Turn on the TV, scroll through Instagram, or open a glossy magazine, and you’re almost guaranteed to see some celebrity smiling back at you who has been through a significant amount of cosmetic surgery. Cosmetic surgery is likely more popular and accessible today than it’s ever been before, and huge numbers of people are routinely getting everything done from nose jobs to boob jobs, butt implants, and more. Cosmetic surgery has its place, sure. If you have a happy, fulfilling life, and are a confident person, but there’s some feature of your appearance that you just hate and can’t get over, cosmetic surgery might be the way forward. At least, it’s good to know that it exists as an option, right?
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The issue comes when people are too quick and too eager to treat cosmetic surgery as the first solution. If you’re seriously considering getting cosmetic surgery done, you should think about it long and hard, weigh up all of the potential pros and cons, and, of course, consider alternative avenues to investigate before making the plunge. Here are a few things you should do before committing to cosmetic surgery.
Try less intrusive cosmetic alternatives
There are things you can do to change your appearance that go beyond the ordinary lifestyle changes that you might have tried so far, but which are still far less invasive, risky, and expensive than actual surgery. One of these less intrusive cosmetic alternatives — and, in fact, one of the ones most likely to leave you satisfied — is Botox injections. Botox works by relaxing and partly paralyzing the muscles around the point of injection. This, in turn, reduces the appearance of wrinkles and prevents them from deepening in the short term. Botox is still a procedure, and it’s important that you have your Botox applied by someone who has undergone professional Botox training, but the difference it makes to your appearance can be significant.
Research all the implications and risks of different procedures
When you see the marketing for certain cosmetic surgery procedures, you may well wonder why everyone hasn’t had the operation done — twice. The point is, marketers are good at marketing, and you’re never going to see an advert or read a brochure for a cosmetic procedure that doesn’t try and tell you that it’s the greatest, most revolutionary thing you can possibly do for yourself, that’s also guaranteed to improve your quality of life, and so on. Before committing to any surgery, your duty to yourself is to shrug off all of the positive marketing, and do some critical research about the procedure. What are the risks and implications of the procedure? The potential complications? How often does it happen that things go wrong? If things go right, what kind of aftercare will you need? For how long? What about hidden costs? What do other people who have had the procedure have to say about it years down the line (on places other than the surgeon’s testimonials page? Read as much as you can about all of these topics and arm yourself with knowledge before undergoing any operation.
Make a committed and consistent effort to get your health and fitness in order for at least 6-months
Maybe you don’t like the way your body looks at the moment, but are you sure that you need surgery to change your appearance in a positive way? For that matter, are you sure that surgery would even get you looking the way you want to look? Is there a chance you’re just being lazy and are trying to go for the “quick and easy” method? Before undergoing cosmetic surgery, you should make a committed and consistent effort to get your health and fitness in check, for at least a period of 6-months or so. If your nutrition is on point, you’re exercising regularly according to a set structure, and you’re getting enough sleep, it’s all but impossible that you won’t end up noticing some profound positive changes in your appearance over that span of time. What’s more, emphasizing health and fitness won’t just improve your looks, it will actually improve your health in some fundamental ways, and improve the overall quality of your life, too.
Think long and hard about the root of your desire for the surgery
It might be that your confidence is great, your priorities in life are well considered, and you’re an upbeat person in general, but that a particular physical feature of yours just brings you down and diminishes your ability to enjoy life overall. But it could also be that the root of your desire for surgery doesn’t have much to do with your looks at all, but is, rather, a result of some underlying insecurity or issue that you’re externalizing, projecting onto your looks, and trying to tackle with surgery. We’ve all seen examples of celebrities who have taken plastic surgery too far, to the point where they barely look human anymore. It’s hard to believe that those individuals weren’t projecting and externalizing deeper issues and insecurities which they were trying to resolve through plastic surgery. Think long and hard about the question of what’s driving your desire for the surgery. If you have reason to believe that it’s something deeper, consider investigating ways of boosting your confidence and self-esteem instead, potentially including therapy if needs be.
Consider what you’re hoping to gain from the surgery
Closely tied to the last point; you should always consider what it is you’re hoping to gain from surgery before undertaking it. How do you imagine life looking after the operation? What do you think is going to be better for you than it was before? It’s important to ask these questions and then to interrogate them a bit. Maybe you’ll find that your answer seems reasonable and compelling, but maybe you’ll realize that you were subconsciously imagining some unrealistic and overblown benefit to the operation. If you currently suffer from low confidence, for example, it’s unlikely that your confidence is going to shoot through the roof after your operation. More likely, you’ll need to deal with things on a deeper level.