OK, I know this post may lose me some friends, confuse some supporters and disgust others. Still, I MUST explain this latest part of my aging journey. If you ride the subways, you have seen the tasteless tangerine/grapefruit breast augmentation advertisements for “Doctors Plastic Surgery”. This sign polarizes people into many “camps”. The camp that says, it’s your body, it’s your right to do as you please. The camp that says, LOVE who you are as you are, don’t let the media tell you otherwise. The camp that says, bigger IS better. The camp that says good things come in small packages. It’s a feminist issue. It’s not a feminist issue. All these “camps” seem to have their own agenda. I have my personal feelings about this, but what I really want to talk about is my journey and this experience.
I DO feel strongly that women should make their OWN choices about their bodies. Whether it be regarding pro-creation, how they dress, whom they date, what they eat, it should be obvious that a woman, a person, can do as they please for themselves. Plastic surgery is one of those topics that still polarizes. Advertisements like the one with a “sad” woman with breasts the size of tangerines next to the “happy” woman with grapefruits only add fuel to the fire. Ironically enough, I had a breast reduction and lift a few years ago after 30 years agonizing about my breasts. Let’s save that discussion for another post. Although that procedure was also multilayered in it’s implications, it was NOT about my aging process. I kicked myself for not having it done it years before. The “breast issue” wasn’t age related. Yet I digress, as this post is about my menopause, some of it’s effects on my body, and a decision I made to make myself happy.
Over a year ago I began peri-menopause. Around that same time one of my biggest complaints was extreme puffiness over and under my eyes. I did everything. I went to an allergist, an endocrinologist, my GP, my OB-GYN, a naturopath, my ayurvedic nutritionist- and no one could “fix” this issue. Yes, one thing I noticed was that if I ate processed wheat, cow cheese and processed salt later it would aggravate the situation. But no matter what, it would never go away.
I went from this:
The end of the world? Absolutely not. Most people would say, “no big deal”, so “you’re getting a little older, you still look fine”. And you know what, they are right. In the grand scheme of things, this is no big deal. I do still look FINE….
FUCK OFF!!! I don’t want to look fine! I want to be comfortable with my body naked and my face without makeup. I want to look at myself in the mirror and see ME. I don’t know this person with excessively dark, three dimensional lids. The puffiness of my eyes gives me regular headaches from the pressure on my eyeballs. Looking sleep deprived made me FEEL sleep deprived. And once again, this is a ME THING. NOT a, “I gotta look good for a guy” thing.
My eyes were always the first thing people commented on when speaking of my “looks”. So, I concede to vanity that has been reinforced since my early adolescence. Deep down I wish that I weren’t in the least driven by outside influence. In the documentary Iris (click here to find out more about this amazing lady), Iris Apfel says she was never a beauty, but that she always had style. Paraphrasing, she continues by saying she always felt sorry for the pretty girls, because their looks would fade, but style never does! I never had style, I had the pretty eyes, and Iris was right. My final resort was blepharoplasty after year of trying all other possibilities. I wasn’t going to wait, as I did with my breasts.
Here is some information bout the procedure, http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/blepharoplasty.html
My doctor is Dr. Thomas Sterry, he also did my breast lift and reduction, http://www.drsterry.com/surgical-procedures/eyelid-surgery. I chose him eight years ago, over the six other doctors I interviewed, because he had a huge Kwan Yin in his office. (check out this compassionate lady) His office staff, which includes his wife Shaly, Alex and Vivian are all top notch, very kind and compassionate. Today, several years later, the staff is still the same, friendly, helpful and generous staff. Dr. Sterry is clear and approachable. After these two experiences I can say that I would never go to anyone other than Dr. Sterry.
I have been surprised at how this decision was so multi-layered for me. My emotions ran from firm conviction to defiant, to doubtful and insecure. Ultimately I had the procedure on January 19th and will have a follow up post about that leg of this journey. As for the continuing dialogue about the Yoga of plastic surgery, I will say this, Yoga is all about unifying mind, body and spirit. With that in mind, my body and spirit feel more unified at this time. More to come…