No one would argue that self-improvement is not a good thing. Some might even go so far as to say that it is an absolute good. Of course, there are some things you cannot fix with diet, exercise, and other healthy activities. Whether you have a bump on your nose (a dorsal hump) or bags under your eyes that bother you immensely, addressing those problems could be a good thing. In fact, it could be a great thing!
As a plastic surgeon, I deal with this issue on a regular basis. All of my patients truly want to make a change, but they worry about what others will say. Many of them are more concerned about plastic surgery critics than they are about going under the knife. As such, they often ask me how to answer those who claim they are just being vain. This is what I tell them.
Getting plastic surgery is an incredibly personal decision that really has nothing to do with other people. It’s all about you. If you have something about yourself that negatively affects your self-esteem or self-image, why not fix it? Allowing plastic surgery critics to take that option away gives them power over you. In my humble opinion, that is something they do not deserve. Each person has the right to make decisions about his or her own body. Moreover, it often works out well. How do I know?
Numerous scientific studies have concluded that plastic surgery has a myriad of psychological benefits.One such study found that an incredible 98 percent of women were satisfied with the results of their breast augmentation surgery. Most reported a marked improvement in their self-esteem and quality of life. Another long-term study found that patients generally felt healthier and less anxious than those who had considered, but not had, a cosmetic procedure. I have noticed the very same things in my own practice.
As long as they have realistic expectations, most of my patients report improvements in their self-esteem and self-confidence after their surgeries. In other words, they feel better about themselves for recognizing a problem and doing something about it. This realization also helps them confront plastic surgery critics who make assumptions and judgments based on their own narrow view of the subject. The process can actually be quite liberating—which is why I believe critics should say what they want. At the end of the day, their preconceived notions don’t carry much weight.