I am naturally a private person and do not share a lot of my personal life. Frankly, it is not all that interesting. I do think it is important to be transparent on any and everything regarding aging. Let’s talk about Why are we so Secretive about Having Work Done. I had a lower face and neck lift five weeks ago, by Dr. Douglas Sunde, and I am very happy with the results.
Let me tell you a little bit about my history first. As a child, I was badly burned (3rd degree) over ⅓ of my body. I wasn’t expected to live but I did. I have lived with severe scarring on my right side since the age of two. There were times in my life that were difficult, particularly during puberty. Fortunately, I grew up in a small town that embraced and encouraged me every step of the way. For that reason, there will always be a special place in my heart for that little town and the people that protected and molded me. That journey has definitely influenced me as a person, both good and bad. I am strong, perhaps to a fault. My mom did her best . I think she thought if she dressed me prettier than the other girls that would compensate for my scars, rather deal with it emotionally. My dad on the other hand said, “Cindy you can either make the best of it and be happy and try to understand why people say things, or you can be miserable”. Quite simply I decided to be happy.
Don’t I look like a happy little camper here? Lake of the Ozarks circa 1960? Check out the architecture!
We grew up on a lake swimming and skiing all day and into the night. I was a fairly good skier as a young girl. There was no hiding the scars. I was a cheerleader in high school and we had to wear miniskirts. I was accustomed to staring but instead of making a big deal out of it, I tried to make others feel more comfortable. I had a busy social life, plenty of boyfriends, and a solid childhood, in spite of having a somewhat troubled mother. As a child, I spent way too much time in the sun and in puberty had bouts with acne which of course vastly affected the condition of my skin.
The main drag of my little town. You might enjoy reading this post I wrote when I first began blogging about my little town here.
Here I am way too tanned at my lifelong friend’s wedding. Don’t you love our outfits.? I think I was channeling Liz Taylor in Cleopatra.
I grew up and fortunately married a very supportive husband. His words to me were you have saved the money. Do it if it makes you feel good. Our wedding circa 1975.
As women, we struggle with all sorts of contradictory societal messages regarding aging. There seems to be a disconnect between how we look and how we feel. I think we have a right to be attractive and happy with the way we look.
A few years ago I began noticing the acne scars looking like divots on a golf course and the “turkey neck” and saggy jowls becoming more prominent. I never dreamed that I would ever consider having plastic surgery. I guess I never thought I would look 20 years older than I felt either. I have had two hip replacements. Before I had the first one I was actually using a cane. That was a bit rough. I have always been very strong and active. I recovered quickly and moved on after both. Growing up with the burn scars was something I could not control, but I thought to myself, this is something I can control. Why do I want to look years older than I feel? Right before the onset of covid, I contacted a local plastic surgeon, Dr. Sunde, in Monterey, who I had heard many good things about. I was still hesitating. Was I feeling shameful and undeserving? Probably. I had Fraxel laser surgery to improve the divets and scars. It did improve it somewhat but nothing that I was thrilled with. For some reason going public about plastic surgery has always been hush hush. Many people are having work done, but still very few discuss it. Designer Marc Jacobs boldly posted this picture of himself day 1 on Instagram drains and all.
I think we as women should be able to own our personal choices. I remember when Betty Ford spilled the beans about having plastic surgery I had nothing but respect for her. I didn’t discuss my decision about having plastic surgery with anyone except my immediate family. I didn’t want to be influenced by others’ opinions. I know many of you may be considering cosmetic surgery and other procedures. I am constantly asked to discuss them. I considered not talking about it, but to me, it just seemed disingenuous. I hope this blog is a place where we can be honest with each other by sharing the struggles and triumphs of being middle-aged women.
We all are different. What works for some of us doesn’t for others. I wish I had taken care of my skin and not abused it. Will I start wearing Spanx, crop tops, and high heels? Of course not. I have gray hair, I am 67 years old. I am happy to be a grandma. I am not interested in looking 40 or 50. I simply want to look as good as I feel.
Thank you for reading Why are we so Secretive about Having Work Done. I found this article from In Style-Why It is Time to Let go of Plastic Surgery Stigma, the best I have read on the subject. I am anxious to hear your feelings. Let’s talk.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I did have a lower face and neck lift five weeks ago. I am very happy with the results and do not regret it. Sorry that I was not more clear about that. I will do a follow-up post on the actual surgery and recovery next Tuesday for those who are interested. Dr. Sunde has graciously agreed to answer any questions that you have.