Let me say at the beginning of this article that I like my face but that I do intend to get a facelift some day in the future.
I will acknowledge that that day scares me right now but I'm thinking about it; it's on the list so to speak.
The truth is that I don't want to make a drastic change; I just want to look fresh and healthy. I'm not into making major changes. I like my nose and the fact that it has a tiny scar on it from MOHS skin cancer surgery doesn't matter to me. It's a badge of honor, really. I am not interested in cheek implants to make my cheek bones more prominent nor do I want my face changed so much at some future date as to be unrecognizable. And, oh God, I absolutely do not want to try to look 25 when I reach 65, hell no! That's simply ridiculous. I like my face, but there will come a time when I will want it to look less tired and more refreshed.
Some people call it vanity. I call it an investment and if I can afford to have it done, I say why not? I want to be me and keep the vibrant and energetic version of myself. I work in a business where I am on display as a speaker doing workshops and seminars but any 'work' I get done wouldn't just be for that. It would first and foremost be for me. If I feel good about my appearance, I will project that in my work.
A good example of feeling good about my appearance has to do with the two laser treatments I had recently for the dreaded "age spots" on my face. I was tired of using make-up to hide them. For a week after the laser treatments I had what looked like red leopard spots on certain areas of my face. But when the scabs fell off the result was remarkable; I was left with a flawless, creamy complexion. I felt good about me and it was a boost to my confidence. Several of my colleagues liked the result so much that they scheduled their own appointments with my dermatologist.
A woman I met who works for a PR firm took some time off to get a little 'lift.' She had a simple chin revision and blepharoplasty (more commonly known as getting rid of under-eye bags).
She just turned fifty-five and says that she has always hated the bags under her eyes that have haunted her since she was in her twenties, and her "lack of chin" has been something she always wanted to have corrected.
"It was very interesting," she says,
Before I had the surgery I felt as if I were the invisible woman in meetings, discarded in a way. No one paid attention to what I was saying. Now when I make a presentation my colleagues pay attention. It's also true of my meetings with clients. They respond more to me. Truthfully, I know I do look fresher and that translates to energetic. An energetic looking person appears as if he or she can get the job done. It was the best money I have spent on an investment in quite some time.
The raw truth is that, unlike our European counterparts, here in the USA we are a youth-obsessed culture where natural aging seems to be some type of a major sin. According to the commercial spiel coming from Madison Avenue, only the brightest, prettiest and youngest-looking people have lives worth living. If you're young looking you're entitled to everything: good sex, a pricey car, fabulous vacations and great careers. No one is interested in experience or the wisdom of age, especially if the 'aged' person looks tired and frumpy.
Hair dye can take care of the greying hair some of us won't want to see, why not let a little surgical magic do the same for puffy eye bags and sagging jawlines? And while I know that not everyone feels this way, and there will be some who chide me for being vain, the majority of my friends and colleagues agree; there's nothing wrong with a little help in terms of maintenance.
It should be personal choice.
Of course once you venture down the path of cosmetic procedures you find all kinds of things waiting for you. There's everything from the non-surgical laser treatments to Botox, to IPL (Intense-Pulsed Light) also called Photo Rejuvenation, to the actual surgical procedures of lifting and tightening. You truly have to be very astute about what you want or need and then stop.
A prominent plastic surgeon I had interviewed when I had my MOHS surgery, Dr. Craig Hall, told me that if a patient tells him she wants a facelift the first question the good doctor asks is why and the second question is if the person likes herself.
If the why is because she wants to make subtle improvements, fine. And, of course, the patient should like who she or he is as a person. I won't do surgery on anyone who tells me that the surgery will completely change their life or will make them a better person. I refer that patient to a therapist. Cosmetic surgery is a great tool for some improvements but it can too often be misused. You can't run away from the inner you by making physical changes.
I do see a facelift for myself in the future. I like me, I'm happy with who I am becoming in life. Cosmetic surgery is a tool I will use with caution. It's a personal choice and should be respected as one. What do you think?
© 2014 copyright Kristen Houghton
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