Wednesday, March 14, 2012

My plastic surgery quagmire

I bumped into an acquaintance of mine at the gym this morning. I say acquaintance because we are not really friends—not even Facebook friends. We both live in the same town, our children are the same ages and go to school together, and they do a lot of the same activities. We have mutual friends and I have even been to her house for a birthday party. But I forget her name sometimes and I doubt she took the time to ever remember mine since she used to refer to me as Veronica’s mom.

To put it bluntly, I don’t fit into her world and she doesn’t fit mine. She drives a $65,000 car and spent $9,000 on her new boobs a few years ago. I drive an old minivan and I spent $25 on a push-up bra from the clearance rack at Victoria’s Secret in an attempt to recycle my God-given goodies. She won’t let her kids eat at McDonald’s and I won’t let my kids eat off of the floor. I guess you could say we have different priorities…

We pass at the gym during the week. I usually just wave and say “hey” and she gives a nod and says “hi.” But today she caught my attention. She had that “deer in the headlights” look and I noticed she didn’t have a reason to look surprised. Apparently she hadn’t taken the time off to stay at home and let her recent plastic surgery procedure “settle.”
Joan. Van. Ark.
Mother. Of. God.
I found myself looking at her face trying to get a good look at her forehead and eyes. I even tried to just look at her reflection in the mirror during sculpting class so she wouldn’t think I was staring at her. Then it hit me, “Am I really at the age when my friends will start getting face work done?”

I’ve become accustomed to seeing friends with new boobs. I even have an acquaintance at the gym who has a fake butt. To say you could bounce a quarter off of that thing is an understatement. I used to think she spent her days doing squats and running up and down stairs. Boy was I relieved to find out that thing was fake. It’s hard to compete with plastic.

I have mixed feelings about plastic surgery. I understand why people do it—I seriously considered having some work done before I went back out into the dating world. I was worried about a man seeing my naked body. My boobs have seen better days and I have had two C-sections so my tummy has a sagging pooch that never seems to shrink no matter how many sit-ups I do. One day I was at the gym and I saw the lady with the fake butt and I thought to myself, “I’m just going to go get a consultation and find out what it would cost to get my tummy fixed and my boobs lifted.” About that time, I looked up at one of the TV screens and I saw a lady who was giving a news conference about her new face transplant—this lady was worried about having a face and I was worried about gravity's affect on parts that I can keep covered up. I realized that was God’s way of telling me that I was being shallow. I haven’t thought about plastic surgery since that day.
Ms. Connie Culp--face transplant recipient
I also feel that I have a responsibility to my daughter. She is obviously physically handicapped. I tell her every day that God made her perfect just the way she is. What kind of message would I send her if I had unnecessary cosmetic surgery? I would lose all credibility with her if I chose to alter my appearance.

And while there is this part of me that would love to get a few quick shots of Botox to relax my furrowed brow and laugh lines, there is a bigger part of me that knows I should just save what little bit of money I do have for push-up bras, Spanx, and dark lighting. I mean it’s hard enough to feel sexy at my age without looking like a hunter just jumped out from behind a tree and shined his spotlight in my stunned face. After all, my Mama always told me that God made me perfect just the way that I am. Who am I to try to prove my Mama wrong?


  1. I understand your predicament, Kim. We are all blessed with a natural beauty, and distinct features.Some of us are not yet contented with our physical bodies.We are given an option whether to fully enhance our bodily flaws or imperfections. Undergoing a plastic surgery is a good option for those people who are not contented with their looks. Doing this will not only enhance our looks but cal also heal our lost self esteem.

    Katie Hallison

  2. Good point, Katie. Plastic surgery could not only enhance one’s looks, but it could also help in correcting one’s physical defects that can alleviate their physical incapacities. Correcting one’s physical malformation can help the individual function better and more comfortably.

    Jacinto Hukle

  3. Your sentiments are totally understandable, but having a handicapped daughter makes the playing field a little bit different. As her mom, you should be her role model and telling her that "God made her perfect just the way she is", then getting a surgery would defeat the purpose. We shouldn't look at people who had surgery like it's something viral. They made a life changing decision and the least we could do is support it.
    Shavonda Duarte