Hetty Proudhonne

Traveling Editor

About Hetty


Born Henrietta Proudhonne to an American mother and a French-Canadian father, Hetty has always been interested in living in at least two places at the same time. Because she has never learned to be fluent in French, she compensates by knowing enough Spanish, German, Greek and Italian to find her way around cities in Europe and Central and Sout America.

She prefers to be addressed as Hetty. Not "Miss Hetty" like some Singaporean students like to call her. She currently travels to write about medical tourism with a special focus on plastic surgery services around the world. She realizes the subject of cosmetic enhancement is not for everyone, she nevertheless envisions a world where corrective and cosmetic surgeries converge, not for the sake of vanity but for the purpose of enhancing self-esteem and to sharpen a person's sense of identity.

Areas of Expertise

editing, writing, travel journalism, research

An idea worth spreading

I like the idea of a world with no borders. Spending my year in multiple time zones and meeting people from different cultures give me an adrenaline rush that is difficult to replicate doing other things.

I'm passionate about

I love a life that is lived peacefully and productively.

Talk to me about

I would listen to any story, personal or social, that is sincerely told.

People don't know I'm good at

I'm good at listening. Yes, people think I'm a snob but I remember many of the things they say months later.

My TED story

I've been a visitor at Ted countless times and have been in the audience in a couple of conferences.

Comments & conversations

Hetty Proudhonne
Posted almost 3 years ago
Denis Dutton: A Darwinian theory of beauty
I do believe he isn't just talking about human attractiveness, which is complicated by social norms, etc. Youtfulness, immortality or its toned-down form which we call "stability", are just a few other ways that dictate the beauty we see. Beauty is the human dream of endless POSITIVENESS. But alas, the opposite of pisitiveness can be beautiful as well.
Hetty Proudhonne
Posted about 3 years ago
Alan Russell: The potential of regenerative medicine
I actually signed up on Ted because of this talk. As I am a medical tourism writer, I have met people in the Third World where stemcells have become a cheaper alternative to traditional medical procedures. Plastic and reconstructive surgery will someday fall under regenerative medicine. Vanity and health are in truth very much related.
Hetty Proudhonne
Posted about 3 years ago
Niall Ferguson: The 6 killer apps of prosperity
I've made a couple of comments here earlier, but I must have neglected to sign in or something. I like the idea that laws are partly responsible for a culture's success. Niall Ferguson compared tyranny with democracy, but I think he should also look at some Asian democracies, where the laws are not entirely the solid brick-and-mortar foundation he means. In Asia, laws are like water that yield to a strong hand. Countries that have managed to live by the laws instead of other culturally embedded system of social control are the countries that we now part of the First World.