I have a few friends who have obviously had work done.

But if I know for sure, it’s not because they told me.

It’s because…

1/ It’s obvious like a nose in the middle of a face (this is a French expression, does it make sense to you?)
2/ A mere passerby would never notice but I’ve known the person for so long that I can see that some new body geography is happening right in front of me (with her mouth, or her breasts, or her nose, to name a few…).
3/ Her skin has become as smooth as the great lakes, or she has a smile that tips up a little oddly when she speaks, or maybe her mouth has that downward tilt. Yeah, another case of Botox gone wrong.

I always wonder if I should broach the subject. Especially when it looks good, and I want to give them a compliment.

But is that something you do?

“Oh wow! Look at your awesome new nose!!!”

Hmmmm, well… Maybe it’d be better to try for a deeper conversation, like offering a listening ear?

“Your nose… Do you want to talk about it?”

Aaarh, toooo dramatic. Maybe jumping right in like it’s nothing?

“Wooooh, your purse is so cool! And your new nose! Loves it!”

Well I don’t have an answer: I just end up never saying anything.

And so the subject stays hovering in the conversation, like a giant pink elephant in the room. Sometimes I get used to the face and then forget all about it. Sometimes I spend the entire conversation trying to spend my time zooming in on the smile with its weird movements or the mouth getting out of whack (“Do you want me to put that back in place for you?”).

One time with a really, really, really close friend, I tried to bring it up…

I mean, I was a little hurt not to be included at all in any part of the process.
She could have at least asked my opinion, right? I could have gone with her and held her hand. If it was really what she wanted, I would’ve been right there with her I think. Ok, I probably would have questioned her at first (“Are you sure, like really sure? You know you’re beautiful just how you are, right? I have a friend whose mouth starting dropping after three weeks, I couldn’t stop zooming on it.”) but after some initial questions, I would’ve been cool.

Yeah, so one day, I tried. I adopted the oh-so-cool approach.

“Hey my darling, so what did you do to your mouth?”

“Well….yeeeeeeaaah but…ummmm.”

“I said nothing happened. I don’t want to talk about it.”

Voilà. I was as hurt as could be. I realized it’s one of the only subjects that you can’t bring up lightly if you have a friend that’s “in the other side.” Even if you talk about everything with this friend, sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll included.

Is it because it’s admitting your fragility? Is it because beauty is supposed to be a gift of nature? Or is it because we can never see ourselves the way others see us?

It’s a combination of all of that, I’m sure.
It’s a really personal subject… your relationship with your own image, with your body…
It’s completely impenetrable by anyone other than yourself, and even by yourself Woody Allen would say.
So, we don’t have the right to judge. Or the right to feel hurt to be excluded in the decision making process.

We’ll probably all, one day, have a friend that has had something done.
Beautiful or ugly, it’s not up to us to judge. It’s her life to live.
What if you’re totally against all that? What should you do? You stay friends.
Because friends take friends as they are.

Because even if, from the outside, plastic surgery seems like a total lack of self-confidence or outrageous vanity, you can never judge people on that, the same way that you can’t judge them for their physique.

This is a lesson I’ve had to learn on a subject where I’m usually wayyyyyyy to quick to judge.

What do you think?

Translation : Tim Sullivan