Should You Get Plastic Surgery in Your 20s?

Q. Did you ever want plastic surgery when you were in your 20s and now you are happy that you didn’t do it?

A. I never wanted plastic surgery when I was in my 20’s, I want it now!  Ha ha! – 40-something, wife, mom, designer

That answer was in jest…but it probably sums up what many women think. At some point in our lives we’ve thought about it, but few have undertaken it. The women above went on to say what many 40-something women say — do it if you really think it will make you feel better but don’t do it for anyone else.

“Don’t ever change your body for someone. Do it for yourself but not someone else. That’s having no self-confidence. What you do for someone else won’t make you happy. They won’t love you more because you got a boob job or whatever…they won’t love you because you have no self-confidence.”

Here from a 40-something woman who struggled a lot with her body image in her 20s but never went the plastic surgery route and is glad she didn’t.

“I never wanted plastic surgery…it wasn’t really an option financially and it wasn’t talked about in the Midwest where I grew up. Although moving to Los Angeles in my early 20s certainly brought it to the forefront. But I’m glad I didn’t.


However, I was never satisfied with my body or my looks and had a distorted body image.  I’m solidly built and was always athletic. There were stints of feeling attractive, but for the most part I was unsatisfied.  I suspect some of the dissatisfaction came from cultural/media influences and some from family scripts. When I look at any old photo, I’m struck by how attractive, in shape and vibrant I was!  I think most of us are amazed when we look back to see that we really did have it all along. This is why I believe my internal image of myself was distorted.  Not helped much when I met and married a man who seems to prefer a different sort of body type.  He likes me underweight.  This has led to problems in our relationship but it made me realize I wasn’t happy when I was at that weight.


What I wish I had done in my twenties is to hunt down the reason for my dissatisfaction and fix it. That is, fix my dissatisfaction.  We can all find flaws but at some point must accept them and accept ourselves as a flawed, but basically good package.  It seems a shame that I fretted so much about my really very attractive and fit body.

So I suppose you need to ask yourself why you want plastic surgery and go from there. Can you diet instead?  Can you exercise to get the results?  Are you deformed in some way?  Or are you looking for perfection?  Because if its perfection… you will not likely find it through surgery.

This from a women who has worked with her body. Think about what you can do for yourself first: sunscreen, working out and realizing that body confidence can be a lot more fun than worrying about what you look like naked.

“I never wanted plastic surgery in my 20’s — but there is so much more awareness now about getting procedures done so this is a difficult decision for anyone. They key to the question is who are you doing it for and how much will you change? Then you have to ask yourself, once I start changing things when do I stop? Look at some of the celeb disasters.

I grew up in a country with not much sun (Scotland) and as a result of that and genes, I’m fortunate to have good skin. So if I had a child or young cousin or even if I was in my 20’s I would stay out of the sun as much as possible– at least on my face. I can see the results. Wear sunscreen.

In terms of body shape a lot can be achieved by changing wardrobe styles and I have changed the shape of parts of my body through working out. Clearly that doesn’t work for your nose or breasts– those are different challenges. But it’s really more about your attitude. Frankly once you’ve got your kit off and are in full-on sex mode …guys just want to have fun. So don’t be self conscious, just be sexy and have fun. Low self-confidence at that stage is more of a turn off than any body part. I have lots of guy friends of all ages and this is what they say. And too, a lot of guys that are worth their salt don’t want a Barbie look alike. If they do, just remember they can change you in for a newer model every 10 years. Is that the relationship you want to be in?”

As this women notes, plastic surgery  is more present than ever in today’s society. While still a small percentage of the total population, plastic surgery is on the rise. Last year there were 13.1 million plastic surgery procedures up 5% since 2005.

But one interesting stat comparison gets to the point of this question from the other way. Do women regret having plastic surgery?  I’m not a statistician but let’s look at breast augmentation, the most popular procedure that women have done. Almost 300,000 breast implants were done in 2010. Then there were then 90,000 breast lifts. 83,000 breast reductions and 22,000 breast implant removals. Goes to the old saying that you always want what you don’t have.

In the end it depends on the degree to which the perceived flaw is a part of who you are and do you want to change that? Or is it something that is a big white elephant in the room that is preventing you from living your life with self-confidence. But before you do it, think about all the other ways you could boost your self-confidence. Particularly in your 20’s…realize that you probably really do “have it”.




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