Facial Plastic Surgery is not superfluous or vain, for many it can lead to a dramatically improved sense of self.
Let’s be honest. We live in a world of plastic and cosmetic surgery extremes. While some people are getting plastic surgery to look more like their favorite celebrity, the next patient is simply addressing a functional issue like a deviated septum to breathe more efficiently. For every Facebook and Instagram post filled with horror stories like the New York City “Cat Lady,” there is another that showcases a study that shows the improvement to self-esteem after a cosmetic procedure. In all of this sensationalism, the average plastic surgery patient can feel confused, under represented and lost. It’s time to realistically represent the world of facial plastic surgery, to dispel the common misconceptions, and to embrace the empowerment that comes from realizing that each one of us deserves to have the appearance we want.
Undesirable facial features and/or traits can severely impact your self-esteem and, in turn, your overall satisfaction with life. Many adult patients still experience insecurity and poor self-esteem due to teasing about a facial trait, such as enlarged ears, from their childhood. During consultations, many patients comment on how their dissatisfaction with their crooked nose, aging face or double chin instills negative feelings about themselves on a daily basis. After surgery, they will share that they feel like they are able to now focus on the more enjoyable and important aspects of their lives. In addition, due to their heightened self-esteem, they now focus on improving other aspects of their lives such as fitness, nutrition and their relationships with people they care about. All in all, their facial surgery lead to overall improvement in ALL areas of their lives. If this is the case, why is there still such a taboo surrounding facial plastic surgery?
Bring up the term “plastic surgery” at a dinner party and you will get just as many reactions and opinions as the number of party guests. While some are judgmental and site several examples of horrifying news headlines, others will argue that it is a personal and private decision of the patient and celebrate the power of choice and the journey of self-improvement. The topic can be as polarizing as politics and, unfortunately, many of the arguments against plastic surgery come from outdated, hypocritical and incorrect assumptions.
One common argument is that Facial Plastic Surgery is expensive, vain and superfluous. Critics will site that this money could be better spent on something philanthropic, making the pursuer of plastic surgery feel as if they are missing the mark on some moral high ground. But, to this point, one could than argue that anyone who buys an expensive home, car, or piece of artwork is guilty of the same crime. Who is anyone to dictate what another spends their earned income on? In addition, how can you put a price on how feeling good about your appearance can improve your life and how you live it?
Another common argument is that Facial Plastic Surgery is dangerous. Millions of cosmetic procedures are conducted each year in the United States by board-certified plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons. Do you think you are more apt to hear about the wonderful outcomes of these procedures, or the ONE procedure, performed by an unlicensed or unqualified practitioner, that turned out poorly? Unfortunately, great results get less TV ratings and responses on social media than your “Top 5 Plastic Surgery Gone Wrong” headlines. This sensationalism is not only detrimental to the thousands of surgeons practicing ethically with wonderful outcomes, it is damaging to the person who is considering a procedure, but is now filled with ungrounded fear. Case in point, according to the American Society for Esthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the rate of serious complications from plastic surgery is LESS THAN HALF OF ONE PERCENT.
The decision to have Facial Plastic Surgery is deeply personal and the results can be life altering. Many experience a profound sense of empowerment through acknowledging the source of their discontent, seeking the guidance of a board-certified plastic surgeon, and taking control of their appearance. If that is not reason enough, year after year, studies prove that the benefits of these procedures extend far beyond what we see reflected back in the mirror. We have one life. We should not feel shame or judgement in our desire to move through it with our best face forward!