It seems at the moment we are saturated with headlines and television shows all about the horrors of plastic surgery and aesthetics gone wrong. Now don’t get me wrong I love a bit of reality television. My own massive physical transformation was the result of participating in reality/documentary television. But, I have been thinking lately that the emphasis seems to have shifted from the “feel good”, albeit cheesy style of the ugly duckling that in the end becomes a beautiful swan to the disasters. Because if you unpick the whole aesthetic and plastics industry you will find that for every botched boob job or filler fiasco there are thousands and thousands of very happy patients whose lives have been changed for the better following their procedures. I do love a fairy tale! But, what this is really about is celebrating the amazing work of those who do get it right the first time.
My own experience could not be further from the “Woman’s implant explodes on the school run” horror stories that get so much attention. Following a huge weight loss I had a disfigured body. Even the biggest body confidence cheerleaders could not possibly argue that the body I had following weight loss was nothing less than a train wreck. Masses of loose skin that hung from every bone on my body, which even the most vigorous boot camp, would not be able to shift. In addition to the unpleasant aesthetic, the skin was a health hazard that only served as a dark reminder of what decades of obesity had done to me. It was a dark cloud that hung over the success of my weight loss.
But, I was offered the holy grail! My loose skin was removed under the most professional and expert conditions. Mr Paul Baguley is nothing short of amazing! He, like the many other professionals registered with The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS – Ya I know!) that do amazing work. These are in fact the very people often left with the task of putting humpty dumpty back together again following a fall off a dodgy surgeons table. But, sadly what we see most of the time are the disasters. These are often the ones that will be discussed on internet forums for what is seen as “stupidity in the name of vanity”. Putting aside that at some point there was probably a really good reason they wanted the surgery in the first place. One should never be punished for the desire to improve how they look or correct something that is not quite right.
Yes, as a matter of fact I am trying to recapture my lost youth, what is wrong with that? Sadly when I was in my 20’s the world was not ready for the 300 pound pin up. Keep in mind this was a pre-Beth Ditto/Tess Holiday world. As glamourous as I tried to be I was never going to be anyone’s pin up girl. Unfortunately I was relegated to the fat heap with the rest of the retro rejects. I am not in any way condoning that but, it was what it was. As a result I never enjoyed the body freedom that I wished for.
The fact remains that plastics along with the non-surgical options such as Botox, fillers, thread lifts, etc give those that choose it a much needed boost some times. It is not about making you look like someone else, but about looking like a better version of yourself. I understand the politics and this essay is not about that. I will save that for another time. But, what I am talking about is focusing on the safe and talented professionals out there that are making people’s lives better. I for one am grateful for every nip/tuck and syringe I have had. It has allowed me to be the person I didn’t get to be at 18.
**There are of course situations when things do go wrong and luckily there is help out there when that happens. The Safety in Beauty Campaign is an initiative that supports those who have had less than satisfactory results. They use their position to educate the public about safe practice and advise those who in extremes are left disfigured by poor practice.