Step Into My Office, Please

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Will cosmetic surgery help me feel better about myself?

Step Into My Office, Please

Walk into a plastic surgery center and you might feel as though you've stepped into a psychiatrist's office by mistake. Everyone from the receptionist to the nurse to the surgeon quizzes you about why you want plastic surgery. If your answer is "to feel better about myself," you may get a "thanks, but no thanks," or at least, more questions.

Some surgeons may give you the "beauty is from within" lecture as you glance at the before-and-after photos of celebrity plastic surgery. Hypocritical? Not really. If you've seen "Nip/Tuck," "The Swan," or "Dr. 90210," you know that we often have neuroses that the best plastic surgeon can't cure--and in several cases, some doctors would have done well to say "no" to cosmetic surgery. It's as plain as the nose that's not on Michael Jackson's face. We're not telling you to give up on cosmetic plastic surgery. Just ask yourself some questions before you go:

  • Am I doing this because someone else said, well-intentioned, that I'd look better?
  • Have I just been through a major life event/transition that makes me want a quick fix, e.g. a death, divorce, loss of a job, end of a relationship, children moving out, mid-life transition?
  • Am I just doing this because my favorite celebrity had it done?
  • Am I doing this to please my partner, or because I think I'll become instantly attractive?
  • Do I have unrealistic expectations of recovering my teenage face and body, or looking more mature (if I'm a teenager)?
  • Do I have health issues such as food addictions, sedentary lifestyle, depression/anxiety, unhealthy environment, or other lifestyle complications that need to be addressed before I think of having cosmetic surgery?
  • Have I shopped around, do I know the risks and the benefits of plastic surgery?
  • Do I trust my friends and family to give me honest feedback on whether or not my surgery improves my appearance and health?
  • Am I sure I want to do this?
  • Do I want to do this in combination with an already healthy lifestyle that involves eating right, exercising, managing stress, thinking positive and having a supportive network of family and friends?

Remember that your plastic surgery professional isn't God (even though some in the profession mistakenly make themselves out to be) or a licensed psychologist. He or she is a doctor trying to act in your best interest. You need to do that too before you even start looking at cosmetic plastic surgery procedures. Ask yourself all the questions your plastic surgeon will, and if you still feel positive about cosmetic surgery, go for it.



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