McKay Coppins: Answering the Mormon plastic surgery question

Published: Friday, May 14 2010 12:19 a.m. MDT

"I, too, feel that many women in this world seek plastic surgery to 'fix' some problem they may have, only to realize it didn't really fix it at all, mostly because it is their own interpretation of the problem. Then they have other surgeries and more and more and it becomes consuming. I feel this is not what we should be doing …

"But … what about the woman (who), through no fault of her own, has gained 100-plus pounds, say, for example, because she has been on medication that makes her gain weight, or maybe her thyroid is out of whack. Then years later she loses weight and she is flabby. Which in some way can be construed (as a) problem (that) is her own fault? Not a birth defect or anything like that."

"Regarding plastic surgery, my 22 years of marriage have taught me that when a wife raises that topic to her husband, mostly what she is looking for is reassurance that she is now and ever will be the most beautiful woman the husband has ever laid his eyes on. She is not looking for mere acceptance but adoration (both spouses should adore each other). I find that words like, 'You are always beautiful to me' work better than listing clinical reasons why plastic surgery might be a bad idea. It is also worth noting that if a wife seems especially persistent about it then the husband needs to avoid falling into the trap of agreeing, thinking that he is being supportive of her wants. That will likely quickly paint the husband into a corner. ('So you don't think I'm attractive as I am now?')

"I am now 50, and with each new annoying 'trick' my body develops I become more convinced that old age is just a way to help us appreciate the resurrection when it comes. Speaking of resurrection, I am also not inclined to spend a boat load of money to accomplish what the resurrection will give (and then some!) to all of us for free."

"We have LDS friends who have had plastic surgery and we don't begrudge them at all. These are superficial matters and there are so many more things out there that are more important to worry about that have far greater consequences to our ultimate goal of eternal salvation."

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