If our social feeds are akin to conveyor belts, doling out never-ending images of voluptuous, perfectly symmetrical breasts, an array of ample apple bottoms, catwalk-worthy sets of gorgeous, glowing gams, and tight, toned, and (spray) tanned tummies that accost our waking conscious on the daily and increase our already insatiable desire for aesthetic perfection, it is no wonder that cosmetic surgery has been on the rise. Enhancing, accentuating, or fixing our less-than-flawless figures has become big beauty business, and nothing a little nip here, a tuck there, or pinch or prick here or there can’t handle – all in a modest attempt to achieve ethereal-like bodily perfection and perpetuate our youth from head to tippy toe.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates roughly 15.9 million cosmetic procedures, including minimally-invasive, are performed each year in the U. S. alone, up 2% since 2014. Whether you’re seriously (or semi-seriously) considering undergoing a tummy tuck, a “Mommy Makeover” package, breast augmentation/reduction, rhinoplasty (nose job), liposuction, a surgical facelift, or some lunchtime baby Botox® injections to iron out incriminating expression lines or lip and facial fillers to plump-up areas of volume loss and sagging, the plastic surgery smorgasbord can be seemingly infinite and quite daunting. With the very potential rewards of your burgeoning beauty makeover comes some very real risks, as well as realistic expectations to consider before going under the knife – or needle. Here are just a few things to take into consideration before making that cosmetic procedure commitment.
- Everyone Ages – Yes, Everyone!
Sorry to burst your beauty bubble, but the clock doesn’t stop ticking and everyone will experience the ups and downs (pardon the pun) of the aging process at some point in their lives. But, you have a choice. You can accept this very real fact of life and age gracefully, or you can be neurotically obsessed and interminably miserable about it. There is no magical doctor, beauty cream, skincare regimen, or procedure that will indefinitely defy your real age. A combination of the aforementioned may help diminish the ravages of time to an extent, but the essence of your age will inevitably be there. That is just fact, so it’s best to just face it.
- Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
You won’t magically morph into a dead ringer for Angelina Jolie or Christie Brinkley or any of your beloved big-screen beauties the next day – or the next month. So, now’s the time to get really realistic about your pending transformation and what to expect. Consider your body and your face and NOT anyone else’s. Simply allow your surgeon to work with your very own unique and individual genetics, specifications, needs, and desires. This will surely put you at ease prior to your procedure and not leave you disappointed or dismayed once the swelling has subsided. Think of your upcoming procedure as a personal desire to “enhance” or “improve upon” – NOT change. Remember, you’re undergoing this to be a better version of you. This healthy mindset on body image will also keep you from slipping into the emotionally distraught and very common phenomenon known as body dysmorphic disorder, the endless and unhealthy obsession to change your looks at whatever the cost, no matter how risky or dangerous. If you’re already having feelings of self-hate and an unnervingly and increasingly toxic relationship with your body image, drop the plastic surgery idea and seek immediate psychiatric attention instead, because what you really need is therapy and not a thigh lift. The all-encompassing and compulsive need to “fix” whatever it is that is bothering you on the outside is almost always inextricably linked to something needing repair on the inside. So, it is suggested you take a long, soul-searching, introspective look at your life in a very compassionate and self-nurturing manner. That may be all the “work” you really need.
- Be Selfish
Do it for you and no one or nothing else. Opting for a prodigious, Playboy-worthy bosom, tucking the tummy, sculpting the stems, saying “goodbye” to those cottage cheese thighs, contouring the curves, boosting the booty, or filling in fine lines is not going to get you that dream job or dream guy. Sorry, but Prince Charming isn’t going to miraculously appear after a perky boob job or pair of bouncy butt implants, so be sure whatever it is you’re seeking to enhance or alter is YOUR decision because it’s YOU who you ultimately have to live with.
- Forget Instant Gratification
The desired outcome of some surgeries won’t be immediate, especially those of the surgically-invasive variety, such as liposuction, tummy tucks, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, etc, due to subsequent swelling, bruising, bleeding, and other post-op pleasantries. Common in-office procedures, like lip and facial injections, including Botox® and laser, are the most immediate and take upwards of a few days to a week for results to appear with little to no swelling, bleeding, bruising, etc. So, it’s advised not to book your nose job a week before your sister’s wedding, especially if you’re the Maid of Honor.
- Do Your Homework
When considering a cosmetic procedure, it really pays to do your homework as extensively as possible. And, that means in-depth researching, asking questions, seeking recommendations, shopping around, getting second, third, and even fourth consultations/opinions, etc. This is your body, so don’t risk a botch job that may leave you permanently disfigured. If a friend has had an exceptional, brag-worthy experience with a certain doctor/surgeon, get his or her number and book an appointment. Better yet, bring said friend along for emotional and spiritual support. Now isn’t the time to be shy.
