Haute Beauty Experts Dish On Self-Image Positivity

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Self-imagePhoto Credit: ShutterstockHaute Beauty Experts give their #1 piece of advice to people considering any treatment and/or procedure to improve their self-image. Here’s what they had to say:

Dr. Jeffrey Lee | Breast Expert | Boston

When considering a treatment or procedure to improve self-image, it’s really important to find out what your options are and figure out what option is the best one to fit your needs, goals, and expectations. I tell this to a lot of my patients: a plastic surgeon is most likely to give you the most honest recommendation because all the options are available including surgery. Sometimes a nonsurgical procedure is best but sometimes surgery is going to give you the result you are looking for. When I discuss options, I always discuss the pros/cons associated with each option. Usually, non-surgical treatments will give you a less significant result but that works for a lot of people who either are not ready for something like surgery or want something with a lot less downtime. It is important to understand what you can expect because many times surgical type results are only available with surgery. Sometimes a minimally invasive option is available which can meet you halfway but I generally recommend that even minimally invasive surgery still be performed by a plastic surgeon. The internet is a great resource but unfortunately, patients can get overwhelmed by the extremes of positive and negative content that is most prevalent. I always recommend sitting down with a plastic surgeon and having a consultation because it is the only way you can be properly evaluated. I find that some of my most appreciative patients are ones that are not good candidates for whatever procedure they were interested in because they were surprised that I gave them an honest recommendation instead of trying to sell them on a procedure or treatment.

Dr. G. Hunt Neurohr | Face Expert | Dallas

Undergoing plastic surgery for the purpose of improving your self-image is risky business because it is, in a sense, “putting the cart before the horse.” Plastic surgery can undoubtedly help improve self-image, but your self best be healthy going into the operation. The self is a unique entity in each and every person on the planet, and it is each and every person’s responsibility to discover, to the best of their ability, who their self is. Changes enacted in a plastic surgery suite don’t make that self or really help in the discovery of that self. However, they can help to make one feel better about themselves in amazing ways. If a patient goes into their doctor’s office thinking that surgery to improve the shape of their nose will help their self-image, then they are not taking the best perspective, because even though a rhinoplasty operation might make them look better, it doesn’t really improve their self-image. An image reflects the likeness of an object. It is a representation. Understanding who you are and why you might want to improve the appearance of your nose is the most important component for a successful operation. The surgery is best done to restore your identity appearance due to aging changes or disfigurement or to change your features to help improve the self you already know yourself to be.

There are two different natures of self, the scientific (measurable) one, and the inherent (unmeasurable) one. The self is measurable in material ways. It is the way we present ourselves to potential employers, or on a census form. The inherent self is just known as who you are, what you are, where you are in the moments of time, and how you are in the place you are. It is usually consistent with the way our family and friends perceive us. Sometimes people improve themselves by breaking bad family traits like abuse, and they transform their selves toward better health and happiness. That is a real improvement in self-image to the core. Plastic surgery can do something like that when it connects your inner self-image to your outer self-image, so your feelings about the way you look match the external appearance of the way you look. It is a big difference from the idea of having an operation so maybe you will feel better about yourself. That kind of thinking is imbalanced and fraught with the danger of discontent from an unhappy result. Sometimes a technically superb result doesn’t bring happiness to the patient, and sometimes a modestly improved result brings great joy to the patient. It is the difference of self-recognition in the improvement of that image. Knowing yourself provides the basis of that critical differential.

Dr. Samuel Lin | Nose Expert | Boston

Elizabeth Laikhter contributed to this response.
It is wonderful when people want to invest in themselves in any way. Sometimes people are interested in plastic surgery treatments and procedures as a way to invest in their self-image. The purpose of plastic surgery treatments and procedures is to enhance your appearance. My piece of advice to people considering any treatment or procedure to improve their self-image is to take time to think about everything they already like and appreciate about themselves. Sometimes it can help to write these positive affirmations down. People should do this for a few reasons. First, it allows their goals to align with the purpose of the treatments and procedures I can offer, which is to enhance what is already great about them. This gives people more realistic expectations for their end result. Second, it puts most people into a positive mindset before they undergo their treatment or procedure. For more invasive procedures, the recovery process can take some time. Patients who think positively about themselves before their procedure are typically more motivated to invest energy into proper post-procedural care. Studies have shown that these patients typically have better post-procedural outcomes and are happier with their final results. Ultimately, we all want patients to do well, and these are some steps in preparation for surgery; understanding yourself is the best first step!

Dr. Jason Bloom | Face Expert | Pennslyvania

The reason that I went into facial plastic surgery was to improve patients’ self-image, self-confidence, and self-esteem! The most important thing that we can do for patients is to help them feel better about themselves on the inside because that positive self-image translates to their external appearance as well. I start every consult with my patients by asking the question “what’s bothering you? because I want to hear in their own words what makes them uncomfortable or insecure about the way they look or feel. After hearing what bothers the patient and learning why they are in my office, I like to make suggestions and give a variety of options from non-surgical to surgical to improve that issue. My #1 piece of advice for patients looking to receive cosmetic or aesthetic treatment is to address what bothers them! I hate it when a patient comes in and says “do whatever you think” or “what do I need?” I tell patients that you don’t “need” anything if it doesn’t bother you!

Finally, as a facial plastic surgeon, I get the amazing opportunity to help patients deal with some of their biggest insecurities. Being a rhinoplasty specialist, one of the most rewarding parts of my practice is seeing a patient 1 week after a nose job for their nasal splint removal and seeing them moved to tears at their new profile and nose. I had a patient this week sit in the room after her splint removal and instantly started snapping pictures of her nose at every angle because she was so happy! That is what makes my job great! Helping patients regain their self-confidence and a positive self-image!

References

Dr. Samuel Lin

Claessen FM, Mellema JJ, Stoop N, Lubberts B, Ring D, Poolman RW. Influence of Priming on Patient-Reported Outcome Measures: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Psychosomatics. 2016 Jan-Feb;57(1):47-56. doi: 10.1016/j.psym.2015.09.005. Epub 2015 Oct 1. PMID: 26683347.

Kootstra TJM, Smeeing DPJ, Beks RB, Heijl MV, Kokke M, van der Velde D. Mindfulness in Patients with Upper-Extremity Conditions: A Summary of Existing Literature. J Hand Microsurg. 2020 Oct;12(Suppl 1):S1-S8. doi: 10.1055/s-0040-1701160. Epub 2020 Apr 7. PMID: 33335364; PMCID: PMC7735556.

von Soest T, Kvalem IL, Roald HE, Skolleborg KC. The effects of cosmetic surgery on body image, self-esteem, and psychological problems. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2009 Oct;62(10):1238-44. doi: 10.1016/j.bjps.2007.12.093. Epub 2008 Jul 2. PMID: 18595791.





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