“Oh my God, you look fabulous!” all six of us exclaim to our friend, Jennifer, whose wedding is in two days. We’re gathered for her pre-bridal party at a tony restaurant in NYC and we haven’t seen the “bride-to-be-second-time-around” for over three years while she was working in Florida for her magazine. She’d met someone last year and was getting married again. We’d all kept in touch by phone and emails and were excited for her.
“I guess working in Florida really is like being on vacation,” says one of our friends admiringly. I nod my head in assent and calculate how I can swing a few months in a warmer climate myself. My friend looks incredible.
Later on as the evening drifts into the late night hours and our friends leave one by one, the bride and I are left alone in the restaurant. I pull out my cell phone ready to call an Uber to take us to our respective homes when she stops me, orders two drinks, and asks me if I can tell.
“Tell what?” I am baffled.
“About my lifts.” Ah, now I know.
During her time in Florida it seems, she had some ‘work done’—a whole lot of it as she tells me in detail. Besides getting a vertical facelift, neck lift, and eyelid surgery, both upper and lower, she also had had a butt lift and abdominoplasty to remove excess stomach tissue.
“And remember four years ago when I said I was visiting my parents in Virginia? I was actually in Los Angeles getting a breast augmentation.”
“You told us you looked so uplifted because you were doing upper body exercises and had bought the new La Perla bras!” I remind her.
“Oh thank God! You mean you couldn’t tell?”
I tell her we might have suspected but no one mentioned anything. “You look great! Why the big confession now?”
“I am deliberating telling James about my new body. He doesn’t know the old me, he met me six months after my last procedure. Maybe he should know I’ve made some improvements. You’ve written about relationships-what do you think?”
What do I think? I think—plastic surgery is a very personal decision and no one else’s business. Seriously, it is your life. Having work done to improve your appearance and make you feel better is something only you can decide to do. There is nothing wrong with making certain corrections to what nature gave you or forgot to give you. Nor is there anything wrong with having procedures to make you appear fresher and more vibrant. You want to live happily and if that will add to your happiness, go for it. No one should tell you otherwise.
While wrinkles and sagging are natural occurrences to our faces and bodies, in our youth obsessed world reversing the signs of aging is a hot ticket item. Cosmetic surgery can be an excellent way of improving self-esteem. Liposuction, rhinoplasty, or breast augmentation can boost confidence levels. Corrective surgery to improve an unpleasant physical issue is good for your self-esteem. Again, it’s your business. You don’t owe anyone an explanation for what you do.
However—if you are contemplating cosmetic surgery, there is an important question you should ask yourself and answer with complete honesty. Why do I want to do this and what do I hope to gain from the results? Anyone who is considering a cosmetic procedure should understand why they want to have the procedure, and what their expectations of the procedure are. Most people are realistic about these procedures. They know what is involved, what the expected outcome will be and understand that, while the procedure may improve their quality of life, it isn’t going to ‘fix’ all of their problems. No procedure will ‘fix’ a boring job, a souring relationship, or the less-than-desirable neighborhood where you live. As long as you understand all this, you will be fine.
There are so many people who will throw shame onto anyone who has cosmetic surgery done, calling that person vain and ridiculous. I have a different attitude toward cosmetic surgery and that is simply, why not? This is your life and however you want to live it, it’s your decision.
Whether you choose to tell someone about your procedures is also personal. We all present ourselves to others in the best possible way we can. It’s the same with a new relationship. Even though there is so much more to a relationship than the physical, you’re not shallow if you’re attracted to someone’s physical self nor is the other person shallow for finding you attractive. Having someone find you desirable, hot even, is a great ego booster. Isn’t that one of the perks of being a couple?
I told Jen what I thought and I also told her something else. James didn’t meet the ‘old’ Jennifer, he met her as she is now and that is the person he knows and loves. It is her choice to tell him or not.
Enjoy being the new, improved you and begin a new improved life with him. Let’s face it, looking good is its own best reward.
© 2019 Copyright Kristen Houghton all rights reserved
Kristen Houghton’s new book, Lilith Angel, was published in April, 2019 and is already in the top “fiction top five” by Nielson Ratings. She is the author of nine novels, two non-fiction books, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, and a children’s novella. The first four books in her best-selling series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation, are now available in a special boxset. She is also the author of the Horror Writers of America award-winning Quick-Read, Welcome to Hell.