Friday, 20 February 2009

Would you? No, really. Would you?

So, following on from my last post, and the realisation that my skinny jeans will never fit me again - not because I have a few pounds to shift around the middle but because I am over 40, have had 2 children, and my shape is now pretty much 'my shape', dammit, unless I stop going to the gym in which case things are only going to get worse - I have a question for you.

Plastic surgery.

Would you?

I'm asking because, out of the blue, one particular provider of this service has started advertising on the radio. Perhaps this not quite as shocking as the 'Want Longer Lasting Sex?' ads I first spotted in Australia last May and which have now been sighted in London, heaven help us, but still, it is a bit of a departure from the more usual holiday / breakfast cereal / mortgage provider ads that break up the music on Capital FM in the mornings.

It's been a few years, I admit, since adverts for the Harley Clinic escaped from the back page of womens' magazines and started scaling the walls of the escalators on the Tube, but radio ads? This is surely just one more sign that these sort of procedures have stopped being the sort of thing that only film stars and footballers' wives indulge in, and that they are now much more mainstream.

In fact, now I think of it, I've lost count of the number of ladies in my gym changing room who flounce about in their dental-floss pants looking far perkier than they have a god-given right to.

And, out at dinner with my mum and sister yesterday evening, the subject came up again. My mum - wisely - kept schtum on this one. I say 'wisely' because the woman has been blessed with inordinately good genes and inhuman willpower when faced with bread. If I make it to 64 looking as good as she does (which is probably around 14 years younger than she should), I will be grateful indeed. And I will also have given up chocolate and chips, and let's be honest; that's never gonna happen.

However, my sister and I - both blessed with the willpower of your average donkey faced with a punnet of strawberries - are much more open to the idea. After a few minutes thought (oh, OK, I've been thinking about it for ages), I decided I would go for a boob job, and possibly a face lift, but definitely no more. Definitely. (Though I wouldn't mind getting rid of a few thread veins that appeared post the boys. And... oh, you get the picture. I have a list).

And Footballer's Knees wanted something completely different, but I won't tell you what this was until the end as it makes too good a closing line. And don't jump ahead!

One thing my sis and I were agreed on though is that what is stopping us right now - apart from the lack of cash and a subsequent lifestyle in which we could show our 'home improvements' off - is the fact that you need to go under a general anaesthetic for these operations. You can die under GA's. Or, almost worse, wake up, and not actually be able to move but be totally conscious and feel everything.

I know that's supposed to be a myth, but I used to work with a woman that it happened to, so let me tell you when I had my appendectomy 18 months ago it was top of mind as I lay on the gurney outside the operating room and they made me count backwards from 10... What always amazed me is that this thing that happened to my ex-colleague was not the first thing she told people when she met them. You know; "Hi, my name's X, and I woke up halfway through an operation and could feel and hear everything! Nice to meet you, by the way."

So, I'm wondering. Plastic surgery - and I'm not talking botox or fillers here. If you could, would you?

(Oh, and Footballer's Knees is just a big show-off. Whilst I was talking about breast implants? She was keener on the idea of a breast reduction.

How we came from the same gene pool, I'll never know.)


  1. no. and unless there was a medical condition that required it, no again. (actually, i like the maturity that body shape and form can suggest. and i admire qualities like wisdom gained through experience. your wrinkles are your life. why erase them?)

  2. This is an acute question for me, since round here, it's taken as pretty much standard. I think so anyway - I mean, it's not always the kind of thing you can ask. Adverts in magazines are very explicit, and it just seems much more an accepted part of life.

    My better self thinks it's a reflection of a shallow appearance-obsessed society, and wants nothing to do with it. And I don't think it really brings happiness. I think that's much more to do with accepting yourself, and being around people who accept you for yourself.

    I have to say, too, that you do see some ghastly examples of it. Women in the 70s and 80s with cheeks so taut that you worry they might split if they pout. And a senior woman at my husband's workplace recently provoked much mirth among her juniors by having a few days off work and coming back with sky-rockets on her chest.

    I kind of feel it's not for me, but if others want to, then heck, who am I to judge? I'd rather spend the money on holidays, luxuries, etc.

  3. Women in THEIR 70s and 80s, that was meant to be. I'm not reminiscing about past decades here.

  4. I'd have a tummy tuck - but then I've had 3 major abdominal surgeries that have left a hideous 'overhang', not pretty at all! I've already had the boob job but that was due to a double mastectomy and reconstruction following the discovery of a second breast cancer 9 years after the first one. Pretty sure that I wouldn't have had it done voluntarily though, it hurts! I think there comes a time when you have to accept you are not in the first, or even second, flush of youth and realise that there are far more important facets to your life than what you look like. Keep as fit and healthy as you can and move onwards and upwards, life is more important than looks.

