You don’t have to go far to read stories about revival and rejuvenation after plastic surgery procedures. In reality, can plastic surgery bring your confidence back? Do you feel magically better—bolder, stronger—after a plastic surgery procedure? The short answer is: no.
Can Plastic Surgery Bring Your Confidence Back?
The truth is that there’s really no magic about plastic surgery’s confidence boost. There’s no mysterious relationship between self esteem and cosmetic procedures. The reality is that plastic surgery is viable option to increase one’s esteem of one’s self—but only if that person is already interested in plastic surgery.
In other words, yes plastic surgery can bring your confidence back. But only if you actually want plastic surgery. And only if you want plastic surgery for the right reasons.
I know that probably sounds a little bit circular. So let’s explain things a little bit, shall we?
Where Does Confidence Come From?
Confidence is a funny little thing. Sometimes you’re full of confidence. Sometimes you have none. Often, those two states exist simultaneously on the same day. Which is a long way of saying that confidence can be a complex thing. It’s not something you always have or always need to get.
Sometimes there are particular sources of discomfort, however. For example, a patient who has a crooked nose might find that to be an uncomfortable focal point—both in the mirror and reflected by those people he or she talks to.
Questions About Body Issues
Body issues are not particularly unique. How can you know when plastic surgery is a viable way to address those issues? There are a few things to think about:
- Can plastic surgery successfully address my issue? Plastic surgery can only do so much. Having realistic expectations about what any given procedure can accomplish can help you determine whether surgery is the right course of action.
- Am I interested in surgery for the right reasons? There’s a difference between getting plastic surgery to make yourself happy and getting plastic surgery to make someone else happy. A big difference. It’s important to ensure you aren’t undergoing any given procedure simply to make someone else happy.
- Is this something I’ll grow out of? There are plenty of ways to address some issues. Diet and exercises changes, for example, can correct some body issues. Counseling can help improve confidence. Plastic surgery should only be used in conjunction with other mechanisms—or at least when there’s a high degree of confidence the problem can’t be solved in any other way.
The Importance of Body Image
Much of this comes down to simple words that belie a complicated topic: Body image. We all have our own kind of internal way of looking at ourselves—it’s how you look in your mind’s eye. Inevitably, the reality of your body diverges from your body image.
And that can happen for any number of reasons: aging, wrinkles, lines, gaining weight, losing weight, having children, and so on. Sometimes it can even be something as simple as a haircut.
But for some people this kind of divergence is distressing. It can lead to constant and unyielding feelings of depression, inadequacy, or distress. The difference between your body and your image can decrease your self-esteem drastically.
Plastic Surgery Can Change Things Nothing Else Can
Sometimes this divergence in your body and your body image can be solved by changing your perspective. Sometimes it can be resolved with diet and exercise choices. But sometimes the only way to bridge that divide is with aesthetic plastic surgery—because plastic surgery can transform parts of the body nothing else can.
- Eliminating excess skin (such as during a tummy tuck) can only be accomplished via plastic surgery
- Reducing breast size can only be accomplished via surgery
- Increasing breast size (such as during a breast augmentation) is only possible with surgery
- In many cases, there are areas of fat on your body that simply will no longer respond to diet or exercise—these areas of fat can only be mitigated with liposuction
- Rejuvenation from the aging process
No One Needs Plastic Surgery
Ultimately, almost nobody needs to get aesthetic plastic surgery. That’s why, in most cases, it’s referred to as an elective procedure. So plastic surgery is not going to be some kind of universal medicine—it’s not going to make everyone feel better.
However, if you want plastic surgery, then these procedures might be a good way to improve your confidence and self-esteem. But only if that desire for surgery comes genuinely from yourself. Can plastic surgery bring your confidence back? Sure, but only under the right circumstances.