My best friend had plastic surgery about a month ago. A tummy tuck, to be precise. Although I was initially against it, hearing her story and watching her results emerge has turned everything I thought I knew about plastic surgery on its head.
As a result, I’ve been paying closer attention to the bodies around me — at the beach, at Publix, when I’m picking up my kids from school. For the first time in my life, I’m starting to appreciate the body diversity that we all encounter every day — whether those bodies are “all natural” or have had some work done. My feelings about plastic surgery are starting to soften, and it’s not just because I’m getting older.
In the case of my friend (for the sake of anonymity, I’ll call her Rochelle), her decision to have a tummy tuck came after many months of internal deliberation. She exhaustively researched her surgery online, checking out different doctors around town to learn how each one does things differently. She wasn’t shy about revealing that her primary motivation was to “undo” some of the changes caused by her 3 pregnancies. But when she wasn’t hung up on cost, she was worried about potential complications. And when she wasn’t thinking about complications, she was thinking about taking time away from work. It seemed that, despite how unhappy she was with the way she looked, she could always come up with a reason to not have surgery.
Finally, after a long discussion with her husband, something clicked for Rochelle. While they were getting ready for bed late one evening, her husband caught her eyeing herself in their full-length mirror. He stopped what he was doing and told her that he was tired of seeing her so preoccupied with her body. To him, the surgery would offer the long-lasting sense of well-being she was after, for about the price of a nice family vacation. He went on to say, “If this helps you be a better you, I don’t think you should put it off any longer.” She booked her consultation the next day.
Of course, as her husband is quick to tell you, Rochelle was beautiful before her surgery, too. But her dissatisfaction with the loose skin leftover from her pregnancies was something she just couldn’t shake. Around my own reservations about cosmetic surgery, the public’s perception is changing. According to a study published earlier this year, 1 in 5 women between 18 and 64 are either currently pursuing or planning to pursue clinical cosmetic enhancement — so chances are good that someone in your life is researching doctors and booking consultations. A third of the participants said they weren’t planning surgery at the time, but they would consider it.
By the way, if you’re curious, I did some research. The top procedures are breast augmentation and liposuction, followed by anti-aging surgeries. According to the website of Dr. Kesh Nawada, a breast augmentation specialist near Tampa, that’s No. 1 in this region and around the country.
Although I’m not totally sold on plastic surgery for myself, I no longer think ill of people who want to have a bit of work done. Whether the decision to have plastic surgery is due to societal pressures or just a general dissatisfaction, it’s not my place to judge people who have plastic surgery or determine whether their motivations are valid. In the end, we’re all just trying to feel good about ourselves. If plastic surgery factors into the equation, then so be it.
So how about you? Are you one of the 20% of women seriously considering plastic surgery? Tell us about it in the comments, and let’s start a conversation!