Askanesthetician's Blog

An esthetician explores skincare issues and concerns

Elective Cosmetic Surgery for the Right Reasons January 24, 2010

Earlier this week a friend of mine gave me an old copy of More magazine (April 2009).  I had never read More before because I thought there wouldn’t be much in the magazine that I would enjoy since I am not their target demographic (the magazine is meant for women 40 and older, and I have about five years until I reach that milestone).  Much to my surprise I have really enjoyed reading the magazine.

In the copy of the magazine my friend gave me I came across an article by Annie Groer entitled “From Buyout to Face-lift” about her decision to get a face-lift when she turned 60 and had just been laid-off.  I thought it was a great article – thoughtful, funny, and entertaining.  The article also did a wonderful job at describing why someone would choose to have elective cosmetic surgery and why such a choice isn’t entirely vain or ridiculous.  I know many, many women (and men) who consider elective cosmetic surgery a silly, narcissistic decision.  Of course there are numerous, numerous examples of people who choose elective cosmetic surgery for all the wrong reasons – completely giving in to societal pressure to look young and beautiful, deep-seated self loathing, or they are trying to change their appearance to fit in with a certain desired group.  For all those people there are many others who just want to make a few physical  improvements.  Perhaps the way your breasts look bothers you or perhaps your body (no matter how much you exercise or watch what you eat) never “recovered” from having children.  What is so wrong then with getting a few improvements?  It is clear that when you feel good about how you look your attitude and outlook on life changes, your confidence grows, and your ability to cope with what life throws at you is greatly enhanced.  This article clearly shows how a physical improvement can have those desired impacts on your life.  What I also liked about this article is that the author realizes that a face-lift won’t change her life entirely, but it would as she writes “ease [her] entry into [an] uncertain new phase” of her life.  Groer saw the face-lift as a much-needed ego boost.

I expect that more than one person will disagree with mine and Groer’s stance on elective plastic surgery, and I think that it is important to continue to have a debate on the subject since there are many plastic surgery “abusers” and “addicts” out there.  But bottom line – if you can find a way to make yourself look better in order to feel better, and have realistic expectations about the physical and emotional results of your surgery, why not do it?  If elective plastic surgery makes you enjoy your life to the fullest than go for it!  For those reasons I don’t consider the decision to get elective plastic surgery to be a frivolous or selfish decision.  Keep your expectations in check but your goals high and enjoy your new look.


2 Responses to “Elective Cosmetic Surgery for the Right Reasons”

  1. Suzanne Says:

    I think this is a thought-provoking article, but generally, I disagree with you on elective cosmetic surgery, although I guess it depends on the procedure because some are riskier than others. Surgery inherently carries a risk, and bodies are bodies. There are a lot of things that I don’t like about my body, but it’s my body, and I learned to live with it. As long as someone is healthy, I think going under the knife is foolish. Cosmetic surgery IS for vanity, flat out.

    That said, it would be hypocritical of me to not admit that I had what could be deemed cosmetic surgery when I had a breast reduction. However, I did it because my ginormous boobs caused me enormous back and shoulder pain. I could not move around very well as a result. I held off getting the surgery for years because I thought I would look worse (which is totally vain), but in the end, the surgery wound up improving my overall appearance. Maybe if I had known that, I would have done it sooner! We’re all vain at the end of the day, I guess. 🙂

  2. You are right to point out that I neglected to mention that cosmetic surgery, like any surgery, can be risky. Certainly there have been a few well publicized deaths (,,20170854,00.html) after elective cosmetic surgery.

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