Contemplating plastic surgery? Candid thoughts from someone who has been there

By Rosemary Jarman

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, June 20 2013 10:05 a.m. MDT

Let’s face it; there are just some parts of your body you don’t want to discuss with anyone, not even your doctor. We get embarrassed. However, cancer is no respecter of organs. Therefore we find that as age marches on, we must submit to awkward medical procedures and conversations once in a while in order to prolong our stay as mortals.

Let’s all be mature, shall we? Well, that’s easier said than done for me. I am 40 years old, yet I still crack up like a fifth-grader when I hear the word "fart." Just typing it made me laugh. So perhaps that explains why I’ve found it difficult to have breast cancer. I feel awkward talking about breasts, especially my own.

So imagine, immature little me having to delve head first into the world of plastic surgery. Imagine me at my first appointment with my plastic surgeon as he explained the reconstruction process. I felt like I was investigating some sort of cult, incredulous to learn what they were putting in the punch that everyone was drinking. People really do this to themselves intentionally?

No way would I ever write about this. Too weird and way too personal. But then I kept seeing this beautiful young girl in my head, sitting at her computer, contemplating cosmetic surgery. Could anyone out there be more starved for the truth than today’s youths? Could anyone be more vulnerable to our cult of beauty?

So it is with her in mind that I swallow my pride and put my giggles away. For you, my little sister, I share my honest thoughts: Yes, your dress may fit a little better, but just as the novelty of buying that dress wore off, so will the novelty of your new profile in it. You’ll be just as happy or miserable as you were as an A cup now that you’re a D. I once lived in a Parade of Homes home, now I live in a duplex. My surroundings have changed, but in the morning, I still wake up with the same me that I used to put to bed at night in my old mansion. Happiness and success comes from the soul, not the shrink-wrap.

As fabulous a job as plastic surgeons have done over the years to improve their ability to mimic nature, there’s still no fooling anyone. Not anyone. Fake is fake. If you can live with it, fine. Many do. I do. But if you had a choice, would you rip the trees out of your yard and replace them with silk ones from the super mart? Silk plants are great. I love ’em. But silk plants don’t give me oxygen. They don’t grow. They don’t need me. They don’t interact with their environment, overcome adversity, follow the sun, or do anything dynamic and memorable like real foliage does. Fake is fake.

Finally, let me just say … it hurts. It really, really hurts. Each of us gets to choose every day how much suffering we will introduce to the world. The less suffering we inflict upon each other, the better. The less suffering we inflict upon ourselves, the best.

So little sister, this is my opinion. Not my judgment. I condemn no one for choices that come from a heart that has never beat in my chest. To the rest of my readers, I hope I didn’t offend anyone and I hope you never let “body embarrassment” stop you from doing the right thing, from having a colonoscopy to saying excuse me (pardon me while I giggle).

Rosemary Jarman lives in Orem, Utah, with her husband and children. She enjoys cycling, writing and travel and is earnestly trying to survive rehabbing their 45-year-old home.

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