Style

A Quick Note on Plastic Surgery

Remember when Heidi Montag looked like this?  Before Spencer, before the “music career,” before she became the butt of every plastic surgery joke.  Pretty, skinny, blonde; but I guess she didn’t agree. 

First, she had her breasts and nose done and dyed her hair an unnatural platinum.  Sure she looked a little like Barbie, but we were still within the realm of normalcy.  So when I saw last week’s cover of People magazine, the one featuring a completely plastic, inflated, frozen Montag proudly showing off her new enhancements(?) for money, I felt truly sorry for her. 

Montag has said publicly that her desire for plastic surgery was caused by her insecurities.  She was teased as a kid about her chin, nose and flat chest and she just wanted to be beautiful.  She wonders how we can judge her for having 10 major surgeries, totalling 30 procedures in just one day in pursuit of a better Heidi, a perfect Heidi, because isn’t that what we all want?

There a lot of young women who read this blog.  All of us have physical features that we see as flaws, something we were teased about as a child. 

I’ve been hearing cracks about my rather substantial backside since I was a middle-schooler.  My wider, turned-up nose was always a source of pig jokes.  I grew into the monkey lips (thank the Lord), but the breasts unfortunately never made it above B-cup.  I could go on, but you get the picture.

Just like my weight, all of these things used to drive me crazy.  In my late teens and early twenties, I talked often about breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, liposuction and chin implantation.  But then, I turned 22, and something in me changed. 

I realized that all in all, I was lucky to have a body that worked.  And over time, that grew into actually loving my nose, embracing my flat chest and coming to terms with the ample junk in the trunk. 

Maybe if Heidi hadn’t been in the unkind glare of the public eye at age 19, she too would have grown to appreciate and embrace her appearance.  But she didn’t. 

Instead Montag has had just about every plastic surgery imaginable and I have no doubt that there will be more.  Because once you have major plastic surgery you don’t get to just stop.  Implants will need to be replaced eventually.  Faces re-lifted.  Fat re-suctioned.  When you have this much plastic surgery, it’s a life-long commitment to maintain it.

If you’re seriously considering plastic surgery, ask yourself, “Why?”  Better yet, ask a professional. 

A therapist will help you sort out whether your urge to change the outside is the result of something deeper or in the inside, or a simple question of going up a cup size.  If it’s the former, I would remind you that you can’t fix what’s on the inside by making changes to the outside.  It sounds cliche, but that’s because it’s true.

The inability to repair the internal by altering the external is why people who have gastric bypass surgery often develop other addictions.  The emotional component of their overeating can lead them to become addicts, alcoholics and compulsive gamblers.  The same is true for people who have lots of plastic surgery hoping to heal the rift between how they feel about themselves and how they think that they should feel.  Eventually, that sense of accomplishment and pride in their new appearance wears off, because the old wound is just bandaged, not healed.

I don’t want to imply that every person who has plastic surgery does it for the wrong reasons, some perfectly well-adjusted women just like the idea of bigger breasts, slimmer thighs and a nicer nose.  And if you’re augmenting and enhancing in moderation, I don’t think there is anything wrong with it.  But when you are desperate to fix raise that brow line or trim that waist because then you will finally feel good about yourself, then you need to talk to someone before you go under the knife.

I think Heidi Montag is on a very dangerous path.  It’s the kind of path that leads to a nose like Michael Jackson’s and a face like Jocelyn Wildenstein’s.  I hope that Montag realizes that having all this work done in pursuit of fame and the healing of childhood wounds is unhealthy.  But given that she has been on a media tour telling everyone that she loves her new look, wants even bigger implants, and doesn’t think there is anything broken inside, I doubt it. 

Like every woman (person), I am on a path of self-acceptance.  But no matter what I might struggle with appearance-wise, I hope that I never become so discouraged by my looks that I’m willing to cut, slice and tear myself apart one surgery at a time. 

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  1. nycbunny says:

    well said!!!

    January 22, 2010/Reply
  2. AJ says:

    totally agree about Heidi…she obviously has issues. And I would have NEVER thought that I would consider plastic surgery for myself. HOWEVER…..I am at the point where I am just starting to consider it. I am 43 and pretty much wrinkle free (thanks to SS and Retin-A) but am starting to sag. My chinline is starting to fall as well as my eyelids. I have had to quit wearing turtlenecks and it is getting really hard to do my eye makeup. It is so hard to look at your face and not see that same face that you’ve seen for all those years. And I am only 43 so it will get worse for sure. I have a feeling that by my late 40s I will have something done. My biggest concern is that if something would happen during my surgery and I would leave my 2 beautiful little boys without a mom. Will my vanity be worth this price?

    January 22, 2010/Reply
  3. Princess Freckles says:

    I’ve always been a fan of plastic surgery. I’ve never had any (I’m 27), but my mother had a much needed breast reduction in 2004, and I would imagine my sister will evenually have a reduction as well. Heidi looks great! If a plastic Barbie appearance is the goal, she has acheived it. I find nothing wrong with it, its just not my personal taste, especially for my own body. I can garuntee I’ll have some work done was I age, but could never imagine changing my entire appearance so that I no longer look like the same person. She must stun herself each time she looks in the mirror! Not to mention when she has children. What will she tell her daughter who inherited her "real" nose or other features?

    Her behavior more than her new sugery is what is really indicative of her inner issues. She is clearly not the best decision maker, and her marraige shows her lack of self esteem.

    This is a great post, and I read your blog often and always enjoy it.

    January 22, 2010/Reply
  4. Elise says:

    Excellent post – I like your fashion commentary, and I like your healthy attitude toward your appearance. And yes, it’s hard for women (a lot of women, anyway) to accept the way they look. Thanks for your perspective of acceptance toward yourself! I am sure you are a gorgeous woman, but you are even more gorgeous because of this attitude. ­čÖé

    January 22, 2010/Reply
  5. Christina says:

    Heidi’s story makes me sad. Heidi 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 were all beautiful, but its obvious she has serious body image issues. To be clear, I have no problem with plastic surgery to a reasonable limit.

    January 23, 2010/Reply