The first surgeries were successful. This happy state of affairs lasted quite some time, and Jocelyne had the feeling that things were once again back on an even keel. So it was with both shock and sadness that she learned Alec wanted to sleep with other women. Not knowing what to do, a desperate Jocelyne formulated a plan that was so audacious in its daring that she may be forgiven for failing to see its drawbacks.
Jocelyne realized that Alec loved his jungle estate, and the cats that inhabited it, more than anything else in life. So armed with this information, she returned to her plastic surgeon with an unusual request: She wanted to be transformed into one of the giant Cats that Alec loved so much. Though surprised at this unorthodox request, the surgeon did his best to comply.
After countless surgeries - no one can say with certainty just how many - Jocelyne the Swiss beauty disappeared, and "The Queen Of The Jungle" took her place. Jocelyne's appearance was indeed striking. The first time Alec saw his new wife, it is said he screamed at the sudden appearance of this creature that confronted him. Naturally, Jocelyne was disappointed, and returned to her plastic surgeon for more work. It is rumored that several prospective patients ran screaming from the office, so concerned were they that they would end up looking like Jocelyne. As the reader may well imagine, this did nothing to improve the poor socalite's anxiety. However, Jocelyne persevered, and hasn't stopped to this day. When questioned as to the precise number and types of surgeries she's had, she merely replies with a smile "no more or less than any other woman".
Part II will focus on what I think she has had done. Click HERE for Part II of the Jocelyn Wildenstein series: What Plastic Surgery Has She Had?
To view streaming video of a segment of Montel that I did on plastic surgery addiction, click here.
Photo credit: Divas the site.com, Photorazzi.com
Thanks for reading.
Michigan-based Plastic Surgeon
Anthony Youn, M.D.: