Remember that band Aqua, and their awful song about Barbie? (Sorry, I wish I could forget, too.) While a catchy radio tune for the better part of 1997, “Barbie Girl” had a darker side.
The narrative interplay between Barbie and Ken is subordinating at best (“Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please”) and despite the song's hook to the contrary, life in plastic is not always so fantastic.
Plastic surgery is an extremely delicate field due to the fact that elective procedures are just as fraught with psychological symptoms and complications as they are with physical one's. If this isn't inconvenient enough already, add a pushy partner to the mix and suddenly a seemingly innocuous desire for a breast augmentation can become the telling sign of an unhealthy relationship.
So, ladies, if your boyfriend suggests you get a boob job, pump the brakes on that little joy ride and consider the following 5 reasons NOT to listen.
1. The physical considerations
Surgery isn't a walk in the park, or a moonlit walk on the beach, nor any other romantic venture. Breast augmentation is an invasive operation, and while it is a very safe procedure when performed by a qualified, board certified plastic surgeon, there are various risks and potential side effects which all patients must take into consideration.
Recovery from breast augmentation, while certainly not as involved as a liver transplantation, may require you to miss school or work as well as disrupt your normal exercise routine for up to a month. Scarring is also a consideration to keep in mind. The size and placement of the scars will depend on where your surgeon makes the incision – typically made in the armpit, around the areola, or under the breast. Though scars do tend to fade over time, they will never disappear entirely.
2. The emotional/psychological toll
Cosmetic surgery does more than modify your appearance to those on the outside– it also affects the way you understand the value of your own self-worth. Self-image is a mentality, a very malleable one that is changing constantly as we age and mature.
We all recognize our own flaws, especially when it comes to our appearance, and it's easy to get caught up comparing ourselves to celebrities, models, and other unreasonable standards of beauty. In extreme cases, this can develop into body dysmorphia, a very serious mental disorder. Treatment requires addressing the root of the problem – the thought process – rather than altering the body itself.
3. The precedent it sets
Forget breasts for a minute. What if your boyfriend suggested you forgo your favorite hobby, or wear only polka dot clothing? Romantic relationships are about physical and emotional intimacy. If you change your body to please his tastes, are you setting yourself up to compromise your values? Your thoughts? Your feelings? Your ability to say no?
It also sets a precedent for future relationships. Examine the person you're with. Will you be with them forever? If the answer is no or that you're dubious with this concern, the next question is: Will you be pleased with your breasts once he's gone?
4. The risk of repeat surgery
Getting breast implants is not a one-and-done kind of surgery, especially if your initial breast augmentation is performed in the earlier years. Rather, it may be the first of what can amount to a number of surgeries. You may need to go back under the knife if you develop any of the following conditions:
• Capsular contracture
• Ruptured or leaking implant
• Sagging and stretching of skin and tissue
Each surgery carries a financial load as well. The consultation along with the pre-operative lab work both cost money. The same goes for the surgery in itself, not to mention all the painkillers, antibiotics and other necessary pharmaceuticals. How about all the routine checkups thereafter?
Even if your partner foots the bill this time, you should consider the long-term financial responsibility that comes with your new look.
5. The principle of the matter
It's a catch-22 – if you are so deeply involved with a person that you'd be willing to consider cosmetic surgery, then conversely, he shouldn't even be asking you to.
If you are considering cosmetic surgery, take time to reflect on your motivations. Ask yourself whose idea it was. If possible, discuss it with friends and family. Get several medical opinions. And at the end of the day, remember that this decision is all about you – after all, you're the only person who has to live with the results.
“Oh, I'm having so much fun!”
“Well Barbie, we're just getting started.”
“Oh, I love you Ken!”
Glenn Vallecillos, M.D. | Elite.
Dr. Vallecillos is a board certified plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills, internationally known for his skill and expertise in the field. Visit Beverly Hills Cosmetic Surgeon
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