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*Cosmetic Surgery From Both Sides Now
Lois W. Stern*

_"Body image, which is intimately linked to appearance, can
make a huge difference in the way we feel about ourselves."_

As I interviewed women for my book on women and cosmetic surgery, their stories confirmed how deeply body image can be embedded into our psyche and how powerfully it impacts our lives. But when I read the results of the following Mayo Clinic study, this fact became indelibly stamped on my brain. In this study, the researchers tracked two hundred and fifty women who had had facelifts twenty years earlier and discovered that by statistical comparison, the facelift patients had lived ten years longer than the general female population. Does this study claim a cause-effect relationship between facelifts and longevity? Certainly not! But it does suggest that cosmetic surgery patients are often strongly dedicated to health and fitness, which can easily translate to living longer.  

That said, the other day I received a beautiful e-mail message from a woman who had undergone multiple surgeries for all the wrong reasons. The results of her surgeries, both physically and psychologically, were nothing short of disaster! Her book, Chasing Beauty, is in pre-publication stages right now, but she agreed to let me interview her for Fabulously 40 in the near future. Unlike my personal experience and the experiences of most of the women I interviewed, this forthcoming interview will be an eye opener into the dark side to cosmetic surgery – cosmetic surgery undertaken for the wrong reasons and/or with the wrong doctors.  

People addicted to plastic surgery – those with Body Dysmorphic Disorder or BDD - suffer with what mental health professional call a "broken mirror" syndrome. They believe they have severe flaws in their appearances, but no plastic surgeon can fix those flaws because they only exist in the mind of the individual. You may have read stories about Jocelyn Wildenstein, sometimes known as the Cat Woman, whose extreme case of BDD has propelled her into undergoing approximately 72 procedures.  

She wanted her face to resemble the face of a lion, and and sadly achievwed her goal. Sader still is the fact that she actually found a surgeon willing to comply!  


© 2008 by Lois W. Stern
Author of Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery

Lois loves to hear from her readers and will actually respond.


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