Aesthetic Procedures: Real Women Share Their Stories
Real women share their stories and experiences with having aesthetic procedures making sure to share their reasons for the beauty procedures
IngrId Malan (58)
An executive in the advertising industry who had a facelift 13 years ago at the age of 45.
Why did you have a surgical procedure?
I have very good skin and had no wrinkles, but had a problem with sagging skin. My jawline became blurred; wearing a polo-neck top was not an option anymore, because it emphasized my jowls, and my eyelids were droopy, making my eyes look small and mean and tired.
How did it work out for you physically?
Even though I was well prepared by talking to my surgeon and reading up extensively (there was not so much information around then as there is nowadays), I was not fully prepared for the pain, discomfort and swelling. My blood pressure also went up alarmingly on the operating table, which caused the doctors great concern. I had a few bad nights directly following the procedure; I berated myself for my vanity – deliberately choosing to experience such pain – and I feared I would never look like me again. However, once the swelling and bruising were gone, I felt better, and within two months I was thrilled with the results.
Did it affect your emotional wellbeing? Did the change make you feel better about yourself ?
It definitely boosted my self-confidence. And I could wear polo-neck tops again, because my jawline looked sharp and clear!
How did other people react to your rejuvenated looks?
I had a very skillful and talented surgeon. I stayed out of sight during my recovery period, and afterwards people remarked that I looked rested and youthful, but even today only those closest to me know that I had a facelift.
How long did the effect last?
It unquestionably gained me a good 15 years – I look much younger than my real age. I have to add that I take meticulous care of my skin; I have regular facials, peels and I get Botox once or twice a year.
Is it worth the money and risk, in your opinion?
I will give that a qualified yes. I had a big health scare with my blood pressure going off the planet in the theatre, and I do have some keloid scarring behind my ears, in my hairline. Fortunately only I am aware of it.
What were you willing to spend to afford the surgical procedure?
My generous husband indulged me!
Would you do it again?
Frankly, no. If all the current aesthetic alternatives for rejuvenation (Botox, fillers, volume replacements, skin-tightening lasers, etc) were available to me then, I would have postponed a facelift until my late 50s or early 60s. With my present youth maintenance regime, I am happy to grow older gracefully. But never say never – if I sense that I need a drastic intervention in my 60s, I might just jump for a second time!
Monica Humphreys (55)
A director, business/corporate who is wanting and planning to have one or two aesthetic procedures.
“It’s a fact of life that once you’re past a certain age as a professional woman, you have to work harder, not just at your job, but at your appearance.” she says, “If you don’t take care of yourself and look good, you won’t be taken seriously. It may not be fair, but it is what it is.”
Why do you want cosmetic surgery?
Specifically, I want a face and neck lift – in your 50s you suddenly start looking old, even if you don’t feel it. I’d like my outside to reflect how I feel inside. I exercise, I watch what I eat and I’m slim, so I think that my face doesn’t match my body. From behind, I look younger. I particularly think that my neck has aged badly, very creepy.
What are you willing to sacrifice to get it?
Well, it all boils down to money, but other than trying to save up (which is hard, given my dependent and associated expenses), there’s not much I can do.
How long have you been thinking about it?
I’m sure most women start thinking about this from their mid-30s. I always thought that by now I would’ve had a facelift. My mother had one when she was the same age.
What triggered your desire?
Looking in the mirror.
How do you expect to look and feel afterwards?
Fresher and more invigorated. I don’t necessarily expect to look younger, just less stressed and tired.
What steps have you taken towards your goal so far? Have you seen a cosmetic surgeon?
Yes I have, but I was a bit put off by his ideas – he wanted also to do fat transfer into the face, to fill it out. While I understand this in principle, I’ve seen the results on some high-profile people, and I think many of them look over-smooth and over-filled. I would prefer to take a piecemeal approach. I can clearly see that a neck lift would smooth out my neck, and a facelift will hopefully lift my sagging jowls and make me look less tired. I would like to start there, and have fillers or whatever only if I think I need them, once it’s all settled down and I can see the result.
Did you do a lot of homework on the procedure you want, and do you know exactly what you want?
Yes, but it seems as if things are changing all the time, and there are a lot of new procedures. It’s hard to stay up to date.
Do you think it is worth the risk?
Depends on what the risks are. I would only choose a reputable surgeon with a track record and portfolio I can study.
Have you tried alternative approaches?
I’ve had Botox, which works well in the forehead, and I’ve had fillers, which were overdone and not cheap. So it becomes very expensive when you have to keep going back. I want something durable and more or less permanent.
Lynette McAllister (43)
A fashionista, high-profile socialite and vivacious celebrity hostess who’s had two facelifts.
“I am young in body and spirit, and nobody suspects I am older than 30. I want to keep it that way“. she boldly admits.
Why did you have a surgical procedure?
I am single and I have always had younger boyfriends. I am constantly in the public eye and I lead a high-profile social life. I also lead an active outdoors and sports life. My body looks like that of a 20-year old, and I want my face to reflect my youthful spirit and body. I had a brow lift when I was 30, and a mini-facelift at 39.
Did it affect your emotional wellbeing?
Yes, I felt younger, fresher and brighter, and I love that no-one can tell I am older than my man.
Is it worth the money and the risk?
For me, completely. I have a magician for a surgeon; I trust him completely to never make me look “done”.
What would you be willing to give up to afford surgery?
A great deal, if I do not have the money at hand. I would try to save up, but if need be,
I will sell some of my jewelry or take out a loan. It is worth maintaining my self-esteem and sense of unlimited youthfulness.
Will you do it again?
I had really great results so far, but I will trust my surgeon to advise me about any more procedures. I guess I might, though!
How about alternatives?
I religiously visit my facialist every two weeks, to keep my skin in a flawless and healthy condition, and I will definitely consider Botox and fillers when I believe I need it.