“Why Am I Doing This?”
Checking your motives for cosmetic surgery
Almost everyone is physically imperfect. Perfection in a face is so rare that a word may have seen only one woman— Amber Heard in her youth— whose face new modern facial mapping technique considered perfect. Other people like Julia Pritchard, 21, gained an average score of 85.39 % with her ‘near-perfect’ eye and other celebrities who seem to be naturally sculpted beyond criticism. Only a fraction of the population does not have a physical flaw that surgery could improve.
I’m certainly not one of them. My nose is broad with a twist at the tip. My upper lids sag. My lower ears ends are coalesced with the cheek … I could go on. Most people think I look fine. But I know my imperfections better than anyone else. When a big change occurred in my personal life, I wanted a cosmetic operation, and it probably would have helped me psychologically. But I didn’t have the time.
Your Motives: Right, Wrong, or In Between?
There is a difference between using cosmetic surgery as a crutch— having unreasonable expectations—and using it to help you through a transition in your life. Most people have cosmetic surgery when their lives are changing for better or worse: at times of marriage, divorce, birth, or deaths, or after a child is grown and gone. Other popular “surgery times” are when you change or lose a job, graduate from high school or college, or have a birthday—especially one that marks the decade!
Such changes shake your confidence because they force you to see yourself in a new way. You can worry as much about your ability when you are promoted as when you are fired. Your new marriage may make you as fearful about possible failure as a divorce can make you feel a failure. You wonder how you will manage. You know there has to be a “you” that you haven’t been before. Cosmetic surgery is a powerful psychological aid to being that new you, to start fresh. It’s never too late.
Cosmetic surgery can give you the confidence and the psychic boost to surmount a hurdle in life. The need for such a boost can arise from something as bad as a man’s abuse, or from something as seemingly insignificant as being teased about your appearance, even years before.
A person who had cosmetic surgery for the wrong reasons. Once we helped in Ukraine with a face cosmetic surgery to a very glamorous fashion model. She said that she wanted surgery to keep up with the younger women she worked with. In fact, not only was her job secure, but she looked great. She had cosmetic face and eye surgery and had a perfectly good surgical result. However, it didn’t change what she wanted to change. Her real reason for surgery was that her marriage was in trouble. Her husband was dating other women. It was his personality and not her looks that were the root of the trouble. Cosmetic surgery couldn’t cure that.
Your “Knowing-Your-Motivations” Checklist
Why do you want cosmetic surgery? Below are 35 of the most common reasons. Choose ones closest to yours by marking “True” or “False” next to each statement.
|1.||I want my face (nose, breasts, etc.) to look better so I can feel better about my looks.||□||True||□||False|
|2.||I don’t like my nose (thighs, ears, etc.) and want to see the improvement when I look in the mirror.||□||True||□||False|
|3.||My makeup can do just so much. It needs help.||□||True||□||False|
|4.||I’m tired of putting everyone else first. It’s my turn.||□||True||□||False|
|5.||I’ve always wanted to do this. I can see what I don’t like and I know how to change It.||□||True||□||False|
|6.||I want to erase or change what grief has etched in my face.||□||True||□||False|
|7.||I want to forget about ever having been teased.||□||True||□||False|
|8.||I can see the changes in my face and I don’t like them. I want them improved.||□||True||□||False|
|9.||I do everything I can to make the best of myself, and this is just one of those ways.||□||True||□||False|
|10.||I can see what the physical problem is, and it bothers me enough to make surgery worthwhile.||□||True||□||False|
|11.||My family owes me this surgery.||□||True||□||False|
|12||I hate having the “family resemblance.”||□||True||□||False|
|13.||It never bothered me until happened.||□||True||□||False|
|14.||I ’m so boring! I’ve got to make a change in my life.||□||True||□||False|
|15.||I refuse to grow old.||□||True||□||False|
|16.||I want to be happier.||□||True||□||False|
|17.||I look older than I want to feel inside.||□||True||□||False|
