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Be honest: Would you get cosmetic surgery?

Becky Sherrick Harks has been a writer and blogger since 2004, when she retired from her illustrious career as a nurse at age 25. She's frequently stunned (and tried to impress) her friends and family by talking about her "blob," Mommy W...

The mom job

In this installment of Tough Love, blogger Aunt Becky of Mommy Wants Vodka, offers her opinion to mothers considering plastic surgery.

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Tough Love with Aunt Becky

The question

I know you recently had a cosmetic surgery procedure and were pretty open about it. So I need help. I have four kids. FOUR! I breastfed.. .for a long time. I had two c-sections. I am a good mom, darn it. But I don't recognize myself anymore. I can log 24 hours a day at the gym, but those boobs aren't going to return to where they belong! So I want them surgically put back. However, I'm worried about what message that will send to my daughters. What do you think? Give it to me straight.

Aunt Becky answers:

Oh Prankster (I call my readers Pranksters, and since you're reading this, I'll call you Pranksters, too), I'm so excited for your new boobs! Is that really weird?

(Don't answer that.)

Becky's backstory

Before I address your awesome new boobs, let me give everyone some background because as a blogger, I like to hear myself talk.

I'm fortunate enough to have been built as the human equivalent of a daddy long-leg spider. All legs, no torso. Three babies later, my abdominal muscles were stretched hopelessly out in a condition called "diastasis recti" -- a separation of the left and right sides of the abdominal muscles. You could have driven your fist through my stomach and made a balloon animal from my intestines if you were so inclined. The issue was also causing me back spasms that traveled up my neck, giving me migraines. It was clear that had to be addressed.

Address it, I did. I got a full abdominoplasty performed by a plastic surgeon that repaired the issue AND my unsightly pot belly in early November of 2010. Aside from the recovery, which was brutal, it has been a total win. I look great and feel full of the awesome.

What's your motivation?

Now as for your new boobs, I'm all for anyone who wants to have an elective cosmetic procedure to feel better about themselves, providing they are doing it for reasons that do not indicate mental illness (such as body dysmorhphic disorder) or to please another person. It's a nebulous area and it's hard to quantify these stipulations for when it's "right" to have cosmetic surgery and when it's "wrong." I'm not a doctor (I just play one on TV) or qualified to vet potential candidates. But I do firmly believe it's important to feel good about yourself.

The opponents of cosmetic surgery call it a selfish, superficial, unnecessarily dangerous and vain thing to do, and, well, it is. We could feed starving babies with that money. We could try to end world hunger rather than focus on vanity. We could also cook our own organic food, start a sustainable solar farm and sew our own clothes. The opponents aren't wrong. They're just not entirely right. Everything in moderation. Get the boobs, then volunteer in a soup kitchen (not, of course, at the same time).

Talking about plastic surgery with kids

Now, after my incredibly long-winded, base-covering session, here's what I would tell my daughter when she hit an appropriate age (I don't imagine that my daughter, at age two, would understand or care. Nor would my nine-year old son): 

"I got a breast augmentation because I wanted to. Having breastfed three kids made my breasts look like two oranges in tube socks and it made me self-conscious. I had the financial means to afford this procedure and I did it because I wanted to and not because your father, society or anyone else told me that it was what I, as a woman, should look like. It makes me feel better about me and I am happy that I did it. You should never feel like you must have a breast augmentation or any other cosmetic procedure to be beautiful. You should never pay attention to what other people think of your body. What matters is how you feel about it. You are so, so beautiful."

It's the truth, right? And unlike the guy in that movie with Jack Nicholson, kids can normally handle the truth (maybe you don't want to whip out pictures of a breast augmentation because that's kind of inappropriate). Just be honest with your kid. She'll be just fine.

Good luck with your procedure, Prankster! I cannot wait to hear all about it!

Related video: Plastic surgery for moms

"Mommy Makeover" plastic surgery

Janet, a real patient, shares the details of her "Mommy Makeover" plastic surgery.

Tell us: What do you think of "mommy makeovers"? How would you discuss cosmetic surgery with your kids? Or would you? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


  About Tough Love

Tough Love

We're taking your parenting questions and asking for advice from some of the web's most popular mom bloggers. These thoughtful moms are not afraid to tell you exactly what they think. The result? Tough Love.

Looking for some parenting advice? Click here to send your question to our advice columnists. Remember, this is Tough Love - the advice may not always be diplomatic. But it will always be thoughtful, honest and straight from the hip.

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