Plastic Surgery as a Gift

presThere have been a handful of stories in the news this past month about the increasing number of people who are giving plastic surgery to loved ones as a present during the holiday season. Many people seem outraged by this trend; one story I came across even called it “the most aggressively offensive holiday gift” you can give. But is that always the case? Is gifting someone a cosmetic procedure necessarily (and inherently) a terrible idea? I think it all boils down to one thing: Is plastic surgery something the gift recipient has expressly asked for—or is it something that you think would be great for them?

If “rhinoplasty” or “tummy tuck” isn’t on your loved one’s gift list, I’d say that erring on the side of caution is the best policy you can adopt. Better safe than sorry, as the saying goes. If you give someone a gift certificate for a facelift without having been specifically asked for it, you run the risk of hurting their feelings—not to mention getting them seriously angry with you.

You probably understand intuitively why it might be upsetting for someone to receive a gift like plastic surgery when they didn’t actually ask for it. If you don’t, however, I’ll make it simple for you: In giving someone a gift like that—unsolicited—you’re sending the message that there’s something wrong with their appearance, something that you want to change about them. And who wants a “present” like that?

So the question to ask yourself is this: Are you 100 percent sure that your partner/sibling/parent/friend wants to undergo a plastic surgery procedure, and that they’re okay with the money for that procedure coming from you? If so, go ahead and gift it to them! But if you’re not—if you have even the smallest bit of doubt about whether such a gift will be well received—I suggest sticking with that nice cashmere sweater they’ve had their eye on!