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Here's How Cosmetic Surgery Boosted My Self-Confidence

cosmetic surgery boosted confidence

Photo Credit: Cottonbro/Pexels

“Close your eyes and don’t move,” Raina, my aesthetician, tells me. I’m sitting in a reclined chair, holding a stress ball in one hand and a vibrating stick in the other. Raina gets ready to inject my face with Juvederm, a dermal filler used to create enhanced facial features. I’m getting Restylyne under my eyes to fill in the concave look I inherited from my grandmother, and cheek fillers to hold up the muscles under my eyes once the fillers are in.

“That’s so weird!” I say as I squeeze the stress ball and roll the vibrating stick against my leg. These tools help distract me as a gigantic needle is being used to pump filler under my skin.

After about an hour, we’re done. I have some needle marks on my face, but I can already see the results: no more dark circles; no more hallowed under-eye area. To top it off, now I have cheekbones!

Hello, my name is Kat, and I have no shame in getting cosmetic surgery procedures.

Magazines, TV shows, movies, and even some of my teachers told me women should always feel beautiful just as they are, and we don’t need to change anything. Plastic surgery is purely for vanity purposes, they would say. If we just learned to love ourselves for who we are and what we were born with, we would feel beautiful inside and out. However, these same sources also promoted a certain standard of beauty that seemed naturally unattainable. 

Such conflicting messages made it hard to know what beauty should actually look and feel like.

Is it fair to say that cosmetic surgery is only for people with low self-esteem? I don’t think so. Some of my friends who have had work done are the most confident people I know. They’ve gotten nose jobs, boob jobs, liposuction and more. Some even started getting this kind of surgery done when they were as young as 16 years old. Eventually, people started talking about Botox and other fillers, getting treatments done on their lunch break sometimes. 

Talking to friends who have had work done has made me think about cosmetic surgery differently. While some regret it, others feel it’s just part of their process toward self-love. Most of them wish society didn’t impose any sort of beauty standard, but the collective thinking was that there is power in getting to choose how you look. “Wrinkles are one less thing I have to worry about now,” one of my friends admitted.

I don’t consider myself to be a sheep or a sellout; everyone’s journey to their best self is different — cosmetic surgery just so happens to be part of my journey. For me, cosmetic surgery has nothing to do with what others think I should look like. Instead, I see it as a tool I can feel empowered to use on my road to self-love.


I began to wonder if I could feel better about the way I looked if I could change the parts about me that I really didn't like. My decision to get cosmetic procedures was not based on how others saw me, but how I saw myself, knowing I could be empowered to make changes that felt good to me. I could assess my body and modify it, on my terms.

For the most part, I like the way I look. I know I'll never be a supermodel, or even be as attractive as some of my closest friends, but I really do try not to compare myself to others.

That said, there are a few physical things I’ve been self-conscious about since I was a kid. Having been teased for the dark, thick hair on my arms, I’ve lasered off practically all of the hair on my body. It’s not only helped me cut down on shaving, but it’s drastically boosted my confidence. If hair removal could do that, what else would provide the same effect? My aestheticians and I have since had conversations about other areas I’d like to change. 

I don’t consider myself to be a sheep or a sellout; everyone’s journey to their best self is different — cosmetic surgery just so happens to be part of my journey. For me, cosmetic surgery has nothing to do with what others think I should look like. Instead, I see it as a tool I can feel empowered to use on my road to self-love.  

I started with fillers and mesotherapy for the dark circles under my eyes. In the past, I looked tired, or depressed, despite getting eight to 10 hours of sleep each night. Now, I look more refreshed and I don’t need to cake on layers of concealer to try and hide the problem areas. 

I also have eyeliner permanently tattooed on my eyelids, which has already paid for itself in that I no longer need to apply and deal with smudgy eyeliner. This, combined with the under-eye procedures, has me feeling great because I can leave the house without wearing any makeup, a goal I’ve always wanted to achieve. 

I am fortunate to live in Serbia, where cosmetic surgery and procedures are inexpensive, the doctors are well-trained, and it’s also very common in the culture to get work done. I have plans to get hair extensions, Kybella, and some light skin reconstructive surgery because I’ve lost a lot of weight since moving here. 

I talk openly about my experiences because a lot of people still feel like cosmetic and plastic surgery is for weak-minded people who can’t love themselves. Some people are shocked and ask why I do it, say I don’t need it, etc. But I feel better about myself and my appearance because I took action to make the changes I wanted. I don’t stress about how I look because I am able to control how I look. To me, that’s the most empowering element of the process.


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