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Summary: According to a recent interview Halle Berry gave with Yahoo! Beauty, there is intense pressure in Hollywood to undergo plastic surgery. This isn’t terribly surprising—we’ve always kind of imagined the circumstances around L.A. botox to be quite different than, say, a Galveston, TX, facelift. They’re just different beasts, right? But pressure is difficult to put your finger on when it comes to plastic surgery. Obviously, you should only have procedures performed for your own reasons, but what precisely does that mean? And how can you be sure you’re having work done for the right reasons?

Those seeking a Galveston, TX, facelift probably face less scrutiny than their Hollywood counterparts...but they have similar reasons

Celebrities Lead the Way, for Better or Worse

We’ve always looked to celebrities to illustrate the cutting edge of plastic surgery. Whether it’s Kim Kardashian or Megan Fox or Angelina Jolie, we’re looking for inspiration. And, of course, it doesn’t matter if said celebrity has actually admitted to having plastic surgery. We know that cosmetic surgery procedures are quite common in Hollywood, and we’re also aware that celebrities tend to be tight lipped about any procedures—so we certainly don’t take the time to question those assumptions. But maybe we should. I’m not saying that Renee Zellwegger and Uma Thurman did not have plastic surgery (though it’s worth noting that Thurman claims she simply tried a different make-up—and that’s actually pretty plausible if you consider how Hollywood make-up works).

But here’s what I’m really getting at. It’s hard to blame Hollywood celebs who are seeking to escape the pressure of getting plastic surgery by opting for a more youthful-looking make-up scheme. This Hollywood plastic surgery pressure really exists. And lest you think that Hollywood is not replete with such pressure, we need only look at the recent comments from Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry, who claims that plastic surgery is pushed “like crack.” Berry, who says she has resisted this pressure, notes the particularly nasty form the pressure takes: peer pressure. According to a recent interview at Yahoo! Beauty, plastic surgery is so pervasive in Hollywood that Berry herself sometimes wonders if it’s necessary to keep up.

Halle Berry Says Plastic Surgery Pushed Like Crack

The pressure to stay young—or, perhaps more accurately, to not grow old—is not unique to Hollywood. It’s a pressure we all feel. And the recent explosion of nonsurgical and minimally invasive procedures makes getting work done more tempting than ever. Of course, it’s meant to be tempting. That’s the whole point of plastic surgery. Or, let me say it another way: there are some people who simply don’t want plastic surgery and there are some people who do. There are still yet people who are on the fence, who may opt for a procedure one day or who may not. The point is that these decisions should come from, for lack of a better term, within.

In other words, the decision to sign up for plastic surgery is yours alone. You should not do so if it’s in response to external pressure. A facelift, for example, is something you’ll have to live with—something you’ll have to look in the mirror—for quite a long time. So it’s something you need to be completely comfortable with going in to the procedure. This is, of course, something all reputable plastic surgeons will tell you. And this should be true nationwide, whether you’re a Seattle Botox patient or a Galveston, TX, facelift patient.

The Difference Between Hollywood Plastic Surgery Pressure and Your Happiness

Of course, it’s difficult to extract yourself from some types of pressure. For example, if you get a facelift to be more confident on the job, is that a way of succumbing to the pressure? We’ve discussed this before on the blog, so we won’t get into it too far, but I definitely have some sympathy for patients who do, in the end, succumb to at least some outside pressure. Because, frankly, I don’t think any of us are immune from that pressure; it’s just part of the day-to-day life.

So maybe it would be better to say that you should only pursue plastic surgery if you know it will bring you some happiness in the end. If that happiness comes in the form of higher confidence or more self-esteem or a better career. And perhaps a way to frame the other, more dubious side of this is simply to say that, if you’re looking to make someone else happy—a boyfriend, a girlfriend, a casting agent—that isn’t a very good reason to go under the knife. After all, you’ll be the one that has to go through recovery, so you’re the one that should benefit from the procedure.

Your Happiness is Your Guiding Star

None of this should be news, but it’s worth bringing up whenever there’s this particularly notion in Hollywood that you must get plastic surgery to be successful (or to have continued success). Plastic surgery should be about empowerment, not about fear—about transformation, not about changing or avoiding who you are. I suspect in most cases that I’m preaching to the choir here, and that’s okay.

So when you go in for a consultation or when you start thinking about whether you’ll go under the knife, keep your own thoughts and goals in mind. This isn’t just true when it comes to whether or not you’ll have plastic surgery, but it’s also true when it comes to what type of surgery you’ll have. Facelifts have many variations, some designed to hide scars better, some designed to have more pronounced results in certain areas, and some designed to be incredibly subtle overall. If you choose to undergo plastic surgery, you’ll have a lot of other choices to make, too. Ultimately, your guide to those choices should simply be to choose what’s going to make you happy. Using your happiness as a guiding light makes it hard to go wrong.

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