Women and Plastic Surgery
You are sitting at a table with your girlfriends when one of them says, “You look great. Why are you not aging – what are you doing?” Your first thought is, do I take the compliment and change the subject, do I deny, deny, deny, or do you own up to the fact that you had a couple of shots of botox and fillers and chased it with a Hydrafacial? For many of us, we are embarrassed to say that we have done some facial altering with injectables because of some stigma that says that we are supposed to age without looking a day over 25 while making organic cookies for the kid’s bake sale as PTA president and running a million-dollar corporation as CEO all the while making the 5 AM spin class so that your abs look like you didn’t have three kids. Why are we all propagating these lies? And who makes them up anyways? Why do women feel like they have to live up to these unrealistic standards and, in the process, shame themselves or others for visiting their plastic surgeon?
These are some of the many questions that I, a plastic surgeon, soccer mom, and wife, ask myself. I of all people should be above this. But on my recent annual girls trip when faced with the same situation, I too felt the shame. But I want to start a real and honest conversation that says to other women – YES, I am not perfect! My thighs have touched before, and I have Coolsculpted them. My brows are not as high as they used to be, so I love Botox. And I want to have sexy lips so I use filler. Am I less of a woman? Am I vain?
The answer is unequivocally NO WAY! I did all these things because, for me, they give me the confidence to be my best self. Not because we have to be beautiful and sit around and be adored. Definitely not for my husband or other men. Not to make other women around me feel bad about themselves. I do these things for myself. They don’t have to be a choice for you but don’t judge me for it. As women, we take our confidence to the carpool line, the boardroom, and our homes and bedrooms. I am proud to be a woman who has the ability to make choices for myself. You can be both- you can a strong, confident woman at baseline but feel slightly more confident because of the steps YOU have taken with your own free will to take care of yourself. As women, we seem to put the needs of others first naturally. We need to start giving ourselves permission to engage in self-care and know that by loving ourselves, we are able to love others fully. By being sincere and honest about who we are, it is so much easier to unite us all as women and make us stronger. So the next time you are hanging with the girls, own up to your Botox, your breast augmentation, your liposuction. NONE of us are perfect; let’s stop propagating old, outdated ideas and promote friendship and sisterhood.
Dr. Kimberly Singh
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