Friday, July 24, 2020

Some thoughts about cosmetic surgery—a totally personal choice

I found this great quote by writer Judith Krantz in a wonderful little book of quotes called, Age doesn’t matter unless you’re a cheese: Wisdom from Our Elders by Kathryn and Ross Petras:
“A woman I graduated from college with told me plastic surgery was vulgar, that lines were a sign of character, that it’s beautiful to age. I said bull. Character is internal. If you want to present yourself to the world with a face-lift, why the hell not?” 
I love this quote because, for me, it really says a lot. I agree with the woman Ms. Krantz is talking about. I do believe that aging can be a beautiful thing if we let it. And I do believe, for myself (and I know I am not alone) that lines are the manifestation of the accumulation of life—a life well lived. I also agree with Ms. Krantz when she says if you choose to get cosmetic surgery, or any type of procedure, that is purely and unequivocally your decision and in fact your right. I don’t think we should judge others for what they decide to do with their appearance. But perhaps we can learn from it. And this goes both ways.

Cosmetic surgery is purely an individual decision. Many of my clients probably think that I am totally against it, and that is not true. As I tell anyone considering such procedures, I will drive them to and from the hospital if they don’t have a ride. And I am serious! I do believe, because I have strong opinions about surgery, that people are afraid to fill me in on their decisions.

I have even had some clients “disappear” and never return to my office. Later I find out a client has had a procedure, and I guess she didn’t want my judgment. On the contrary, anyone who has come to my office after plastic surgery can tell you, I am fascinated! I want to know all about it—whether the client is happy with their decision, and because I have seen my client’s skin prior to the surgery, it is so interesting to see their face and skin afterwards. For me it is all just information, and I try not to judge anyone for doing what they need to do.

But some people, in my opinion, are chasing after a dream—a dream of youth and looking young forever. This is where I stand on my soapbox and hope that if you’re going to get surgery that you also do inner work as well. Inner work to make sure you aren’t trying to fix the unfixable with a cosmetic procedure. The unfixable meaning a view of yourself that is unrealistic, a self condemning view that no surgeon’s knife will be able to fix or heal.

Everyone has surgery for their own reasons. I just want to make sure that all the options have been looked at before someone forever changes their appearance. And in the end, everyone is going to do what they want to do anyway, so who cares what I or anybody else thinks! I am nearing 60 now and still I am fascinated with the changes taking place (and there are definitely changes taking place!), but I can confidently say I can’t see changing anything, not right now anyway. However you certainly don’t need my approval and if you really feel the need to do a cosmetic procedure and you feel good about your decision then go for it!

There are a few very important points that cannot be excluded from any discussion about plastic surgery. The first and most important thing to find out about is credentials. You must know who your doctor is and what kind of doctor he or she is. There are many people who have “M.D.” behind their names, but are they well-versed (and certified) to do cosmetic surgery? Please read the article on plastic surgery listed below to get further information on this most important topic.

Second, have you gone to several doctors (yes, this takes time) to get several different opinions about your potential changes? Personality as well as skill level are important to match up with a doctor who is going to be essentially cutting on your body. I hope you invest enough time to discover the perfect doctor for you. They may not be who your best friend chose, but if the fit feels right to you, then so be it.

In closing, I have a little quiz for you. Let’s say surgery was not an option. I know it is, obviously, but just for one moment, let’s say surgery is not an option. Then what would you do? What would you do differently to take care of your skin, your body, and your total self that you aren’t doing now? Would you slow down or limit your sun exposure? Eat better and drink more water? Spend more time on rituals to stimulate your health rather than break it down? Would you be more accepting of yourself because you’d have to be? Remember, for this one moment there is no cosmetic surgery available. What would you do differently? I think it’s an interesting question to explore.

In the end nothing really matters—not really. We live our lives the best we can and I think, at least this is true for me, we search out happiness in every corner and down every road we can find it. There are many roads to choose from and many different paths we take in life. So be well, enjoy your life and feel good about yourself always.

For more information, see: