I am guilty here too. I've done it. I guess I have always felt like plastic surgery is cheating. It's not really in my budget so it's not typically something I think about doing that often, but I do see how common place it is. I sometimes
think it is a shame that people cannot be content with themselves.
Now don't get me wrong, plastic surgery certainly has its place - for medical reasons and for personal ones. Hell, if it is that much of a confidence booster for you, then go for it. But people DO abuse it and go to extremes - IMHO.
It is so common place these days I guess some people do not see it as a big deal. I think voluntarily going under the knife IS a big deal. I've had several friends get breast implants - sure they look great, but they are not fooling anyone. NO they do not look real - EVER. YES, they do look terrific. One of my friends had to go back three times to have it corrected. YIKES. I had another girlfriend who had hers removed. She hated them. I have yet another who insists hers are real. OK, whatever.
I've had friends get nose jobs. What a difference for one of my friends - on her whole life. I've had friends get breast reductions. Again - what a difference it has made on their whole life. So why do we (me included!) shame women who get plastic surgery? Again, I think it is the whole concept of cheating nature that comes to mind.
A few years ago Lisa Kudrow did an interview with the Saturday Evening Post in which the reporter asked about her nose job.
"That was life altering," she said candidly. "I went from, in my mind, hideous, to not hideous. I did it the summer before going to a new high school. So there were plenty of people who wouldn't know how hideous I looked before. That was a good, good, good change."
Said among friends, this statement might have been unremarkable; it's how many of us talk to our inner circle about going under the knife. But when said in public, this casual acceptance of plastic surgery is radical, a potent undermining of every single one of our tired narratives about it.
Lisa Kudrow is not a tragic victim of unfair beauty standards. Lisa Kudrow is not a beauty-obsessed woman on a one-way path to looking like a "real housewife." Lisa Kudrow is not someone who believes her self-worth depends entirely on the way she looks. Instead, she's just a woman who got a nose job years ago and feels as if it made her life a little better. Sometimes it's really just that simple.
I know because I too had plastic surgery. When I tell people I had a breast reduction they often tell me that it doesn't really count. "It's not really plastic surgery. It's for health reasons, right?" Or, "It's basically like the opposite of plastic surgery. You were trying to look less sexy!"
Sometimes I agree with them. Not because they are right, but because it's not worth it. They've already decided that I have not committed the unforgivable sin of surgically altering my body for purely aesthetic reasons. That is for the vain. That is for the shallow. And I am not vain and shallow.
"I NEVER ONCE TRIED TO JUSTIFY THE PROCEDURE AS SOMETHING I DID FOR MY HEALTH."
The truth is, it was
for aesthetic reasons. I didn't like the proportions my body took on when accompanied by my very large 34Ds. Clothes didn't fit me right, men didn't look at me right, and there was no single sports bra that could adequately control the physically and psychologically uncomfortable jiggle when I jogged. Sure, it's quite possible that I would have developed back problems later on, but it was hardly a sure thing. Really, the feeling of physical lightness, and the ability to adequately conceal myself in clothes, made the surgery all so worth it that I never once tried to justify the procedure as something I did for my health.
Research shows that women like Kudrow and me are, in fact, the norm. One study found that only 12 percent of plastic surgery recipients have unrealistic expectations. The majority who have gone under the knife did not expect that a little nip or tuck would solve all their problems or make them a new person. As a result, they did experience a boost of happiness and confidence following their procedures. "Compared to those who had chosen not to have plastic surgery, the patients felt healthier, were less anxious, had developed more self-esteem and found the operated body feature in particular, but also their body as a whole, more attractive," the authors wrote. "No adverse effects were observed."
Talking about body image is tricky. The pressures to look a certain way are real, and the stakes are only higher in this age of smartphone cameras and social media. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of procedures has gone up 5 percent since 2011, with minimally invasive services, like Restylane injections, fueling the growth. The physical transformations of celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Renée Zellweger, and Uma Thurman—courtesy of what is largely assumed to be plastic surgery— have also served as unwitting avatars of the save-women-from-themselves movement.
"SOMETIMES, A FACE LIFT REALLY IS JUST A FACE LIFT."
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