Generous Orthodoxy  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Cosmetic surgery

This is pretty embarrassing, but a lot of people seem to have found it helpful, so...

I virtually never "comment" on anything I read online and rarely do I even read comments, let alone write them. Today was an exception. I read a featured testimonial, if that is the word, by a young female cosmetic surgeon (named Victoria Karlinsky) about how the procedures she has already had (she's only in her late 30s!) have made her feel good about herself, etc etc. (You can look this up in the New York Times under the heading of Renee Zellweger's recent, startling surgical makeover.) This self-promoting post by the surgeon made me so mad that I typed out a response. Later today I was amazed and pleased that my post got way more "recommends" than any other, and several people seemed to really appreciate it. So here it is (blush):

Like a previous writer I address these thoughts to readers, not to Victoria Karlinsky.
I am in my late 70s and for at least 30 years have almost daily conversations with my mirror about "having work done"--especially since I am a good candidate for "work" with good facial bone structure. I resist giving in to the temptation, however, although I do try to look as good as I can at my age. Here are some reasons that I don't plan to have any surgery:
1) It is very expensive and I want to continue to make contributions to charitable agencies and human rights with that money instead of spending it on my looks.
2) Investing that much money and time in looking younger sends a message that I don't want to send...overemphasis on appearance and not enough emphasis on spiritual values.
3) I personally think that much cosmetic surgery is very obvious and actually calls attention to one's age.
4) I certainly don't want to be the subject of speculation: "Has she or hasn't she?" I would rather have people concentrate on what I am saying or doing, if it is worthwhile.
5) I would like my decision to be of encouragement to other older people who can't afford cosmetic surgery, or don't have time for it, or wonder if they should have it, or worry about not having had it. I would rather be on the "no" side of that line.
I hope this is helpful. It has been helpful to me to write it out.

(On a more important subject, the Ebola virus, see Tips from the Times on this website.)