Plastic Surgery Etiquette: A Mini-Lesson

I came across an article at Times Live the other day addressing the issue of plastic surgery-related etiquette, and I found myself agreeing with much of what the author, Mary M. Mitchell, had to say. I thought I would share it here with you.

If you’re reading this post, it’s probably because you’ve had plastic surgery, are planning to, or are at least open to the idea—which means the lessons Ms. Mitchell had to impart aren’t necessarily meant for you. And yes, cosmetic procedures are far less stigmatized today than they were in past decades. However, I think most veterans of plastic surgery have had experiences with people who, upon discovering that they’ve had work done, have been less than kind (or polite, or sensitive) about it.

With that fact in mind, I thought it would do all some good to be reminded about some basic rules of surgery etiquette. For those who haven’t had any work done, these are rules to live by when you’re speaking to someone who has; and for those who have undergone plastic surgery, this is a good reminder that doing so doesn’t mean that you’re inviting judgment or giving up your right to privacy—and that people should respect that.

The rules:

  • Don’t blurt out a comment if you think someone has had something done.
  • Don’t ask—if they want to tell you, they will.
  • Don’t criticize. It’s their choice.
  • Don’t offer judgment on the procedure’s success. If they tell you about their treatment, ask how they feel about the results.
  • Don’t gossip. Plastic surgery is a personal decision, as is sharing the news.
  • Be solicitous. If someone tells you they recently had work done, ask how they’re feeling.

If you’re interested in reading the full article that inspired this post, you can find it here.