There are many operations available to people in the Uglies universe, but the most well-known among them all is known as the Pretty Operation. At the age of sixteen or older depending on the city, uglies undergo the Operation to make them pretty.
After the devastation of the Rusty Crash, the survivors vowed to never let humanity wreck the planet again. They slowly rebuilt new, smaller, more eco-friendly cities, but there was still conflict between people. About a century after the Crash, a group of scientists from every city contacted one another in order to study the problem of human conflict. They rediscovered the idea of the "halo effect", where Rusty science had shown that beautiful people were treated better, got in less trouble, and were generally more happy and successful. The scientists thought that if they made everyone beautiful, humanity would stop killing each other and make the world a better place. They gathered together barbarian tribes and examined their violent, revenge-filled blood feuds, thinking that if they can get them to stop fighting, they could make anyone peaceful.
They designed these barbarians-turned-pretties to call upon evolutionary instincts of cooperation and courtship in everyone who saw them. Although it did help a little, the early prototype pretties still fought with one another despite their beauty. The scientists agreed that something else had to be done if they were to eliminate war forever, so they secretly developed the lesions that make them compliant and unaggressive.
The International Committee for Morphological Standards, commonly known as the Pretty Committee, converges annually to exchange notes on anesthesia techniques, innovations, and beauty standards worldwide. They design all pretties in order to make sure that one city's pretties don't wind up more beautiful than everyone else.
New Pretty Operation Edit
Shortly before an ugly's sixteenth birthday, the ugly is thoroughly measured by the city surgeons in preparation for the Operation. The patient is instructed not to eat any food or liquid twenty-four hours before their scheduled Operation and are asked to rest as much as possible and to dress comfortably on the big day. On the ugly's birthday, a hovercar picks them up and delivers them to the city hospital, where the patient is brought to a waiting room while their operating room is prepared. The patient is then put under anesthetic, stripped of all clothing, and lowered into a surgical tank filled with a nutritious, nano-filled fluid meant to keep their tissues alive as the surgeons operate.
First, the patient is given a full skin graft that gives them perfect, clear skin incapable of showing bruises or blushing unattractively. Their faces are given perfect symmetry and their bones are all replaced with shapelier, stronger materials either stretched or shrunk to a more attractive physique. Natural teeth are replaced with teeth made of aircraft ceramic. Eyes are made bigger and are altered to have added shine, color, and depth.
The patient's nervous system is fine-tuned, giving them grace and faster reflexes. Muscles are made stronger and bodily organs are improved or replaced. Any excess fat is sucked out and any areas too skinny are made plumper. The immune system is technologically enhanced to the point where pretties almost never get sick.
Finally, small lesions are added to specific areas of the brain. These lesions impede creativity, violent behavior, adrenaline release, focus, and certain memories. The patient is then put under electrolysis for eight to ten hours to allow the body to recuperate. When the new pretty wakes up, the operation is considered complete.
The patient's skin is extremely sensitive for up to two weeks after the surgery as their new grafts toughen up to withstand pressure. This sensitivity is similar to having a severe sunburn and is said to be the only part of the operation that hurts.
Middle Pretty Operation Edit
When new pretties begin to choose jobs at around age twenty-five or so, they are given another surgery that replaces youth with markers of wisdom and kindly authority, such as some tasteful gray hairs and light crows feet. Surgeons use a trigger chemical that softens the plastic that makes up a pretty's bones, allowing them to reshape the bone structure from a young new pretty to a wise middle-pretty.
This surgery is usually entirely cosmetic, but if the Pretty is chosen for a job that requires creativity and quick-thinking, the lesions in their brain are removed as well.
Late Pretty Operations Edit
Late pretties, also known as crumblies, can undergo multiple life-extension surgeries that allow them to live well into their mid-two hundreds comfortably and attractively. These surgeries include heart clones and liver refits.
Special Operation Edit
- Main article: Specials
All Specials, at least in Tally's city, were very tricky as uglies and managed to resist the effects of the lesions. Only those people who can break out of the cage, who can prove that they are special, are offered jobs at Special Circumstances and undergo the Special operation.
Specials go through surgery that gives them inhuman strength and speed, incredibly sharp senses, and lightning-fast reflexes. Their teeth and fingernails are replaced with diamond-hard, razor-sharp materials and their bones are replaced with ultralight, nearly-unbreakable ceramic.
As well as physical enhancements, Specials have technology implanted into their bodies. They have chips in their hands that can amplify vibrations, allowing them to listen in through walls or sense the locations of people through the ground by touching them. They have skintennas implanted into their spinal cords, allowing them to keep in contact with both the city interface and one another. Medical nanos are also stored in their bodies, which can heal them quickly when injured.
Specials are also given vision so clear, nature's beauty almost hurts them to the point where they will fiercely protect it from human threats. They are given cruelly beautiful faces designed to terrify all who look at them into instant respect and obedience, often described as "wolf-like".
As well as physical surgery, Specials are mentally rewired to remove compassion for non-Specials. Certain structures in the higher cortex generate intense feelings of rage and euphoria as well as counter social impulses and feelings of superiority, allowing them to kill average, non-special "randoms" without regret.
- Some people are unable to undergo the Pretty Operation for whatever reason and are known as uglies-for-life. Although allowed to be in public, many of these people are too ashamed to show their faces and choose to hide from the world instead.
- A few people each year die from the Operation, usually due to being under anesthetic for so long.