Vanity is defined as “excessive pride in one’s appearance, qualities, abilities, achievements, etc.; character or quality of being vain; conceit.” Patients often confess to me that they feel guilty for being so vain when they’re considering a procedure. Interestingly, it’s usually the patients that are considering a relatively small, non-surgical treatment such as Botox or fillers. The question in my mind is “Is that really vanity according to the definition?” While I realize my opinion may be colored by the fact that this is what I do for a living, I just don’t believe it is.
We all take measures every day to try to look our best and feel good about the way we look. We all have areas we wish were better (younger, thinner, perkier, smoother, etc.). We buy clothes that accentuate the positive and hide the flaws. Most women wear makeup. Many of us go to the gym for hours every week trying to achieve or maintain a figure with which we are happy (yeah, yeah – it’s good for our health too, but my cardiovascular health is not what gets me out of bed at 4:30 AM to get a workout in before work).
In my opinion, plastic surgery procedures, within reason, are just an extension of all the other things we do every day to look good and feel good about the way we look. Targeted treatment of an area that is bothersome to us and affects our self-confidence isn’t vain, it’s empowering. We need to stop beating ourselves up with guilt. There are plenty of other things to worry about in life and taking care of yourself shouldn’t be one of them.