Friday, April 22, 2011

Body Remodelling

I have a confession to make. Someone commented on an entry about Nicki Minaj having plastic surgery. I could pretend I am anti-plastic surgery but I am not. You see I want to get plastic surgery. I want to get the excess skin on my arms removed, and potentially some sort of breast augmentation. I am not sure if that involves a lift, implants, both or what. I come from a very plastic surgery friendly home. My mom had a face lift at 49, she had her boobs done when I was 5 years old, and redone when I was older. She's had laser resurfacing, implants taken out and real boobs reconstructed, lipsuction, a nose job, and I think that's it, but you get the idea. Mama is very much supportive of any surgical procedure I might entertain. Mind you my mom is almost 90% recognizable to me as the woman I have known my whole life to she has never done anything that extreme. Her friends have also nipped, tucked, pulled, and lipo'ed so there is an element of peer pressure, and acceptance but for the most part she has done it for herself. My Mom hates aging. Despises it. Couple that with also never feeling pretty you have someone who definitely wants and is open to some help of a surgical nature. I feel lucky in some ways to have seen the pain these surgeries have caused her, but also the boost they give her to. I have had access to what the real deal is. It's an ugly process, and it comes with a lot of emotion, because you are in pain and you did it to yourself.  She looks really natural, and beautiful, but I always have thought she was. Most importantly it makes her feel good about herself. It increases her confidence and it makes her own her face which I think she did not do before. She has distanced herself, been negative and always put down her face. She does not do this anymore. She also does not continue to modify herself. She dealt with the key issues that upset her and moved on. She talks about doing more lipo but I give her a hard time telling her to lay off the evening cocktails and get a trainer. She's running out of places for any fat to go, one day she is going to have some weird hump were she gains weight on her back or something.
I hate my excess skin. I love my body and accept it for the amazing thing that it is but I do not accept the skin. It's really trying to have done a lot of work and look like you are melting when the clothes come off. It affects me moving forward with dating, it affects my self esteem and it affects my self acceptance. I accept my body, I do not accept the skin. I also do not think I have to. I felt really bad before like hating the skin was hating myself. I also hated having this physical reminder of what I had done to myself. Do I think everyone should run off and get plastic surgery? No. Do I think it's something that should be investigated so you can move on and live your life? Yes. I do not think I should have to live the rest of my days with lots of skin and super weight loss traumatized boobs in order to be authentic, accept my body, or whatever you want to call it. Do I want to be perfect or have the perfect body? Not at all. I just want to be normalized. Even having the skin removed and putting me at some sort of baseline I am going to have scars and will have to deal with that the rest of my life. I can live with that. I can deal with the scars, I can not and will not accept not wearing a tank top the rest of my life because inches upon inches of skin hangs there. I refuse. I refuse for two reasons, 1. It's just unattractive and I am painfully self conscious about it and I am over feeling like I have to hide parts of my body, and 2. just like excess weight is something because it is seen people think they can comment on so are things like excess skin. I have had people say to me wow to have that sort of skin you must have been really big. It's like it's never really over, and at some point I want it over. I want to be able to move on from being over weight, and from losing weight, and my wings as I call them will make that tough to do.

For right now I am focused on getting to my goal weight and striving to be as lean as I can. Research says excess skin gravitates to muscle. Maybe I can avoid surgery by being lean, but I am not going to compromise my mental health on a quest to be too lean for me to healthily maintain. It's not the easiest riddle to solve. I can not be too obsessed or focused on it cause I could meltdown, but I also can not resign myself to it because then I meltdown. My choices are, see what being lean does, surgery, or accept it and move on. Right now I am contemplating the first two, maybe one day I'll contemplate the last. I am not going to hide in the surgery closet though. I have worked hard, done right by myself and body and will continue to do so. Sometimes plastic surgery is not about seeking perfection or rejecting who you are. It can be about realizing who you have always been but got in the way of.


  1. I have a blog post I've been writing in my head on this issue for some time. I've looked very seriously at a tummy tuck (for my FUPA) and I still do research it... I know that being at your 'ideal' weight is one thing that all the plastic surgeons recommend, so I have relagated any decision I wish to make until I am at such a weight and I can reassess. I haven't made a decision as such... it's just something I do like to research. It's like, on one hand, there are the people who think "Live with your hardship/ugly parts and be all the more better for it" approach and then there is the "If you can truely not alter it, why not fix it - if I was born without a leg and there was a fairly safe proceedure to replace it, I so would"... it's a real interesting subject. Like some really think you are a better person by living with something you hate (why I don't know) and look down at those who do something about it. I really gotta write down my thoughts on this subject way more coherently then I have here that much is obvious :D

  2. HB- I think it's one of those things that is really easy for people to have opinions about but really hard for them to understand what living with it's like. I don't think living with it would make me stronger personally. I have had plenty of life experiences to strengthen my resolve and build character punishing myself for being over weight would not strengthen me in my opinion. You also have had three pregnancies, and plenty of women talk about the effect that has on your body. What's wrong with want your pre-pregnancy body back? I don't think it's superficial, or something that should be judged. It's not an easy decision to make or one without risks and pain. Most do not make it lightly.

  3. People have such strong opinions on this topic it can be quite amusing! Personally I find it hard not to be revolted by my 'wings' or general flubber, I look at parts of my body and am alarmed by their deflated look and I still have so far to go, so damn straight I am headed straight to a surgeon when I get to a weight I am comfortable and healthy at. Like you, I want to wear a tank top in summer without feeling self-conscious. I know that surgery will mean a lot of pain and emotional upheaval but there is no way I'm going through all this and be left with a body I'm horribly upset with!

  4. "Sometimes plastic surgery is not about seeking perfection or rejecting who you are. It can be about realizing who you have always been but got in the way of."

    SO well said.

    Note: I didn't realize that Nicki Minaj had undergone cosmetic surgery (possibly because my new years resolution was to stop reading celebrity gossip?) but I'm not sure why I -- or anyone else -- should care. I understand why people might be concerned about the complicated message it sends to their daughters, but perhaps we should use this as an opportunity for discussion instead of just condemnation. The choice to have cosmetic surgery is a highly personal one, and why someone that chooses to have surgery, even if they are in the spotlight like Ms. Minaj, should have to justify their choice to anyone else is beyond me. Why is cosmetic surgery something that people feel like they have the right to know about and/or comment on?

  5. D- Agreed, we're not doing the work to end up self conscious at the end of the day.

    Samara- I did not either about Nicki, but poked around on the interweb and like lots of other peeps there are some rumors. I just think there is a difference between corrective and cosmetic, and neither one should have to be justified or defended. I do wonder why we as a culture want people outed for their procedures.

  6. You're absolutely right -- there is a significant difference between cosmetic and corrective procedures. Do you think that we want people outed for their procedures just so that we can easily label or categorize them? You know, gay or straight, male or female, real or fake, etc etc etc? I think that we as a culture are totally label-obsessed. Of course, the other possibility in my mind is that we want to know who has had work done so that we can feel better about ourselves. Thoughts?