When you think of the motivations behind getting plastic surgery, what comes to mind? Even though plastic surgery is far more acceptable than it was even 20 years ago, I think it’s safe to say that many of us still have our own opinions about who gets plastic surgery — and why.
If you stay on top of celebrity news, you’ve probably heard that Gisele Bundchen, one of the most celebrated contemporary supermodels, was recently spotted ambling around Paris disguised in a burqa. Cultural insensitivity aside, this seemingly bizarre fashion choice wasn’t just everyday paparazzi-dodging. Instead, she was aiming to conceal her new breast implants. Although she once claimed that she’d never undergo plastic surgery, Page Six reported that she paid about $11,000 for the surgery.
But the move has left a lot of people scratching their heads. Why would anyone — especially a woman whose wealth and celebrity is based solely on the beauty of her body — alter it with surgery? The answer is more complex than we think. Sources say that Gisele pursued surgery to improve the look of her breasts, which had changed quite a bit thanks to motherhood. So although I can’t speak to her experience as an insider, I can speak to it as a mother — and I get it, big time.
Our society has a major love-hate relationship with pregnancy and motherhood. Everyone loves babies, and a wanted pregnancy is universally considered one of life’s biggest milestones. But afterward, the experience is significantly less-than-glamorous, from poopy diapers and sleepless nights to drooping breasts and a sagging belly. And just as we’re celebrated for bringing new life into the world, we’re subtly (and sometimes not-so-subtly) urged to get back into shape before our hospital bracelets have even come off.
So we love motherhood, but we don’t love what it does to our bodies. But we also don’t love plastic surgery? I don’t think so.
As someone who’s considered plastic surgery in the past (and also as someone who is all-too-familiar with that post-baby “deflation”), I think it’s time that we stop giving the side-eye to people who want plastic surgery.
Frankly, any reason Gisele threw out there would have been as valid as the next. In fact, she doesn’t owe us an explanation at all. Plastic surgery is slowly moving into the mainstream, and although events like Gisele’s burqa stunt don’t help it along, it’s inevitable that cosmetic procedures will eventually become as easy to talk about as tonsillectomies.
Gisele’s breast implants demonstrate that even the most beautiful among us are susceptible to the messages we get about “rejuvenating” ourselves after having a baby. And I think that’s OK. Whatever a woman — or anyone — wants to do to feel better about herself is fine by me.
With breast augmentation’s popularity consistently soaring American Society of Plastic Surgeons® reports that more than 286,000 patients underwent breast augmentation in the U.S. in 2014 alone), it’s likely that someone you know already has implants.
On the website of Dr. Robert Herbstman, a plastic surgeon who specializes in breast augmentation in New Jersey, a patient offers a testimonial about her experience. She says her implants don’t make or break her identity. Instead, they just make her feel a little better about herself. We all deserve to feel good about ourselves. And hey, maybe if we get a little kinder about plastic surgery, we can prevent celebrities and regular people alike from feeling like they have to hide their decisions.