Michael Jackson’s mother recently admitted that her son was addicted to plastic surgery. The pop star had so many nose jobs that his mother asked his plastic surgeon to pretend he had operated the next time her son asked for another procedure.
It is one thing to change an aspect of yourself that you don’t like, but it is another to look distorted from what is normal. A patient can come every year with a procedure in mind to improve their appearance, and that is OK. But if you are still never satisfied with what you look like your results can completely change your look. When considering plastic surgery, the changes that you make to your face or body should still look natural, but give you that self-confidence boost. In short, you must know- realistically- what you are starting with, as well as what you want to look like when surgery is done.
Choosing a procedure to fix a long-term problem that has negatively affected how you feel about yourself and interact with the world- to my mind, that’s the definition of good mental health. There’s nothing “cosmetic” about that, or vain, or neurotic. It’s practical, constructive, forward-moving, pro-active, and self-affirming.
A small percentage of people are the cosmetic surgery “junkie”, the person who is impossible-to-satisfy. The cosmetic surgery junkie is constantly going for consultations about this body-part fix or that, then undergoing the procedure, then moving on to another fix, and another, and another. In Michael Jackson’s case, he clearly was a cosmetic surgery junkie, where he was never satisfied, despite the numerous procedures he underwent, leaving him with a distorted and un-natural look.
There is no problem with a patient who, having enjoyed a great result on one part of the body, wants to enjoy that same great feeling about another. The fundamental difference between the cosmetic surgery junkie and the well-adjusted patient who undergoes several procedures, then, is that the former hovers in a state of perpetual dissatisfaction, whereas the latter is simply building one satisfaction on top of another. That’s healthy.