- You May Get Told “No”
And, if you do, take it as a blessing in disguise. Any doctor or surgeon who turns you away for a procedure sincerely has your best interest at heart and their professional integrity is to be admired and appreciated.
- Say Bye-Bye To Bad Botox®
Be extremely discerning about who injects your forehead with Botox®, for this minimally-invasive procedure really is a cosmetic art form and not just anyone is qualified to be doing it. The underlying anatomy of the face with respect to nerve endings, contracting muscles, and exactly where the needle should be inserted is the irrefutable difference between a fresh-faced, relaxed look and a the dreaded drooping eyelid. So, ladies, steer clear of Botox® parties and shopping mall-inspired medi-spas and stick to board-certified plastic surgeons and dermatologists for your face-freshening fixes. Bargain hunt your handbags, not your Botox®. Because, it is your body that will pay the ultimate price. This methodology should be implemented for all your beauty bucket list wishes. Don’t risk a potentially bad, body-altering experience just to save a few extra bucks. If the price sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Don’t Break the Beauty Bank
As you probably already know, unless your plastic surgery is reconstructive due to the result of an unfortunate injury, accident, or illness (mastectomy following breast cancer), your healthcare insurance will not be covering the cost of your highly-anticipated facelift or pin-perfecting lipo procedure. The sad reality is that it cost a pretty penny to look and feel beautiful! From a few hundred dollars every 4-6 months for a skin-smoothing Botox® sesh or filler fix to the tens of thousands for more invasive procedures, you need to consider initial pricing, follow-up costs, time off work, and unforeseeable expenses, such as complications, infections, etc. You don’t want to bust your beauty budget. Again, this should all be part of your research and preparation agendas.
- Risk, Recovery, and All the Rest
When you’re completely ready to go ahead with a certain cosmetic procedure and have decided on a specific doctor to see it through, have no shame in your game! Just be sure you’ve discussed all the deets with your doctor – from risks to recovery time to follow-up to costs to the possibility of needing a surgical re-visit (ie, facelifts, chemical peels/re-surfacing, laser treatments, some breast augmentations, etc). Make sure you know step-by-step what will be happening to your body before, during, and after your impending procedure. Keep the surprises for your birthday, not during your surgery.
- Go With Your Gut
If at any time during the research process, or after you’ve set the date, you feel the slightest bit doubtful about your procedure, drop it. It’s always normal to have cold feet before any kind of elected surgery, however major or minor, but if you’re having stomach-turning second thoughts about your tummy tuck, maybe that’s your gut, ahem, trying to tell you something.
- Consider Alternatives
Have you sought out non-surgical answers to your body woes or advanced skincare solutions to your complexion’s imperfections? Instead of undergoing painful liposuction and its arduous recovery period/downtime, how about joining a gym and partaking in proper diet and nutrition practices? You’d be surprised what a week’s worth of sweat seshes can do to your bottom line. No surgery required! Maybe all you need is a complete lifestyle overhaul or a few tweaks here and there. Consider booking an appointment with your derm or a licensed esthetician to discuss skincare concerns and possible steps you can take to target your complexion’s issues. The billion dollar beauty industry is brimming with a bevy of skin-solving dream creams, super serums, lotions, and potions to help put your best face forward. So many of today’s innovative skincare products offer cutting edge, surgery-like results – without the pain or the price! The Cirem Cosmetics Anti-Aging HCR 3-in-1 Serum and YouthBoost Diamond Moisturizing Cream is the new and now in today’s leading skincare advancements and just may be your anti-aging answer. This dynamic duo offers scientifically-advanced formulations, bursting with a proprietary blend of HCR and beautifying botanicals to refine, restore, and rejuvenate the complexion. The Youth Boost Diamond Moisturizing Cream provides long-lasting, luminous moisture. The formula’s unique addition of purified diamond dust boosts skin-supporting collagen production, while imparting a dewy-delicious, age-defying glow to the skin. The skin looks plump, pampered, and perfected – instantly! It’s your “skincare before surgery” option.
- Don’t Feed into Your Social Feeds
As hard as it may be, don’t let the entertainment industry, the media, or filter-filled Instagram photos dictate what you ought to look like. Everyone is different and beautiful in their own way, including you. Learn to embrace your own quirks, flaws, and distinctiveness without compromising your better judgment. And, remember, if you do decide to go through with any type of cosmetic enhancement or alteration, make sure it is about addressing something that is “bothering” you. Don’t seek perfection or movie star-status looks. Our beloved, seemingly “ageless” A-listers don’t look like that when they’re not gracing the covers of our favorite glossies or parading down the red carpet. It takes a generously-compensated glam squad to achieve that “no make-up” made-up face and strategically-placed contour to fake those Insta-glam airbrushed abs. Keep everything in perspective.