Altering your beauty.
Creating the you that you see and feel inside!
We seek therapy to enhance the state of our mental health.
We go on diets and exercise to get and stay healthy, and oftentimes to lose unwanted weight.
We get scars and blemishes removed, teeth whitened, and hair straightened.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to enhance or improve the way we think, our eating habits, or our appearance.
I often see men and women criticizing those who seek semi-permanent and permanent body altering procedures. No one should be criticized for wanting to improve themselves. Because in my opinion these procedures are no different from any other improvement you seek to make in your life.
I speak often about knowing your true self and owning who you are. Most of that, does have to do with who you are on the inside, but yes some of it is your outer appearance. Finding our true identity will lead to us making better decisions in every aspect of our lives, and our appearance is no exception to that.
I hate that people ridicule those who, in their opinion, wear too much make up, weave, are "too fit", or decided to get plastic surgery, as victims of self hate. Again just because you are enhancing or improving your look that does not mean you hate yourself. You could be genetically a larger person, that doesn’t mean that by losing weight that you hate yourself. If you have naturally curly hair by straightening it, that does not mean you hate it. Or if you want straighter, whiter, gap free teeth, there is nothing wrong with wanting and obtaining that! Again you are simply creating the image you see of yourself.
On the contrast, I would be irresponsible if I did not touch on those that do get these procedures and surgeries in excess. In some cases they are suffering with a mental disorder, addiction, and/or some level of self hate. I will always shed light on all aspects of mental health. Though there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve your health and appearance, you must be aware of body dysmorphia. Body dysmorphia is classified as a mental disorder in which you obsess over your appearance and create flaws, that in most cases, do not exist. If you or someone you may know have experienced body dysmorphia, continue to know that you are beautiful just the way you are, know that there is nothing wrong with you, and that change starts from within!
When seeking any body altering procedure or surgery I would suggest doing your research, be sure that this is a decision that YOU want for YOU, get procedures that will enhance or improve your lifestyle, lastly seek therapy. I would never want anyone to overanalyze themselves(body dysmorphia), so talking to someone, specifically a therapist, may help you create a more positive self-image of yourself. Again allow the change to start from within and go from there!
I decided to interview two of my close friends, Nia and Destinee, who have both had surgeries to help improve their lifestyle and overall look/appearance. Both have gone on to live not only healthier lives, but have enhanced their inner confidence even more!
Read their stories below!
What type of body altering procedure did you have done?
Nia-A breast reduction, its been exactly a year ago since my breast augmentation. I went from a 38 G to a 38DD. I may be a little less than that right now because I am also in the process of losing weight.
Destinee- I had what was called a VSG a vertical sleeve gastrectomy done, in that procedure that take your stomach organ, which is around the size of a banana and cut out most of that organ down to the size of an egg. That is to not allow your body to still crave the amount of food you were eating at that time.
What motivated you to get this procedure done?
Nia-Well I'll start with the vanity side, so I would look at myself in the mirror, and my breasts were sagging more than I would like them to be and they not only looked heavy, but they were physically heavy. My shoulders were hurting, my back was hurting. My bras were tight enough where I started getting indents in my shoulders. I didn't really liked the way I looked in certain clothes, many tops I couldn't wear. I couldn't leave the house without wearing a bra.
Destinee-My happiness, I put my happiness above it all. More specifically, I was tired, I was only 24 years old and it felt easily exhausted from walk around an amusement park. I'm a person that likes to be active, and the transparent truth is that there are weight requirement for many activities and places you want to partake in.
How long had you thought about this?
Nia-I went back and forth with it for about a year. At first I did not mention it to anyone. Then finally I mentioned it to a close family friend who she and her daughter both had the same surgery from the same doctor. They gave a great recommendation an the rest is history.
Destinee- Because I had gained weight at a very fast pace, I wanted it gone just that fast. I had thought about it for a little over a year. I started reversing many of those bad habits, such as dieting and exercising. Because of a knee injury though, there are many exercises that I was limited to.
What should those seeing this blog know before a consultation?
Nia- Research the doctor that you are going to see. I was referred from two people that are close to me so that was important. Going on Yelp, read reviews, comments, etc. Know what you want. Be sure in what you are experiencing and be honest. Do not take no for an answer. If the doctor you seek out initially says no and this is something you really want to do, then try other doctors.
Destinee- Research, and do as many consults as you feel comfortable or necessary. Go with your heart and your instinct.
What was the surgery like?
My consultation was real easy, I went in and told him about the shoulder and back pain. My doctor was really easy to talk to, they then took pictures of my breasts. After my consultation, they gave me the result of what my insurance would cover about one week later. My surgery date came and I was so nervous! I took pictures of my boobs one last time! But my mother calmed me down. He did my marks and I have an anchor scar it goes from the bottom of my nipple to the bottom. It was over as quickly as it started, but it was three hours.
Destinee- It was 42 minutes in total. Waking up it felt like a had corset built into my body.
What was recovery like?
Nia- Recovery was a little tough, I didn't realize how much we use our upper body until I had my surgery, so simple things like going to the bathroom, washing myself, brushing my teeth I couldn't do. The first week post-op, my sleep schedule was thrown off, I would only get 3-4 hours of sleep. I had to sleep elevated, I could not sleep on my side which is my preference. My mom, cousin, and friends would help me with my washing and things of that nature. When I was one week post-op I went to my doctor to get bandages off. Two weeks after I went back to work, it was a little rough. My boobs felt really hard. For the first year they suggest you do not wear an underwire bra, and it's because of where the anchor scar is.
Destinee- The first week it was constant pain, I could not sleep comfortably. They prescribed some very strong pain medications, so please be aware of the the medications because they can be addictive, only take recommended doses.
How has life been since your procedure?
Nia- For me life has been a lot better. My only adjustment is not being able to work out immediately. But no working out is a lot more comfortable and enjoyable. I love seeing myself in my clothes, wearing no bra, and doing exercises where I run or jump is way more comfortable.
Destinee- I have more energy. I am now able to dive into my hobbies and the things that truly stimulate me, because with all that weight I feel like I focused on my insecurities. I am satisfied with my decision. I'm comfortable in the skin I'm in and I would do it all over.
Any advice for someone seeking to get a surgery or procedure done?
Nia- Do what makes you happy, as long as it looks good to you that's all that matters! Making sure that you are doing it for yourself and no one else. Make sure you do your research. My surgeon had five stars, so I trusted him!
Destinee- I would say do it when you are as youthful as possible. The longer you allow something to settle and the worse it can get. Go locally if you are getting a procedure done. The more local you are to home, the likelihood that you will have a speedier, more comfortable recovery, because you will be in the comforts of your own home.
The experiences shared above are to be taken as just that, experiences, always consult your primary physician before deciding if surgery is a right fit for you.
See both interviews and more on Instagram!