Some people go for plastic surgery hoping to fill that missing “something” that prevents them from moving forward in life with confidence. Although I personally believe that it’s not usually our physical qualities that leave lasting marks in the world once we’re gone, I have nothing against people who go for plastic surgery — and I want to be clear about that. In fact, I was inspired to write this post by a very dear friend who recently went for a nose job, a dream that she’s had ever since she was 15.
Shannon got the high-bridge and bony nose of her Italian Dad. Although she’s always been proud of her exotic features, she found her nose too big for her face. Interestingly, none of us — her friends, family and acquaintances — seem to feel that way. Although her nose wasn’t perfect, we all thought it was alright. Being a model, Shannon confided that she always got paranoid that people can’t focus on the rest of her face due to her nose. She was about 15 years old when she realized her nose just didn’t fit her and that’s when she told herself she was going to save enough money to go for plastic surgery once she’s older. At 27 years old, she finally did it.
…Then Losing It
When Shannon showed me her recovery photos after her nose surgery, my head felt light and woozy. But when I saw her after the swelling subsided and all the stitches were removed, she had a different aura around her. She was glowing and very happy (please don’t ask me where she went for plastic surgery). But the initial high didn’t last long. Soon she became distant and I later found out it was because she feared people finding out about her nose job and gossiping behind her back. I asked her, “What’s the point if you’re going to hide like this? I thought you went for a nose job to feel more confident about yourself?” It probably took her a month to shake off the post-op blues.
Setting Realistic Expectations
Shannon is now back to modeling — and yes, a lot of people did notice the change. But she had stopped caring about what other people think by reminding herself that she saved the money and went through all the pain and inconvenience for herself and not for anybody else. According to her, the support of her friends and family was essential not just for her physical but emotional recovery, as well. When I asked her how she felt now about people knowing about her nose job, she said “I learned that it’s part of the package (of going for plastic surgery). You have to be ready for people gossiping behind your back — really. If you can take it, might as well just be open about it and not deny it. But always remember that you don’t owe anybody an explanation. It’s your life.”
Teenagers Going For Plastic Surgery
Since Shannon first showed interest in cosmetic surgery when she was just 15, I couldn’t help but bring up the issue of the rising number of teenagers going for plastic surgery. I know it’s a little off track but I think it’s inevitable to touch on this after talking about her story. I asked her if she had any reminders for teenagers who are tempted to go for plastic surgery.
“If they ever consider plastic surgery, they shouldn’t be impulsive. In my case, it was only when I reached my mid 20’s that I became really decided. When I was younger, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted ’cause I wanted lots of things — and if I had followed all of them, I would probably have ended regretting my decisions now and what my face might have turned into,” she shared.
Psychiatrist Charles Sophy reminded parents of teenagers keen on going for plastic surgery (article source), “Mom and Dad, please be sure your adolescent or your teen is aware that this is not a coping skill — that every time we feel uncomfortable about ourselves, then we go out and we get surgery. Because that’s how we begin a huge line of problems.”
Love & Support
If you know anyone, a friend or loved one who went for any type of cosmetic surgery, guide them but please don’t judge them. And hopefully, they’ll feel more assured that they’re surrounded by people who love them for who they really are. I hope my friend Shannon, who kindly allowed me to share her story, will get to read this post.