We’ve all seen the images of celebrities who have had obvious plastic surgery. Usually it is a marble-like forehead from too much Botox and/or puffer fish lips from too much filler.
Sometimes though it is something that radically changes the way a famous person looks, like René Zellweger’s eyelid surgery. It’s frustrating for plastic surgeons like Dr. Tracy Pfeifer of New York, NY to see such a distorted image of cosmetic surgery, because when it’s done right, plastic surgery should never be obvious.
Patients Are Still Hopeful
With all of the bad plastic surgery on display on the news and in social media, it is amazing that so many patients are still coming in to plastic surgeon’s offices. Even so, Dr. Pfeifer finds that patients are “still hopeful that something can be done” to make them look more youthful while still looking natural.
It is disheartening for surgeons to see so much obvious work, but it “also gives me a lot of hope because people are realizing, slowly but surely, that you can have a natural look,” explains Dr. Pfeiffer. Part of this growing realization is due to the fact that plastic surgery is becoming more accepted and understood.
Plastic Surgery Is Coming Out of the Closet
It used to be that if a patient had something done, it wasn’t discussed. Not with anyone. Now, people who look great are starting to open up with their friends and family and share the fact that they’ve had cosmetic procedures, whether they be non-surgical or surgical. This is great news for plastic surgeons who have found themselves stymied by the fact that many patients, thanks to the media, assume that it is inevitable that they will look weird if they have anything done. Now that more patients are sharing the truth, plastic surgery is becoming more acceptable.
This is particularly important because so many celebrities are dishonest or judgmental. It drives Dr. Pfeifer crazy to see some celebrity being interviewed, saying that she will never have anything done, including Botox, when Dr. Pfeifer can tell that she has. It’s also easy for a 35 year old actress who is still beautifully youthful to make grand declarations. Who knows how she might feel at 50 when her face begins to fall. “I think celebrities can help us, but also hurt us in that regard,” explains Dr. Pfeifer.
Good Plastic Surgery Is About Communication
Plastic surgery should always enhance a patient’s individual beauty – it’s not about trying to make the patient look like someone else. However, photos of famous people can be a great communication tool. When a patient comes in and shows a surgeon a picture, it sparks a conversation. This helps the surgeon to get a far clearer understanding of the patient’s unique view of beauty – everyone’s definition is different.
By discussing exactly what it is about that celebrity’s physical appearance that is appealing to the patient, the surgeon can get a better understanding of what the patient is hoping to achieve.
The job of any plastic surgeon is to listen and to read between the lines. For example, a patient might come in saying that she wants her implants removed because she’s tired of them. Which could be true, but it isn’t always the case. It’s up to the surgeon to dig deeper.
Why did the patient get her implants in the first place? How have her breasts changed over time? What is her goal for her breasts now? Just like styles change, looks change. Some patients may really want their implants removed, but others may realize that what they really need is to switch out their old implants for a new size or shape. A surgeon can’t just take what the patient says at face value.
At the end of the day, it’s a conversation. The better the conversation, the better the results.