Summary: For ages, the Dear Abby advice column has been known for doling out good advice. And that seems to hold true in this case of a woman who wants plastic surgery but who is meeting resistance from her parents. In this case, “Abby” definitely gives some good advice. And it’s something that whether you’re talking about Los Angeles or Ridgewood plastic surgeons will emphasize to patients: you need to find a balance between support and independence. That’s especially vital with plastic surgery. Family support for plastic surgery is incredibly important—but so are your own wishes and desires.
Asking for Family Support for Plastic Surgery
The decision to get plastic surgery is usually a pretty personal one—but that doesn’t mean there aren’t always other people involved. Indeed, while the ultimate decision rests with the person going under the knife, it’s not uncommon for everyone to have an opinion on the matter. This isn’t terribly different from any number of other important decisions in one’s life. If you buy a house, for instance, it’s likely that your parents are going to have an opinion on that house, for better or worse. And you’ll have to decide to go forward with that purchase if they disapprove of it—or vice versa.
I mention this because I recently came across a question in Dear Abby (yes, I’ve been known to read it from time to time) that echoes this precise situation. In the column, a woman asks “Abby” about a her situation: she’s 23, moving out of her house, and wants to get a breast augmentation. The woman’s parents don’t approve. The most convenient time to get the procedure is in the summer, so she has time to recover. The woman is also waiting for her house to finish construction (that’s why she’s living with her parents). So, there’s no doubt that this woman’s parents opinion carries a little bit of extra weight.
Dear Abby Gives Advice We Can Use
Thankfully, Abby gives roughly the same advice that I would give. Abby tells the woman to explain that it’s her body and she can do with it what she wants, basically. Of course, the way “Abby” phrases it is slightly more diplomatic. But that’s her job. And if we take the diplomacy out of it, Abby’s advice is basically thus: it’s your body and you get to decide what happens to it.
This is something that, medically, is emphatically true in nearly every medical arena. It’s important to emphasize this because, as is often the case with any surgery, after you get plastic surgery you’re going to need help. Often, patients are confined to a bed for a couple of days after bigger procedures—in cases of smaller procedures, patients may be limited in terms of the weight they can carry or the activities they can perform. In other words, you’re going to need someone to cook a few dinners for you.
You Need Support, so You Need to Talk to Your Family
Basically, you’re going to need support. So it’s important to have an honest and frank discussion with your family and friends about what you’ll need. This might place you in an odd position, because plastic surgery can, on occasion, become somewhat divisive. Your friends, rather than offering support, may try to dissuade you from undergoing the operation. Your family may put pressure on you to reconsider your desired results. These actions, generally, come from a place of good intentions, but also from a place of misunderstanding.
Because plastic surgery has such a reputation as a “frivolous” or option procedure, it’s seen as something akin to an impulse purchase. It’s that candy bar you grab in the checkout lane. But that’s not the truth of the matter. Indeed, most people who seek out plastic surgery have done an enormous amount of research. The process, after all, is more akin to purchasing a house or a car. In fact, some people spend years planning their procedure—researching techniques, surgeons, clinics, results and so on.
That doesn’t mean plastic surgeons aren’t ready to go once you pull the trigger. Quite the opposite, in fact. Usually once the patient is ready to go the process moves quite swiftly. And sometimes that can belie the fact that the entire process is a thoughtful one for the patient. In fact, most patients make some kind of claim along the lines of “I’ve wanted this for a long time” or “I’ve been thinking about this my whole life.” When it comes to people’s bodies, they’re usually pretty sure about what they want, and consulting with a plastic surgeon is a great way to see how realistic those desires are.
It All Comes Down to Your Independence
And that’s precisely the sentiment that showed up in the Dear Abby piece: the woman writing in mentions that she’s been thinking about this for a long time. It’s a deliberate, thoughtful decision. So when your family tries to dissuade you, remember a couple of things. First, it’s coming from a place of love. Second, be patient. Explain your motivations and be sure to spend some time discussing how long you’ve been thinking about this. Patiently explain that you’ve already made up your mind and what you’re looking for now is support.
In most cases, when it comes right down to it, your friends will support you. And that will make the whole process easier. Plastic surgery is a lot more fulfilling when your friends and family are behind you. That way you can all enjoy the results.