May 12, 2009 — -- Janet Cunliffe and her 29-year-old daughter, Jane Cunliffe, look almost identical. From their bleach-blond hair to their hourglass figures and matching attire, the English pair could easily pass for siblings. But it's not the Cunliffes' genetics that have them looking like mirror images of one another; it was the mother's plastic surgeon who carefully crafted the resemblance.
The result of the nearly $15,000 that Cunliffe spent is that she often gets mistaken for being much younger than her 50 years.
"No one can guess my age," she said. "If they do, it is usually 10 years younger."
Cunliffe's transformation began last year. She was ending a long-term relationship at the time. She had moved from Spain, where she had lived with her boyfriend for years, and into her daughter's home in England.
"I wanted a change," she said. "I was feeling pretty low, my self-esteem. I thought, 'What can I do to make that better?'"
The middle-aged woman believed she had let herself go.
"I looked in the mirror and thought, 'You look really tired," Cunliffe said. "You need to do something here.'"
First, she dropped 30 pounds to whittle her frame down to a size 6. When that wasn't enough, she decided to remake herself in her daughter's image.
"Why shouldn't I? She's good-looking," Cunliffe said. "I think she looks good. I love her look and she's part of me. So why not?"
So Cunliffe, who had had a breast-augmentation procedure five years earlier, enlisted the aid of a Croatian plastic surgeon to achieve her new look.
"I had all the money lined up and contacted him by e-mail," she said. "My look was already there. So I thought if I got these couple of things done, I would look like my daughter then."
Her daughter didn't mind the idea, in theory. "For my mom to want to copy me makes me feel good, because it must look good for her to want to copy me in the first place," she said.
But she was worried about her mother going through so many surgical procedures.
"I was shocked and dead against it to be honest with you; I didn't want her to go through all that pain," she said, adding that the two have always been more like siblings than mother and daughter.
She didn't think her mother needed any plastic surgery.
Making the Transformation
But her mother went ahead with the plans, which her daughter ultimately supported.
"It doesn't bother me at all. She's my mom at the end of the day," Jane Cunliffe said. "She's my best friend. I think it's good she wants to look younger and be younger — because who wants to be old? I wouldn't."
Cunliffe's transformation included having her upper and lower eyelids redone, her nose reshaped and her lips filled.
But the surgeries were just the first step. Long, blond hair extensions followed, as did makeup lessons and shopping sprees for identical clothes.
"We go out together all the time," the mother said. "We do shopping things together. We go out for meals. We go out on a Saturday night together. We buy the same clothes and the same makeup together."
After a few months, the mother-daughter pair, who already shared similar visual traits, turned into near replicas of each other.
Cunliffe said she is pleased with the results. "I definitely would do it, again," she said. "I feel great. I look great. I have spent the money well, and I'd do it all again. I have no regrets."
The transformation didn't come without some discomfort."[It] took six to three months for all the swelling and bruising to go down," Jane Cunliffe said.
And while mother and daughter said they were happy with results, they admit that there has been some negative reaction.
"Not everyone agrees with what I've done, but that's my decision and that's my prerogative," Janet Cunliffe said. "If they don't like it, sorry."