[Trigger warning for discussion of weight, body size, plastic surgery.]
My husband told me this the other night when I brought up something I’ve been contemplating over the past few weeks.
I am considering getting lipo. Not heavy duty, put you to sleep, run the risk of dying lipo, but this new-fangled thing called Smartlipo Triplex. One of my doctors went through the training to do the procedure last year, and I kept seeing the pamphlets lying around when I went to visit him. The last time I was in, I asked him about it. He said it is minor, as far as surgeries go. You are awake but numb, they make a few incisions, go in and zap shit up with a laser (technical medical terms, of course), then suck it out and shape it with a tube thing. It’s out-patient, and he said if it’s done on a Thursday or Friday, you can be back to work by Monday. Easy-squeezy. But my husband is right; considering this seems out of character for me.
I am not, shall we say, lacking in the positive self- image department. Some might say I have more than is warranted; I tell them to fuck off. I am awesome. I am also generally happy with my body, warts and all (literally, I have HPV, so, you know, sometimes, warts. Whatever, it’s not the end of the world). I like my smile lines and crows’ feet because they show that I have done quite a bit of laughing in my life. I weigh more and am a larger size than I have ever been in my life, but I am also healthier and stronger, so I’ve made my peace with the new numbers. Plus, having a regular work-out routine has given me an ass that will not QUIT, so if that caused me to go up a pant size, so fucking be it. It is phenomenal. Remember earlier about the high self-image? Not kidding. I love me. So why the hell do I want lipo if I’m so happy with myself? It’s simple, totally ridiculous, and utterly self-absorbed. I want to get rid of my love handles. Even when I was sickly thin, 40 lbs. less than I am now, I still had love handles. My little brother, who is 6’4″, 185 lbs., eats a very strict diet, and works out all the time, still has love handles. Thanks, grandpa, for the fun genetics!
I have been thinking quite a bit about why I want to do this. Is it because I feel pressure to fit into society’s expectations of what my body should look like? Am I body shaming others if I do this, as if it somehow says there is something wrong with having love handles? Honestly, I don’t think so. I truly don’t think there is anything wrong with having them, I just don’t want mine. The reality is this– I really like clothes, and there are many things that don’t fit right on my body with love handles. I like to wear ridiculous things. This is what I’m wearing today, for goodness sake–
I manage a law firm, and I am dressed like I run a carnival. As one of my coworkers pointed out, I look like fucking Beetlejuice. And I LOVE IT. I love these pants. They make me happy, and whether I look like a convict, referee, or circus employee, I just don’t care. I am rocking these pants. They have also given me the chance to say ,”Just because you don’t understand doesn’t mean I don’t look adorable,” more than once today, and who doesn’t love that? My body type is akin to a ruler; straight up and down with no real curves to speak of (except my fantastic ass). I would like to have more of a waist. That’s it. When I wear a fitted dress, I would like to not have to strap myself into some suffocating shapeware to suck these bad boys in.
I know that we should love our bodies as they are, and I fully agree with that. No person should be shamed for their size, their weight, or the shape of their body. That kind of bias and bigotry is bullshit, pure and simple. On the other hand, is plastic surgery, if one is doing it solely for themselves, inherently anti that sentiment? I’m not trying to be obtuse or inflammatory; I am really asking for other opinions on this. It seems silly to me to blow this into something bigger than it is, to use the whole “feminism is about supporting women choosing their own choice!” argument, as if we all have to support every single choice someone makes because feminism says so. I’m also not fishing for compliments about how I “don’t need liposuction!!” which I have gotten from people I have mentioned my plans to. I know I don’t need lipo, but I do want it. Like most plastic surgery, it is elective. I’m not doing it to lose weight or to go down a size, but even if I was, is that wrong? Is it shaming? For any of you out there who have had or have contemplated having elective plastic surgery– did you wrestle with this as a feminist issue? As what it might say to others about body positivity? Am I over-thinking this way too much?