  5. I don't think I would ever have unnecessary surgery - heard too many medical horror stories from my husband. But that's not the only risk, is it - you could end up with a trout pout or a forehead that doesn't move, or if you had a boob job the implants might explode on a long haul flight....(!)

    To be honest, it's not something I've ever considered - my only worry would be if everyone else started having it I might look older by comparison! Thus far, none of my friends have had it (as far as I know).

  6. dunno. I never ever never thought I'd even consider it but I have such a tummy overhang after the twins Im starting to think it might be the only solution. Mind you if i didnt eat a slab of chocolate a day that might help.

    GAs are not to be taken lightly. I cant believe you KNOW someone who that happened to (woke up conscious), it was a morbid fantasy i had worrying about cesarians!!!

  7. I have always felt strongly that I wouldn't, though not entirely sure why. (And these days, looking down at the flap of flab that I have done nothing to eliminate since R's birth, the idea of some kind of tummy tuck is far more appealing!) I have no problem dying my hair. I have pierced ears and used to have a pierced nose. I wear make-up. So, I have no problem with changing my appearance to look 'better'. But surgery? It's a lot more painful and dangerous than getting your ears pierced I suppose.

  8. I wouldn't. I'd worry too much about it all going horribly wrong. I'd rather invest in expensive face creams (which probably don't work but I feel I'm at least doing something) and hope for the best.

  9. Grit, good point.

    Iota, interesting choice by your husband's colleague...

    Sharon, you're very right. Can someone tell the editors of the chat mags that though?

    NVG, can that really happen? (the exploding boobs thing?)

    Tasha, yep, it's the pain that puts me off. I'm considering a brace (on the advice of my dentist), and have to say that the thought of all the pain hasn't had me rushing to make that first appointment...

    Screamish, I know, horrible isn't it?

    Rosie, I think ultimately we're singing from the same hymn book!

  10. I've always said no. However!
    I had to have a biopsy on my nose last week and I jokingly told my doctor that he could do my eyes and get rid of the wrinkles and the turkey neck while he was at it. (it only took freezing in my nose btw)

    He told me to go to South Africa where they have masters of plastic surgery and where the Canadian dollar is eight to one. He said they make it a holiday at a spa resort for two weeks.

    It intrigued me. I have to admit.

    That being said - I can't see liposuction as being on the menu for me. Too invasive. And I've just heard some news on botox as well. Side affects. Right. Not going there either.

    So - if I ever say I'm off to South Africa - you'll know why.

  11. I've been thinking about this lots recently. I am very slim but bear the marks of delivering and feeding two sets of twins within 15 months. My body makes me miserable, affects my sex drive and my confidence; Gok would have his work cut out with me... If I had work it would be a boob job and a tummy tuck; the latter to sort out my abdominal separation and remove the acres of Sharpei dog skin. The scar puts me off though - I'm not sure a hip to hip scar is much better than the overhang!

  12. I had the map of the world removed from the back of one leg (just one would you believe?) after huge middle baby. It didn't hurt at all but you have to wear really, really tight tights for two weeks.

    I am at the stage where I have started pulling bits of my face up when I look in the mirror (just to see, you understand). What does it look like? A facelift!

  13. Like Expat mum over the past few months I have often pulled the skin back on my face - just a few mm's and omg what a difference. For a split second I am so tempted...but then again, I am against it on principle. I have no boobs to speak of and if the magic boob fairly surprised me with a B or C cup overnight I would be elated and feel it would pretty much change my life for the better. But it's a no to surgery.

  14. No, but I'm blessed with looking 10 years younger then my age. Still unhappy with body shape after pregnancy but stubbornly believe I will remove tummy with the right combination of exercise and diet - when I stop breast feeding.

  15. I'd have liposuction maybe, and definitely new boobs. My face is ok at the moment though, and my mum looks great so I'm hoping I take after her in taht department. :D

  16. Done it. Tummy tuck. Delighted. It hurt like hell, but the way I looked post huge babies made me so miserable (I had muscle separation AND abdo hernia) I don't regret it at all. It does open the floodgates slightly I think, because once you start, other things become conceivable. I have been keeping an article on lipo in Begium in a drawer for 2 years, even though I am far from overweight, because I like the idea of thinner, or at least better proportioned, thighs. I think I'd be too embarassed to go through with it though. Not tempted to do anything on my face.


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