Last week, we discussed the controversial topic of plastic surgery — whether we’d get it, and moreso, if we’d talk about any procedures. Babble Voices bloggers shared their thoughts on going under the knife. Today, we look at whether your kids’ or partner’s opinions factor into the decision to get a procedure done. See what they had to say:
What about the kids?
Kristen Howerton (Roadside Assistance)
I am torn on this one. My desire to be the kind of strong feminist who would never go under the knife is at odds with my desire to have a flat tummy. I have looked perpetually five months pregnant since giving birth to kid number one, and no amount of exercise or weight loss has changed that. It’s something I feel self-conscious about. I’d love to correct that issue, but I shudder at the message it would send to my kids.
Kelly Wickham (Mocha Momma Has Something to Say)
I cannot bring myself to do plastic surgery. I think the Midwestern gal in me that’s appreciative of the laugh lines I’m getting. I also can’t bring myself to allow my daughters to see what I view as detrimental to my person.
Heather Spohr (More Spohr)
I imagine it’s very hard to have your child ask for surgery that will change her face — the face you love and have watched grow. Our faces change as we age, and so does the way we see ourselves. I haven’t had any plastic surgery, but I don’t recognize myself when I look in the mirror. Our experiences can sometimes shape us more than any knife.
Doug French (The Turbid Spume)
I feel like I’m intruding here, since I’ve never considered plastic surgery because our society says all men age gracefully. (I still wouldn’t mind a full head of dark hair, though.) I’m curious to what extent your partner’s commentary affects your body image?
Jane Roper (Baby Squared)
My husband routinely tells me I’m beautiful, I look great, etc. He also tells me, when I start whining about how my jaw line is sagging and I hate my chin/neck line that it looks perfectly fine to him, but if it’s really important to me, then I should go ahead and get it “done.” I’d almost rather he just said, “Are you crazy? That’s ridiculous. You’re beautiful as you are, and it’s a stupid use of our money.” But I think his attitude is partly a result of the fact that his mom did and felt very good about it.
John Cave Osborne (JCO Multiplied)
I think my wife’s the most beautiful woman ever. She still wants to do it, and I’m 100% fine with it. So long as she doesn’t turn into someone who habitually turns to the knife to defy time and or to remedy any and all of her aesthetic insecurities. Because that type of person doesn’t look young to me. That type of person looks uncomfortable in her skin, both literally and figuratively, and there’s nothing beautiful about that.
So, at least for my wife, having me in her ear — a guy who finds her imperfections both beautiful AND the evidence of a life well lived — has done little to silence the voice within.
Asha Dornfest (The Accidental Expert)
In my experience women are much more critical of themselves *and each other* than men are.
Magda Pecseyne (Moxieville)
Asha, I learned that from doing burlesque — it’s really NOT about what your body looks like, it’s about being up on stage and presenting your body in a certain way.
Which makes me wonder if what men are paying for isn’t a glimpse of the “perfect” T&A, but a glimpse of a woman (okay, the fantasy of a woman, this is performance after all) who is using her body (however shaped) confidently and owning/enjoying her sexuality.
Strippers as feminist role models! Take that, Gloria!
Meagan Francis (At Home With The Happiest Mom)
I don’t think I could ever bring myself to go under the knife even though I would love to have something done about my five-pregnancy abundance of belly skin. But … Doug, in my case it has absolutely nothing to do with my how my husband regards my body. He thinks I’m smokin’ hot and regularly lets me know this. Meanwhile, in the deep dark recesses of my mind, I’m thinking “how can he possibly see my saggy boobs and baby belly as a turn on?”
I think that brings up an interesting point — most of us would dismiss anyone (man or woman) that told us we needed plastic surgery. Why do we also dismiss those who tell us we DON’T?
Ashley Hackshaw (Hey, Look at Me!)
1. I’d get boobs in a millisecond if I could ensure the result wouldn’t be “Ashley survives cancer only to die under anesthesia for a boob job.”
2. I care what my hubby thinks … he does see me naked … and I hope he’d at least ask my opinion before he got any serious work done on himself.
3. I don’t care what anyone else does with their body.
4. If I do get a boob job, I’m definitely going to one of those 90210 surgeons.
Rebecca Woolf (Gone Childssss)
FWIW, I got plastic surgery at 18 (a breast reduction, and yes, I consider it “plastic” because there was nothing reconstructive about it) and would do it again. And again. And again. I wrote about it 7873489273489 years ago here. [http://www.girlsgonechild.net/2006/08/breast-years-of-my-life.html] And nobody could stop me. Not my parents or my then boyfriend who LOVED MY BODY WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO YOURSELF. Because it had nothing to do with how he saw me and everything to do with how I saw myself.
Doug, in regards to your question: For me, fantasizing about a tummy tuck has nothing to do with my husband. In fact, he is the person that I feel least self-conscious around. That being said, I live in Orange County, where sadly plastic surgery really is the norm. I have a lot of friends who have husbands who have suggested (and paid for) boob jobs. So I do think that husbands can have an effect on the decision, and I think where you live can effect the way you view things, too.
Ciaran Blumenfeld (Casa de Chaos)
Being from Orange County really does have an effect on how I view plastic surgery too. A few years ago (I am not making this up I swear) a bunch of women in my neighborhood went in for a group deal on boob jobs. Five houses in a row. They all got boob jobs and the husbands took their kids camping. It didn’t end there. The women were competitive with each other. They would show up at class functions in skimpier and skimpier clothes, and a couple of them went back for touchups, getting bigger and bigger boobs till they looked like clownish porn stars on the playground. Finally one of them overfilled. And popped. I should mention that the real housewives are my actual neighbors. I shudder about what my daughters, growing up here, perceive as “normal” adult behavior.
Rufus Griscom (Knee Deep)
I have always been struck by the shortness of life, the enormous scarcity value of time, and the bankruptcy of beauty as an investment of energy (much less money). If beauty was a stock, the SEC would shut it down. You are guaranteed to lose whatever you invest in it. Though men are oblivious and dense about so many things, they are perceptive about beauty, and I don’t think all the effort invested in beautification really changes what men find beautiful, to the extent that that is what women care about.
Having said all of the above, we are all human, we are all vain, there is pleasure in vanity, and I don’t think anyone should be judged for doing whatever they want. And I love that Ali is doing her cosmetic surgery publicly — it’s brave and radical and a public service.
Allana Harkin (Eating Over The Sink)
Very nice Rufus!
And remember ladies… everyone on television is wearing false eyelashes. (Well, except for me, I had to beg for lip gloss for Dino Dan. But I wear them at home to vacuum and, you know, stuff.)
Joanne Bamberger (Pundit Mom’s Spin Cycle)
Sure. Show us all up by vacuuming 😉
I was lying. About the vacuuming. I’m sorry.
For the post that started it all, check out Ali Wentworth’s post on when she decided to get cosmetic surgery.