We want to
look GOOD! Our patients say they want to look attractive.
And it is true. Deeper down, though, they often admit,
"When I look in the mirror, I just don't look
right. I want to look more like me."
Of course some patients also want to look younger and our
first five columns were about youthening. Now, we'll
speak about beauty and how we look to each other
in the face. (In future columns,
we'll speak about the rest of the body.)
Beauty matters in our culture. Lookism is rampant.
We rate each others' looks, often without noticing
we do it. On a scale of facial attractiveness, five being
average and ten gorgeous, studies show that the goodies
in life money, power and satisfaction tend to
go to the six to ten's.
Often we hear a more personal message. Even when people do look okay to others, they don't look good to themselves.
"I just don't
We suffer when our face,
or some feature of it, doesn't fit who we are. As
near as we can tell, everyone, even those of us with
reasonable self-esteem, would change some part of our
face if we could. It might be anything a large nose,
protruding ears, acne scarring, a weak chin, a fat neck,
chubby cheeks, a down-turned mouth, low eyebrows. Our
focus on this disliked, even hated, feature, can be
Some have an inner
conversation about their focus. One young woman told us
it went like this for her "
my nose is too big - they're looking at my nose - maybe if I turn like
this - oh, what's wrong with me, I can't stop
thinking about my nose - my nose is too big". It's
like a crazy tape loop that runs over and over. For
others, the focus is vague. "I just don't look
right" or "There's just something about my
" And their voice trails off, resigned.
"I want to feel
better about myself."
Our patients want to look
better to themselves. They say things like, "I just
want to look normal." Or, "I just want to look
like I should."
Most, suffering or not,
simply want to improve their appearance. "I do my
hair, wear nice clothes, exercise. Why should I ignore my
face? It's my most precious possession."
How cosmetic surgery
helps people look more like themselves. As one of our
patients told us, laughing, "I look more like me now
than I ever did."
We can reduce the large
nose, bring the receding chin out to the balance point to
get a better profile, push ears back, correct an angry
look. And much more. We can usually raise a person's
looks two points on a scale of ten, say from a four to a
six (from below average to above average) or from a six
to a very attractive eight.
Is it worth having
cosmetic surgery to look better? Whether your answer is
"yes" or you are undecided, a cosmetic surgery
consultation will help you get clear what improvement we
can reasonably expect. Also you can become more certain
what the cost is in terms of time, money,
recovery, possible complications, and what friends and
relatives might say.
Cosmetic surgery is an
effective and powerful tool for personal change. Our view
has come to be that cosmetic surgery supports people
to have their face and/or body come into harmony with
their true inner being their youth and beauty.
"Now I look more
They look better. They
feel better about themselves. And the crazy-loop
conversation stops. We have seen personalities shift
completely after the focus of their preoccupation is
corrected. Their "mask of ugliness" (as one
patient phrased it) is removed and life begins from a
whole new place.
don't know they were suffering until after cosmetic
surgery has corrected the focus area. Now they understand
why they had done nothing for so long they were
resigned that nothing could be done about it.
Looking back, "Sure,
I was suffering, but I didn't know it. I thought
suffering was normal. I am so proud I had the courage to
have cosmetic surgery."
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Harvey W. Austin, MD
Berlin MD 21811
Click to... Contact Harvey Austin