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Jocelyne, why do so many women decide to have plastic surgery?
There are so many reasons, it is up to the individual I suppose. Some women have surgery to slow the march of time, some decide to go under the knife to correct a perceived flaw and some decide to do it when their husband is threatening to not only leave them for a 21 year old Russian model, but cut them off their financial support and the only way they can think to save the marriage is to turn themselves into a replica of his favourite jungle animal.
All very valid reasons, all very personal reasons.
What if a woman can't afford plastic surgery - are there any alternatives you can suggest?
Yes I recommend she develop a personality and learn to bake.
No, what I mean is, are there any non-surgical procedures you can recommend?
How does one go about choosing the right surgeon?
It depends on your needs of course but there are a few things I've learned during my journey that I would like to share.
It is impossible to hold a medical degree from the University of Papaya as Papaya is not a country, you should never have to walk through a transmission shop to get to the clinic and avoid places that require a secret knock.
Clean well appointed premises are a good sign and you can tell a lot about the surgeon by his clients. If the surgeon has a photograph of Mary Tyler Moore or Carol Burnett in the lobby consider that a good sign.
Once I've found the right doctor what then?
Be specific about your needs and don't take no for an answer. Remember, like a housepainter, a plastic surgeon works for you. Just as you wouldn't let a housepainter say "No, I think it looks good now. I refuse to do any more work as it would be dangerous." You should not let a surgeon bully you. Make a clear list of what you want. If they cannot deliver, tell them you will get someone else to do it. Then spread a rumour that he/she left a sponge behind your left ear.
Bring in a photograph, or a clipping from National Geographic as I did, to show the surgeon exactly the look you desire. Unless you have a knack for drawing don't make the Joan Rivers mistake of handing in a sketch on a cocktail napkin.
Make sure you are going to get value for your money. Michelle Pfeiffer, Candice Bergen, Lauren Hutton are just three examples of women who were taken for thousands of dollars yet have very little to show for it. If the only comments you get after you've invested thousands are "my, you look rested" or "did you get your hair cut?" then you have not received your money's worth. Would you spend $50,000 on a tune-up for your old car? No, you would get a brand new one. Same thing here.
Any post-surgery tips?
Well of course you must make sacrifices- I for one lost my peripheral vision after my last cheek implant but I weighed it over carefully and realized I only used it for driving so it was a decision I could live with.
You might be well advised during your convalescence to work up a few signals to replace the expressions you've lost in your face. (If of course the surgery is done right.) I twiddle the fingers on my left hand to show joy and use one finger on the right hand to express displeasure but you will have many isolated weeks to find symbols that work for you.
Keep in mind that women are very jealous creatures. They will more than likely resent your transformation if they can't afford to do it themselves. My advice in this instance is to consider the source and do your best to rise above their pettiness. If it all gets too much for you always remember: nothing gives you a lift like a little collagen.