Plastic Surgery Shaming

Why are some people embarrassed to admit they have had plastic surgery?

Cosmetic or plastic surgery is certainly not new. The practice of altering the shape of the nose, in particular, for functional or aesthetic reasons, has been around for many centuries. Of course, a lot has changed from those early attempts that were performed with crude instruments and without the benefit of anesthesia. Up until more recent time, most of those procedures were necessitated by some sort of tragedy, like the ravages of war or disease. Today, while many nose surgeries are done to correct breathing issues, more and more are done for the sole purpose of changing appearance.

The motivation behind rhinoplasty may be evolving, but there is part of it that still lags behind where we could be. Even though more and more people choose these elective procedures, there is still an element of “plastic surgery shaming” that we have not managed to shake off. Some people, including an increasing number of celebrities, could not care less what anyone thinks and proudly announce their intention of getting rid of the bump or reducing the size of their nose. Others, though, cannot quite get there. Chances are, when they do have to “confess” to having had nose surgery, there will be some version of, “Well, since they had to fix my deviated septum, they thought it would be a good time to just get rid of that bump.”

Why does coupling an aesthetic change with one that was medically necessary seem to make a difference? Could it have something to do with lessening the charge of vanity? Or inauthenticity? What might be a better question; what is it about plastic surgery that makes others feel they have the right to an opinion at all?

Humans are a judgmental lot! We seem to feel the need to comment and critique what others do in all areas of life. It is interesting, though. When someone is criticized or even ridiculed for being overweight and manages to slim down, there is no effort to hide it. An expensive new hair style, dental implants, different glasses or surgery to do away with glasses, altogether, are all acceptable improvements. Why not reducing size of a large nose?

There may be the belief that those opting for nose surgery are doing so out of low self-esteem or some other inner need. That might be the case for a few, but experienced rhinoplasty surgeons discover that in the lengthy interview process and counsel against it. What has actually proven to be true is that cosmetic surgery for aesthetic reasons can increase feelings of physical attractiveness and be a factor in improving happiness. According to an article published in Clinical Psychological Science,

“Participants who underwent surgery reported increased well-being, quality of life, perceived attractiveness, and reduced anxiety in comparison with those who wanted surgery but had not yet undergone it. This seems to support the idea that undergoing aesthetic surgery results in positive psychological changes.”

So, what is the take away from this? First and foremost, nose surgery can be life-altering for many reasons, but, any surgery, cosmetic or otherwise, is a personal decision that the individual should make by weighing the pros and cons and making the choice that seems right. Second, unless asked, other people should keep their opinions to themselves. Period.

Experienced, board certified and dedicated, Dr. Geoffrey Tobias was recognized 12 times as “best in his field” by New York Magazine. When you need a highly-skilled and experienced rhinoplasty surgeon, you could not make a better decision than to request a consultation with Dr. Tobias. To start that process, simply click here.


Posted in: Rhinoplasty

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