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Does the perfect body top your wish list?

Posted on April 11, 2016

As the old adage goes: beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But when a person lacks complete self-esteem and, in some extreme cases, won’t even leave their own house or take part in social events because of the way they look, striving for perfection becomes paramount. While you may hear of scare stories about botched up boob jobs and wonky hair implants, what about the life-changing stories a bit of cosmetic surgery can achieve?

No longer just a regular sight on an LA beach, cosmetic enhancements are fast becoming the norm among both men and women the world over. Right here in Britain, for example, breast augmentation, breast enlargement, breast implants and breast lift is the most popular procedure in women, shortly followed by blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), face/neck lift, breast reduction, liposuction, rhinoplasty, fat transfer and abdominoplasty. The quest for perfection is alive and kicking, and the results – while happening to the regular man and woman on the street – wouldn’t look out of place on a Hollywood film set.

A nip and a tuck here and there, an increase in cup size or a smaller nose, are procedures that those young and old are undergoing for ‘a better life’. It may seem drastic to some, a little expensive – not to mention scary – to others, but if you have the reasoning behind changing the way you look then go for it.

A recent focus group revealed that improving the way you look is right up there with winning the lottery or marrying the man of your dreams. And when feeling low stems back to childhood, the only chance of happiness for some people is going under the knife.

Louise, 31, had her ears pinned back at the age of five. ‘I was very aware of how different I looked, even at such a young age, my ears were huge and were so prominent,’ she says. ‘Having surgery to pin them back was the best decision my mum and I ever made. Psychologically, my confidence soared, I remember walking into the classroom with my head held high. Removing the entire cartilage from my ear wasn’t just a case of an overnight thing – I was in hospital for a few days and had stitches. But I’ve never looked back.’

Nikki, 28, had her breasts reduced and lifted because they were ‘floppy and asymmetrical’. ‘They were really affecting me in relationships and I didn’t feel comfortable. Life’s too short to live miserably, so I had the op. My interaction with the consultant was amazing. He was there every step of the way to help. He asks valid questions about your mental status. Nothing is done lightly. Afterwards, I had a sense of relief. It felt like I was in control, I’m totally happy now.’

Stacey, 30, also had breast implants and her lips plumped, and has never been more proud of herself for going ahead with the surgery. ‘I decided to do something about my appearance because I was spending so much money on hair products and make-up to feel and look better, that something more permanent is an investment in yourself.’

More than 45,000 surgical procedures were performed in the UK in the last year, while the value of the industry is estimated to be worth £3.6billion in this country alone. Not surprisingly, women account for 90.5% of all cosmetic procedures.

The average woman looks in the mirror at least eight times a day – mostly for a sense of reassurance, or to check a spot isn’t rearing its ugly head. But, all of a sudden, at some point in your life, what you think you look like in your mind is very different to the reality. Quite often, the only way to correct that is to do something about it. The point of good cosmetic work isn’t to make you look different, but to make you appear how you want to. As always, research is key to any medical procedure – an issue Victoria, 22, has taken on-board ahead of achieving her dream body. ‘Procedures are a lot better these days thanks to advances in technology and the fact that there are minimally invasive techniques. I’d love to get liposuction. I find it very hard to lose weight around my abdomen because of a diagnosed hormone imbalance. I’ve been researching these procedures since I turned 18. The recovery is better now, too. It’s not as long and gruelling as it used to be, no more being laid up in bed for weeks.’

Although people can be influenced by seemingly ‘perfect’ images displayed in the media and on social network sites, sometimes the need for cosmetic enhancements is down to a disfigurement or a ‘fault’. Nadia, 32, wants to have her nose shaved. ‘My nose doesn’t fit my face. My cousin had hers done and she looks so beautiful with it. You’d never know she’d had a nose job; it looks natural, as if it’s always been like that. My face is quite horsey, so my nose shaved a little will look much better. I’ve researched it, and I know I’ll feel more confident if I have it done. I’m very excited about it.’

One lady, Hayley, 34, has booked her liposuction and tummy tuck operation for 1st December. ‘I had a consultation back in May, and the consultant I saw made me feel relaxed and comfortable. He’s had lots of experience and the photographs of his work, plus the reviews, are excellent. And, even more important, he’s registered with the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. I’m a size 12 but I’ve had two Caesarean sections and would like reconstruction. There’s a nine-week recovery time, but it’ll be worth it. My friends and family think I’m crazy, but I can’t live with that part of my body being like that. I’ve been left some inheritance money so that’s pushed me to go for it. I understand cosmetic surgery can get addictive, like having a tattoo. I have to fix this, I feel like my life is on pause. But I’ve got my winning lottery ticket now.’

So, while money can’t buy happiness, it can buy you cosmetic surgery – as long as you do your research and go to a registered surgeon whom you trust to give you the body you desire. It could be life-changing.