Surgery Baby

When writing this I was on day three of being trapped in my flat. I had the opportunity to touch up the hairline restoration I had done two years ago, so sat at my laptop with a number one crop, swollen head and saline spray to water my new hair. That’s right.

I’ve just had plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery, like psychics, global warming and homosexuality, is a subject on which everyone has an opinion. And everyone believes they’re right. People get so horrified by plastic surgery; a light conversation can quickly turn into a Salem witch hunt:

How could you do that to yourself? Why are you fucking with nature? What was wrong with you before? Mmh? You must be fucked up. I think it’s WRONG.

I’ve experienced all of the above first-hand and quickly learnt to keep my mouth shut. People become hysterical, and it can really ruin a night out if you’re suddenly having to act as the patron of cosmetic surgery.

So you don’t like it. Then don’t do it.

Simple. It’s the same with anal sex. It’s not for everyone; no one’s forcing you into it, so what does it matter? There are plenty of issues to get hysterical about: famine, disease, homelessness, racism, homophobia; so why plastic surgery?

Perhaps its because we are asking the world to see us differently than we were before. The exchange is that you then become public property. Your views are sold in the trade the moment you put yourself in the public forum. You find yourself in the dock; your explanations given as evidence, hoping for a pardon. And you can’t close the matter until you’re given a verdict one way or the other.

It is however a bit hypocritical being lectured on the morality of surgery from someone with a sunbed tan, bleached teeth and highlights.

What is a sunbed other than a machine designed specifically to alter the body’s appearance? Razors, tattoos, piercings, teeth whitening, hair dye; all are designed to affect our looks.

You quickly find that the circle of acceptable alteration is really just around you.

The nature argument is always fantastic. Nature gave me eczema, ingrown toenails, severe acne and teeth like a rat. My feet look like they’ve been in a fire, my big toes were mauled by the NHS; I was put on Roaccutane which made me shed like a lizard and wore braces with head gear from aged seventeen to nineteen. You could say nature and I were never destined to be bezzies.

Under the Knife

I’ve had my nose done eight times. Yes, eight times. I just took you from the hair dressers to Jackson territory didn’t I? It’s not that bad: When I turned twenty, my life inexplicably changed in a sad turn of events which led me to be cavalier in things I wouldn’t dream of doing before. I quit university in my first year and used my student loans to have a nose job. Booya.

I’d always hated my nose; it was too big for my face and I’d had stick about it all my life. Once I decided to change it, it felt like I’d thrown down an anchor; I was taking control of something I didn’t like and had the power to change it.

I had a great surgeon, but was a supremely shit healer. My face swelled so much it pushed the cast off and my nose didn’t set properly. 6 months later I had it re-broken and re-set. The cheeky bugger wasn’t having any of it, so a year later I had that done again. Within the following year, it had slipped again, partly due to the fact I was born with an inline fracture so the bones weren’t built to stay put.

Fourth time lucky and my clever surgeon hooked my nose bone under the inside of my cheek bone and voila, it all stayed put. The fifth to iron out some lumps and bumps resulted from the previous procedures and the last 3 were putting in some permanent filler in to plump the left side which had become depressed from the constant fiddling.

Ta da!

And that’s how you get to 8. I wish it was more exciting; that I was mentally unhinged and trying to live out my dream of recreating Toni Braxton’s face on myself. Have you seen her nose? It is a work of ART. Instead, I stuck to the commitment I made. It’s a long haul process; you have an operation, time off work, time to heal, and results may not be your ideal; the success is entirely personal and can only ever be rated by you.

Fast forward to 2009 and I saw a documentary featuring a new procedure called FUE (Folliculor Unit Transfer) and was amazed – I had hated my receding hairline which was disappearing as fast as I was approaching thirty and this was the first non-invasive technique I’d seen in this country that might potentially be affordable.

I booked in for an appointment, then scheduled the procedure for that summer. I’m quite impulsive. More so, for me it was a dream come true; I drew my hairline myself and am a poster boy on their website

I had a little cheeky neck lipo around the same time, because I wanted to. I had the money, I had the time, my Nan had just died, I needed cheering up. And why not? It looked great until I later put on 2 stone so it’s all but gone. Oh well. I don’t regret it.

The Moral?

Is it a slippery slope to the Bride of Wildenstein or Mickey Rourke? Not necessarily. Like my friends have said about tattoos; once you’ve had one, it’s much easier to get more; you know the drill, you know the cost, you know the process.  But if you commit to any surgery then you have to commit to the risk. Otherwise, don’t do it.

Do surgery babies need your advice? Not really. By the time you see the result, we’ve already gone through the decision, the planning, the saving, the surgery, and the healing. It’s like offering condoms to a woman in labour.

Would I do anything else? Not right now. When I’m forty, if I need a little help, then bring it on.

Until then, I’m happy as I am.


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