Guest Book Review: Sex, Lies and Cosmetic Surgery

Lois Stern starts where some of the other books on the subject seem to stop: with the questions people really, really want to ask but seldom do; with the answers they really want to have, but canâ??t seem to find.

Stern did the work. She conducted over 100 in-depth and intimate interviews with women. She had some work done herself, so she’s got cred. She tells the truth about her own experience, pushes aside some of the same old questions, (Am I a good candidate for X? Should I tell anyone or just pretend it’s the same old me?) and moves into fresh new territory.

She believes there is still a wall of secrecy around cosmetic surgery and tells us all about it. She tells us certain questions come up over and over again and that one of the most frequently asked by women before they have cosmetic surgery is this: Will I be happier later? That’s such an honest question, and Stern finds it again and again as she listens to women’s stories. I happen to think that a well-adjusted person who has cosmetic surgery can definitely be happier later. [Hint: and they seem to think so, too.] I mean, if you’ve gone through life feeling self conscious about your (insert body part here ________), you know the euphoria one can feel to look in the mirror and see sleek thighs where saddlebags once lived, or to see bright, flashing eyes that were once taken hostage by drooping lids and crinkled skin.

Lois Stern did her homework. She has extensive checklists. She has advice. She talks about how we have to step up to the plate and partner with our doctor if we want to get the best possible results. That means, among other things, coming clean about the prescriptions and non-rx meds we take, the truth about how and what we eat, our lifestyle habits (yeah, you do you really go to the gym 5 days a week? If not, say so!) and so on. You can’t expect a surgeon to give you the best outcome if you give the bare minimum in terms of information, do you? This is an adult-to-adult collaboration, not Gepetto carving his wooden doll).

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