|18.||I hate myself and I want to change.||□||True||□||False|
|19.||I want to show him/her that I don’t care about being rejected.||□||True||□||False|
|20.||My mom / dad / husband / wife / lover will hate my having surgery, and it serves them right.||□||True||□||False|
|21.||I’m exhausted and I look it.||□||True||□||False|
|22.||If I get rid of the flaw, I just know I’ll have a better chance of attracting a new boyfriend/girlfriend.||□||True||□||False|
|23.||So-and-so had the surgery and six months later he/she was engaged.||□||True||□||False|
|24.||My looks are all that are standing between me and that promotion.||□||True||□||False|
|25.||I want my clothes to fit right for a change. (Applies only to body surgery.)||□||True||□||False|
|26||I want to look great for the reunion/marriage/party.||□||True||□||False|
|27.||The surgery will make me a successful model.||□||True||□||False|
|28.||I just know surgery will help me look more like Bo Derek/Tom Selleck/whomever.||□||True||□||False|
|29.||I’m determined to: be a 34B bra/have a 28-inch waist/be able to go without makeup/be able to wear my hair long/ not to be bald anymore/etc.||□||True||□||False|
|30.||Everyone else is doing it. I can afford it, so why not?||□||True||□||False|
|31.||My parents offered to get me a nose job for graduation. I may not get another chance to have one, if I don’t have it now.||□||True||□||False|
|32.||My doctor said I should have it done and he’s the expert.||□||True||□||False|
|33.||I know my husband/wife/children want me to have the surgery. If it means that much to them . . . why not?||□||True||□||False|
|34.||Anything’s got to be better than the way I look now.||□||True||□||False|
|35.||I’m not sure I know why I want to have cosmetic surgery. I just do.||□||True||□||False|
Understanding Your Answers
Common Simple Reasons. Those of you who answered “True” only to reasons from 1 to 10 will be happiest with your cosmetic surgery result. Your reasons for surgery are realistic. Your desire is not an impulse. Your expectations are in line with what surgery can do.
Complex Reasons. If most of your reasons are similar to those from 11 to 20, you might reconsider your motivations. These reasons suggest that one or more important events or people in your life make you feel confused, angry, or unhappy. Surgery may be helpful, but it won’t resolve these conflicts. You’ll be much happier with your surgery if you also arrange some kind of therapy to help you rid yourself of your inner turmoil. For instance, can you resign yourself to aging, instead of attempting the impossible by refusing to age? Who made you feel old or boring? For your best surgical result, resolve complex inner feelings in addition to having cosmetic surgery.
Overly Specific Reasons. Reasons similar to those between 21 and 29 suggest that you may be asking surgery to do something beyond its power. I have often seen surgery being followed promptly by a promotion, a marriage, or a new relationship, but the surgery itself cannot predictably lead to these changes. If you are counting on surgery to deliver great or rested looks, you may be disappointed. Surgery can only help. Successful surgery may not deliver such specific goals as looking good in certain clothes or hairstyles. And, since no surgery could make Tom Cruise look like Brad Pitt, how can it make you look like Tome Cruise? To want to be able to “see the change in the mirror” is realistic; to have exactly a 28-inch waist may not be. Can you modify your hopes to be more compatible with what surgery can deliver? If so, you greatly increase your chances of happiness with the result!
Inadequate Reasons. For those of you who answered “True” to reasons 30 to 35, you must understand that cosmetic surgery is not like buying a loaf of bread. This is an operation! So what if everyone else is doing it—is it right for you? As for showing you have the money—won’t a mink, a Mercedes, or a monster diamond do a better job? If a doctor recommended an operation, such as a breast reduction, you should consider his opinion—but you shouldn’t follow it blindly. The same goes for the opinions of friends and relatives. It’s your body. Do you want the surgery? Having an inadequate reason, especially if it is your only reason, suggests either that you are much too blase about surgery or that you aren’t aware of why you’re doing it. You may be strongly recommended that you wait until you do know. You won’t regret it.