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Heidi Montag has made me consider plastic surgery

Melissa Chapman and her brood of three live in the urban concrete jungle of NYC. She writes Kids in the City Kids in the City a weekly column and blog for the Staten Island Advance, contributes to SheKnows, Time Out NY Kids Time Out N...

The naked truth

The 20-something Hollywood starlet Heidi Montag shocked us all when she transformed herself from pretty girl next door to plastic doll. In my opinion, in an attempt to enhance what Mother Nature had bestowed upon her, Montag went completely overboard in her quest for perfection. And yet, in typing this very sentence -- at 37 years old -- I still feel insecure about my own physical flaws, and Montag's record number of surgeries has spurred me to contemplate whether cosmetic surgery is a viable option for me to consider.

Heidi Montage

Exploiting insecurities?

At the tender age of 16, I can still recall my cheeks getting flushed with embarrassment as my grandmother looked me square in the jaw, amid a table brimming with my extended family, and made this very public statement; "Melissa you would be such a beautiful girl if you only got a nose job. Would you like me to give you one as a present for your birthday?"

I simply cannot convey how many degrees my self esteem plummeted at that very moment, not to mention the fact that up until then, I thought nothing of the state of my nose. However, once those words sunk into my consciousness, I became utterly obsessed with my nose and its imperfections. Of course once I made the decision not to have the surgery, while the insecurities remained, I tucked them deep away.

Yet, somehow, seeing Heidi Montag's complete transformation via surgery has my feelings about my physical inadequacies bubbling to the surface. It also has me questioning what triggered Ms. Montag's decision; was it her own feelings of insecurity about her appearance or was there another voice influencing her decision? And, of course, I wonder how different my life may have been had I opted for that surgery at 17.

Yet, all that being said, there is something so noble about a woman who chooses to keep every line, wrinkle and imperfection in her face because, in my opinion, it's a testament to a full, hard-earned life, rich with experience. Still the seductive lure of surgery, regardless of one's age, is hard to resist as Montag's actions demonstrate.

So, is there really anything wrong with getting a little nip/tuck?

Lisa Goell-Sinicki always swore she'd never get plastic surgery and now, at 46, finds herself constantly wondering what she'd look like with a little help

"When someone like Heidi -- who was attractive to start with -- goes for it, where does it leave those of us regular middle-aged moms?" says Goell-Sinicki. "Everyone always talks about how Sally Field is aging naturally, but I suspect she's had just a little help to look so great at, what, 64? I hope I never succumb, but you never know. It's like smoking pot when you're a teen: You swear you never will, but then everyone else is, and that makes it seem so harmless."Fifty-something mom Chris Moyer, who is scheduled to undergo a mini-facelift, upper and lower eye work and a Fraxel, asserts her decision has nothing to do with vanity.

"I am a computer programmer and work for people younger than myself," says Ms. Moyer, who feels a more youthful appearance will help her get a leg up in the workplace and work to her advantage, should she ever need to look for another job. "If I do not have the surgery, they will turn me off the moment I walk through the door."

According to Moyer, not a single negative has been voiced regarding her decisions. In fact her daughter who works in HR completely supports her decision.

"While she says, 'You don't need it,' she understands why I am doing it," says Ms. Moyer. "I think in Heidi's case she was looking for the attention. For her, my fear is, once all of the hype dies down, she will be looking for something else to get noticed, and it could get dangerous for her."

I decided to get to the bottom of this by talking to a plastic surgeon,  Dr. Vip Dev, a board-eligible surgeon in Bakersfield, Calif. (You can check out the interview here). I must say, after my chat with him, I'm thinking twice about going under the knife. After all, the intent of plastic surgery is to stand out. But how can you stand out when you want to look like somebody else? Sorry, Heidi. You're on your own on this one.

More on plastic surgery:

Plastic surgery & skin care: What you need to know
Anesthesia and plastic surgery: What you need to know
See before & after plastic surgery photos

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