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Summary: Are there bad motivations to get plastic surgery? We talk about common motivations all the time. It’s important, after all, to know why you want to undergo a given procedure or achieve a certain result. Your motivations can have a big impact on the best way to achieve an outcome. But that doesn’t always mean that there are good motivations and bad motivations, does it?

Are There Bad Motivations to Get Plastic Surgery?

We talk a lot about good motivations for plastic surgery–or, rather, about common motivations to undergo plastic surgery. But does that mean that there are bad motivations for plastic surgery, too? That’s probably not a characterization most plastic surgeons would make, at least not on the face of it like that.

But there are bad motivations to get plastic surgery, more or less–it’s just a matter of what we mean by that. Certainly, it does not mean as a judgement against anyone who has any motivations to undergo plastic surgery. Rather, it means that there are some situations in which plastic surgery may not be a good idea. So we use the term “bad” very loosely.

Motivation #1: You’re Trying to Impress Someone

So, let’s take an example. Let’s say you’re trying to look your best for someone. It could be someone close to you: a significant other, sure, but maybe also a parent or a sibling. People love to look their best at family get-togethers. So far, this isn’t an unusual motivation.

What should make you stop and take stock, however, is if you are thinking about changing something you don’t really want to change. Maybe you like your nose but your parents have always fixated on it. So you decide, to make your parents happy, you’ll get your nose changed. The problem is that you’re the one that has to look at your nose every day–you should be doing what makes you happy.

Motivation #2: Someone is Pressuring You

A related “bad” motivation is when someone pressures you to undergo a procedure. The cliche scenario is a boyfriend pressuring his girlfriend to undergo a breast augmentation. But that kind of dynamic can play out with any number of other aesthetic procedures. And it’s important to recognize this kind of pressure when it happens.

Because it almost never leads to a good result. If someone is pressuring you to undergo a certain procedure, it’s almost always a good idea not to get surgery. You can hold off or wait a while and see if you still want it once that pressure is gone. But pressure of any kind is usually a red flag–and it’s one that most surgeons will notice or at least discuss with you.

Motivation #3: A Temporary Boost

If you’re looking for a temporary boost–either to your livelihood, your career, your self-esteem, and so on–then plastic surgery probably isn’t the right answer. Plastic surgery, after all, will make permanent changes to your body. And those changes will be difficult (if not impossible) to reverse.

So if you’re looking for something temporary, then a cosmetic procedure might be a better answer. Something like Botox or dermal filler injections can give you temporary results. And that could help you get that temporary boost you want without saddling you with permanent physical changes that you don’t want.

Finding the Right Motivation

There is no single motivation that’s the perfect motivation for undergoing plastic surgery. Your surgeons aren’t going to quiz you during your consultation. But they will gather information to help ensure that you are searching out plastic surgery for the right reasons.

The right reasons, it should be noted, are all about you. It’s not whether this motivation is good or that motivation is bad. It’s about whether this procedure will give you what you want. And in order to do that, you need to accurately identify what you want. This is what the consultation process is designed to do.


About the Author: Nick Engebretson has marketing for plastic and cosmetic surgeons for over twenty years. He loves writing about the fields of cosmetic and plastic surgery.

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