...my boobs are basically a tube sock with a marble in the end.
This week on #RealRavishly, where the reader is the writer, we are talking cosmetic surgery. Would you? Wouldn’t you? WHAT PARTS? The burning questions.
I was prancing around in my underwear the other day (as you do), tidying up my bedroom. I bent to collect a rogue towel, and that’s when it happened.
My stomach fell out of my underwear. Not like, Oh, my underwear slipped down and now I have a muffin top, but more like, I bent over and my stomach flopped out like a sack of saggy blubber.
Instead of freaking the frack out and pulling my underwear up to my neck, I just stood up and looked in the mirror. And for all the body positivity I preach, I was really just grossed out by my own body. My stomach is so stretched. I either look pregnant (after Chinese food or during PMS) or deflated (when I wake up in the morning or the day after my period). It’s not a charming aesthetic.
My husband loves this part of me (or he says he does, and I believe him because he isn’t a liar). He caresses it when we are in bed, spooned. I try — in vain — to suck it in and he knows. I’m not fooling him, and after a number of years I finally started letting myself breathe in bed again. You know exactly what I’m talking about. You know.
This whole scene made me think about whether or not I’d consider getting a tummy tuck. Because I am a Journalist, I consulted with RealSelf (the leading online community around elective cosmetic procedures). Also, because I am just curious, OK? Don’t you judge me.
I asked you, and 43 of you had at least something to say. I realize this is a pretty small sample, but not irrelevant. And here’s what you said (this is a judgment-free zone).
Teeth people (though we decided that this isn’t really cosmetic, since, you know, teeth and eating and stuff): 8 (Oh, and BTW, according to RealSelf, the procedure Invisalign has an 85% Worth It rating from 700 consumers in the past 24 months. The average cost is $4,975 and has been reviewed by 1,587 consumers. And I can say my oldest son had Invisalign, and it was AMAZING).
Faces (Botox, fillers): 5
Facelift (or mini): 4
Boobs: 14 (5 of those being reductions)
Nada, Zilch, Zip: 11 (Some of you said you would have considered it at some point)
What I really appreciated here was that A. You were honest, and B. You were kind to each other.
Here are some of the things that struck me. Remember how I said my stomach was falling out of my underwear?
Amber relates: YES! After gaining more than I should have and then losing a ton to where I am now, I would get a tummy tuck and a breast augmentation. Not for any other reason than to feel more comfortable in my own skin...less hanging skin would be amazeballs.
Yes, less hanging skin would be amazeballs. My stomach is basically a curtain for my pubic hair. So...that.
Katie said: Nope. Two Cesarean sections is all the cutting necessary on my body. I never thought much about cosmetic surgery and I have come a long way on my body acceptance journey, so it's just not for me. I love that I have my mother's nose and chin. As well as my dad's crinkly forehead. When I look at the stretch marks on my breasts I am reminded of high school and how weird that was. The stretch marks on my squishy belly tell many stories. I want to remember and share all of those things.
Mandy echoed this: No... Not yet anyways. I'm still on my journey to self-love and body acceptance.
I keep moving from house to house, waiting to find the one that makes me happy. I don't want to play that game with my skin.
I honor these women. It’s hard to love our bodies, even after they made a whole human.
And Pia: I had liposuction when I was 23. It was simply another step in my journey toward self-acceptance. And though I sometimes have regrets about it, I still have to honor it in order to find peace.
Jo L-g: If reconstructive after an incident of some sort, yes. Of course.
If optional and without medical need? Nah. There are things about my body I don't love, like anyone, but I hate scalpels more. And I'm cheap. And recovery sounds like a lot of work. Also, I'd have to hide it forever from my daughters and die a hypocrite.
Who likes scalpels? (Surgeons, I guess.)
Brianna says what many of are probably thinking about our boobs: Yes! I've always wanted bigger boobs since I was in high school. When I met my husband I told him about m wish, he thought I was nuts & talked about how he wasn't a fan of fake boobs. (Now, after 3 kids, looking back at pre-baby boobs I agree with him, I was nuts!!) But now after nursing three babies I'm set on a lift & possible implants just to get my girls back where they once were.... No bigger.... Just perky!
Brianna, my boobs are basically a tube sock with a marble in the end.
Missa wants some basic stuff: If I can afford it when the time comes, I would do minor facial work like Botox/fillers. I would also love some body resculpting if that exists. Like, an alternative to Lipo that melts fat away.
Missa, I have jowls like tweety bird. Amen.
Ashleigh talks about confidence: Yes absolutely. I'd probably have my teeth fixed, maybe breast surgery too after I'm finished with babies. I never really thought of cosmetic surgery as being that different from tattoos or body modifications (both of which I've had.) Even my ears were stretched out to over half an inch. And why have it done? Because it would help me feel better about myself, both physically and mentally. I've always been very self-conscious about my teeth, to the point of being incredibly insecure and anxious about even talking to people and laughing. If it helps you to feel more confident than I think it's worth it!
Self-confidence is such a struggle. I relate to you, Ashleigh. How many of you can relate?
And some of us thought we would and then decided not so much.
Ashley: You know, I always thought that I would- a tummy tuck or maybe some lifts. But, just a few days ago, I thought about the prospect of going in for a tummy tuck and the fact that there is always a chance that you won't come out of it. Would I want my kids to live with that kind of sadness because of some loose tummy skin? Nah. But, maybe I take these things too seriously…
I don’t think that’s too serious. I don’t want to die either. That seems like a real bummer.
I want to talk about what Cathy said, as a cancer survivor: No. I earned every one of these wrinkles and wear my mastectomy scar like a badge (gussied up by a tattoo). I think a beautifully lined face, saggy boobies (or in my case, just 1 boobie) and all the rest speak of a life well lived. I did try reconstructive surgery after my mastectomy but ended up with a horrible infection from the tissue expander. The implant looks like an awful, unfriendly thing to have inside your body and I didn't have the heart to try it again.
Cathy, I admire you.
Laura and I share a similar philosophy: No. At least nothing I can think of. I don't LOVE my body, but I honestly can't imagine surgery would change that for the better. I'm of the opinion that my scars (4 Cesarean deliveries), wrinkles, sagging breasts, etc are part of my story. To pay someone to change that (at a great health risk!) seems like an insult to this life I have lived. It's also not something I want to show my children. I'm putting that energy/time towards healing emotional wounds and discovering who I am. That probably comes across as self-righteous, but I'm being completely honest.
And that’s what we were all doing. And I love that. We are a group of women loving and supporting each other. There isn’t one kind of feminism and there’s no wrong way to be a woman.
The idea of getting “fixed” was probably something I would have entertained in my youth. And a tummy tuck is something that would certainly be warranted if I wanted it (and BTW according to RealSelf, the procedure tummy tuck has a 97% Worth It rating from 8,368 consumers in the past 24 months. The average cost is $8,125 and has been reviewed by 13,701 consumers — in case you’re in the market). But I’m not getting one.
Here’s why: 1. I’m not afraid of anesthesia, but I would feel shitty if I died getting my stomach tucked (well, I’d be dead, but you get what I’m saying). 2. I don’t want my kids to think I think I’m broken and in turn think they are broken. You feel? 3. Money. I’d rather go to Europe than spend $8k on my flappy belly.
I mean, it is REALLY flappy, but I’m just going to embrace it. Or try.