Eye of the Beholder

 

This is very personal for me. I know by putting it out there, I open the door to criticism. I feel the topic is worth exploring, and I’m ready for any feedback…

 

 

In the classic Twilight Zone episode, Eye of the Beholder, Janet Tyler is a young woman who just wants to look “normal” and to fit into society.  With deep sadness she explores feelings of low self-esteem and loneliness while confined to her hospital bed.  Her emotions resemble the dark shadows cast throughout the episode. Cinematically, it is pure genius.

 

Her face is wrapped during the entire episode. Until the very end…

The-Twilight-Zone-Eye-of-the-Beholder

As an adolescent, I could relate to Janet on some level. I was never completely happy with my appearance, and I struggled with my self-esteem…

 

As for Janet, she had just endured her 11th “treatment”, which was to be her final one. If she was deemed “normal,” she would be able to assimilate back into society. If not, she would be segregated to a colony of similar looking people.

(Spoiler alert: check out the ending here)

 

To resolve my insecurities, I also chose to have “treatments” though obviously different than the ones experienced by Janet LOL.  I initially kept them on the “down low.”

 

I was concerned that people would judge me for having plastic surgery.

shadowed woman

It does seem to be a controversial subject:

 

*You should be happy with the way God made you.

*If you’re not content now, you never will be.

*Plastic surgery is what superficial people do.

 

 

My opinion of plastic surgery was and always has been: if it helps you feel a little bit better about yourself, why not do it? My parents seemed to support this view…

 

You see, my parents graciously offered me a few options for my high school graduation present, including a new nose.

 

Yes, a new nose.

me

 

I was teased  for having a “Roman nose.” It had a size-able bump on the bridge. My nose wasn’t just a result of my Italian heritage, but also an accident that happened to me years before.

 

At the age of 5 while celebrating the 4th of July with my extended family, I was observing a game of baseball with my cousins and my uncle. I darted behind my cousin just as he swung his aluminum bat.

 

I remember lots of blood, a green wash rag, and being rushed to the hospital. The weeks following the accident, I looked like a raccoon and drew lots of attention while out shopping with my mother.

After the accident. If you look close, you can see the dark circles…

mekid

Years later, the bump in my nose worsened. It was bumped numerous times and had quite a buildup of calcification.

I was so embarrassed by the bump, that I remember standing off to the side while talking to boys that I liked, so they couldn’t see my distinct profile.

 

When my parents presented me with the option to have a nose job/rhinoplasty, I didn’t hesitate.

 

I was/am a nerd. This is the brochure from 1993 LOL.

brochure

We consulted with a doctor who also recommended a chin implant to balance my profile as my chin was somewhat withdrawn.

The surgery and recovery went well. However, about a month later, when swelling had subsided, I noticed that the tip of my nose was VERY rounded. We scheduled a follow up appointment with the doctor. Upon examining me, he agreed to do a second surgery to correct the tip. The result was greatly improved, and I was satisfied with the result.

 

Fast forward 25 years. Last January.

 

At a routine cleaning appointment, my dentist noticed inflammation in my lower gums. Then I began having very sharp pains, tingling, and numbness throughout my lower gum and jaw area. I consulted with a Maxillo-facial surgery specialist who ordered a scan of my face. It appeared that my chin implant had moved, and was now sitting on a nerve, causing all the issues that I was experiencing. I also learned that my chin implant lay under a VERY thin layer of skin in my mouth. If I was bumped, the implant could puncture through the skin and literally pop out! My doctor recommended replacing the chin implant and anchoring it into the bone.

 

I underwent surgery last week to replace my chin implant. The only regret I have is that I didn’t ask to keep it as a memento LOL. It was in my face for 25 years!

 

I know some people won’t understand why I had plastic surgery in the first place. Some will completely disagree with my choice. I respect that. However, we all do things to help us feel better about our appearance. To improve our self-esteem. Our body confidence. And, to establish a true sense of identity.

me

 

*Some alter their appearance by wearing makeup, tattoos, jewelry, working-out, slipping on shapewear—or all the above LOL.

 

Some, like me, take a bit drastic measures to alter their appearance through surgery. It is a personal decision that I have never taken lightly.

 

To arrive at such a decision, I really believe you must consider the following:

 

First, you must have realistic expectations. Even with the most drastic duckling to swan transformation, no surgery can completely obliterate low self-esteem.

 

 

You need to find ways to personally address your low self-esteem. Really try to get to the core issues causing it. Maybe reading personal development books, reflect, do personal growth exercises, and possibly pursue counseling.

 

Because of my faith, I remind myself…

value

 

 

Lastly, no plastic surgery is completely free of risks. I want to encourage anyone considering it to do their homework! There were mistakes made during my original surgery. It has been twenty-five years, and the Internet has made it VERY easy to research doctor reviews.

 

According to the adage: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, the opinion of the one staring back from the mirror matters more than the opinion of others…

womaninmirror

One final thought, even though I’m a proponent of SOME plastic surgery,  it pales in comparison to improving our inner beauty. That, of course, should be our primary focus.

 

kindness

 

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