A former model who was the victim of a horrific slashing attack has undergone weeks of cosmetic procedures to build back her confidence after more than three decades of believing it ‘wasn’t safe’ to be beautiful.
Marla Hanson, 59, was given a total transformation while appearing on Netflix’s new makeover series Skin Decision: Before and After, starring Dr. Sheila Nazarian, a plastic surgeon, and ‘Nurse Jamie’ Sherrill, a skincare expert and registered nurse.
‘Seeing myself in this way in the mirror is very hard, because I feel like I’m confronting a lot my history. It’s playing out on my body,’ Marla said at the start of the episode. ‘It feels almost like a reckoning.’
Before and after: Marla Hanson, 59, was given a total transformation while appearing on Netflix’s new makeover series Skin Decision: Before and After
Horrific: She was an up-and-coming model in New York City in 1986 when two men grabbed her one night and started cutting her face with razor blades
Marla was an up-and-coming model in New York City in 1986 when two men grabbed her outside her apartment building one night and started cutting her face with razor blades.
‘It was one of those New York stories. It was all over the press, all over the Daily News, and it just ended my modeling career in a flash,’ she explained.
The men who had brutally attacked Marla were hired by her landlord Steve Roth after she had rejected his advances.
‘He had insinuated himself into my life and was angry that I didn’t do what he wanted,’ she recalled. ‘I moved out of the apartment that I was living in. He didn’t have access, so he retaliated by cutting my face and trying to take away my beauty.
‘My beauty, or the way I looked, is what caused this assault on me. As a reaction to that, I’ve kind of made sure the focus on me was no longer on the way I looked.’
Revenge plot: The men who had brutally attacked Marla were hired by her landlord Steve Roth after she had rejected his advance
Looking back: Marla was making a name for herself as a model before the attack ended her career in an instant
Living in fear: Marla, pictured after the attack in 1992, started to believe it ‘wasn’t safe’ to be beautiful
After the attack ended her modeling career, she got married and had her daughter. While her scars eventually faded, she let herself go over the years, and it wasn’t until recently that she understood why.
‘I was thinking, “Why have I let myself look like this? Why have I not taken care of my body and my skin?” But I realized that I had a deep belief that being beautiful wasn’t safe,’ she explained. ‘As a girl, your physical appearance draws a lot of people to you, and not always in a good way. It gave me opportunities, clearly, but, also, it drew darker elements.’
Marla had turned to meditation to help heal her inner wounds, and now at the urging of her 21-year-old daughter, she was finally ready to have her outsides match how she was feeling.
As part of the show, patients who are looking to feel better about themselves consult with Dr. Nazarian and Nurse Jamie about various issues with their appearance and skin. The two experts then decide whether the best course of action is surgical, non-invasive cosmetic procedures, or a mix of both.
Moving on: Marla stepped out of the limelight, got married and had a daughter. Her 21-year-old daughter was the one who encouraged her to regain her self-confidence
Work in progress: Marla admitted that she left herself go over the years and was finally ready to feel beautiful again
Marla told Dr. Nazarian and Nurse Jamie that she just wanted to put the attack behind her and to feel good about herself again.
‘I just went from one extreme to the other,’ she explained. ‘People remember me as the model, so they remember those pictures, and then, you know, the juxtaposition of me now, 30 years later.’
‘I’m not trying to look like I used to look,’ she added. ‘I want to look the best that I can look.’
Dr. Nazarian and Nurse Jamie agreed that they wanted to give her a lift, a little glow, and help minimize her scars so people will no longer ask her what happened.
Marla’s skin had sun damage, volume loss, and sagging that they wanted to address. Dr. Nazarian suggested a lower facelift, but Nurse Jamie insisted that ‘you don’t always need a scalpel to lift your face.’
Goal: Dr. Sheila Nazarian, left, nd ‘Nurse Jamie’ Sherrill, right, agreed that they wanted to give her a lift, a little glow, and help minimize her scars
No scalpel needed: Nurse Jamie took over her case with a plan of giving her a liquid facelift, filler, Botox, and laser resurfacing
Focused: In addition to the treatments, Marla also overhauled her diet and started working out
Getting there: Marla noticed subtle changes every time she met with Nurse Jamie
The esthetician suggested a liquid facelift in which she would add sugar threads to Marla’s face to help lift her lower jaw and create some new collagen.
She also wanted to use a combination of Botox, fillers, microneedling, and laser resurfacing to make her client look as youthful as possible.
‘I don’t want people to see the work. I want them to see you,’ explained Nurse Jamie, who ended up taking over Marla’s case.
After just a week of treatment, Marla started to notice changes in her skin, and she loved that it looked natural.
As part of her transformation, Nurse Jamie put her on a diet plan that cut out sugar, and she also started working out.
Marla quickly shed four pounds, and Nurse Jamie helped give her a boost with Emsculpt, a muscle-tightening treatment, and SculpSure, which is used to remove stubborn fat.
Incredible: Marla looked like a new woman after eight weeks of cosmetic treatments
Stunning: At the end of the journey, Marla’s scars were no longer visible, her skin was plump and youthful looking, her eyes twinkled, and she no longer had sagging skin
New woman: ‘I think I’ve been most surprised by the fact that the physical changes would create such a dramatic emotional and mental change in me,’ she said of her makeover
After seven weeks of fillers, microneedling, laser resurfacing, Marla was loving how she looked and felt.
‘The changes are subtle and they’re gradual,’ she said. ‘Each step builds on the last one. I think that’s a real gift bc it really is a metaphor of me letting go of all the baggage of my past.’
At the end of the journey, Marla’s scars were no longer visible, her skin was plump and youthful looking, her eyes twinkled, and she no longer had sagging skin.
‘Looking in the mirror today, I see a new Marla. My face is more youthful. My skin tone is more even, brighter, and I don’t see my scars,’ she said. ‘I think I’ve been most surprised by the fact that the physical changes would create such a dramatic emotional and mental change in me.
‘You know, I just resigned myself to the deep belief that being beautiful wasn’t safe, that I had been hurt and that was the end of my story.
‘Your story is never over. There is always another chapter you can write.’