This week, we introduce a new column on aesthetic medicine. For this first issue, we explore the various reasons why people opt for aesthetic procedures.
AS a full-time aesthetic medicine practitioner for the past few years, I’ve seen my fair share of clients in all shapes and sizes, coming with all sorts of requests, citing myriad reasons for wanting to undergo procedures such as wrinkle and pigmentation reduction, skin tightening and weight loss.
There are numerous reasons why one would want to have an aesthetic procedure. Whilst some doctors worry that their patients would think of them as being nosy if they were to ask too much about their motivations for wanting the procedure, I prefer to understand my clients’ motives better. That way, I can better advise them on the suitability of the procedure they request for.
The most common reason my clients are willing to bear some discomfort and spend money on a procedure, is actually to please a loved one.
This is especially true for married middle-age ladies. Perhaps the fire in their marriage is dying, and by rejuvenating their appearance, they hope to bring back some sparkle into their love life.
A few jabs of Botulinum toxin, a syringe of filler or two, and voila, instant youth! Years of ageing reversed and a happy hubby to boot, who wouldn’t want that?
The shocking thing is, these ladies DO NOT want their husbands to find out that they have been to the doctor’s office for a rejuvenation session. They might give credit to that brand new jar of youth serum they purchased from the de[artment store, or that amazing massage at the neighbourhood spa they supposedly had, but to say the B word (Botox, of course) is a big no-no.
There’s less acceptance of aesthetic medicine in Malaysia, unlike in countries such as South Korea or Brazil, where most people would be proud to announce that they have had some nips and tucks done.
The second most common reason ladies want to have an aesthetic procedure is to show off to other ladies!
As we all know, women have a tendency to eye each other and check out what the other gals look like, the latest fashions their competition is sporting, etc.
Keeping up with the Joneses, even in the superficial department of looks and appearances, is a fact of modern living for many women (and even some men) that I know.
On the other hand, I have had clients who underwent a bitter divorce, or a painful break-up with their longtime boyfriend or girlfriend. During these moments of emotional weakness, some turn to us aesthetic doctors to boost their self-esteem and find some solace.
Their clouded thinking at that moment is, “Fine, my ex-spouse/partner doesn’t want me anymore, but I’m going to make myself look fabulous and find someone more worthy of my time! My ex is going to so regret breaking up with me!”
Just like committing to a new relationship when you’re still getting over a breakup is not a good idea, signing up for a boob job or a nose job immediately after a difficult breakup requires some second thoughts.
I would usually advise these clients to think it over carefully and to come back and see me after a week or two to see if they have changed their minds.
Urban, educated clients come in to enhance their looks to climb corporate ladder. They realise that in order to compete with their younger, more qualified colleagues in the rat race, they need to look presentable, or even gorgeous.
Who wouldn’t mind working with a ravishing, well-groomed colleague or a chiselled-jawed, handsome manager?
Many people want to climb the social ladder and be accepted, or even embraced by the people around them.
Looking your very best will certainly help you in the popularity department.
Some people say that inner beauty is more important than one’s looks, but I beg to differ. People form impressions based on the first few seconds they lay eyes on a new person, before they even speak to one another.
While most parents deny practising favouritism amongst their children, research proves they consciously or subconciously treat their good-looking children better than their less attractive offspring.
Studies have also shown that teachers spend more time and pay more attention to the more attractive students.
When two equally qualified interviewees are considered for a job vacancy, research shows that the better-looking of the two would be picked.
The last, but most important reason that people are queuing up to undergo beautification procedures is that they want to feel good and look good for themselves.
Removing that unsightly scar boosts their confidence ten-fold. Lightening up that birthmark makes them feel less awkward in public. Diminishing their fine lines and wrinkles make them feel energised and young again.
They do it for themselves, and rightfully so.
- Dr Chen Tai Ho is an experienced aesthetic doctor who chills by the pool sipping expresso latte when he’s not attending to his beloved patients. For further information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The information provided is for educational and communication purposes only and it should not be construed as personal medical advice. Information published in this article is not intended to replace, supplant or augment a consultation with a health professional regarding the reader’s own medical care. The Star does not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurances as to the content appearing in this column. The Star disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on such information.