By Alecia Rice
Ask Alecia August
My fiance wants to get plastic surgery. I’ve seen some terrible, fake-looking women, and I’m concerned because she’s beautiful as she is. I’m afraid to talk to her because I don’t want to hurt her. Any suggestions? ~Concerned Fiance
Dear Concerned Fiance~
This is a delicate situation to navigate, and it’s good that you’re being thoughtful before speaking. Plastic surgery, or “maintenance” as some call it for certain procedures, is quite common today. It can be a tricky path to walk to keep that “natural” look as some continue getting regular procedures and forget what they actually looked like previously, as a contrast to how they look now. Over time, the maintenance can continue to build in unusual ways, as seen by the quite unnatural look that some dermatologists start to sport over time. That said, most women don’t go so far to get that overdone look. For many, they just look “rested”, and you can’t tell that anything’s been done — which is a sign of a good procedure.
Hopefully, you have a relationship where you can talk to your fiance openly to share your concerns. The truth is that many men don’t know the difference between “plastic surgery”, or fillers and botox (which are less permanent). Clarify what she’s planning on doing which may put you at ease if it’s not a permanent path. You might have a conscious chat about the impermanence of looks, reminding her that it’s better to work from the inside-out with potential insecurities than from the outside-in, since life takes its toll on all of our bodies and it’s good to release our attachments.
Tell her how beautiful you think she is already, but be mindful of how much you push back because women can be quite sensitive about this subject. The truth is, she has every right to do what she wants that makes her feel best about herself, yet the opinions of our beloveds carry a lot of weight.
You might want to touch on the potential dangers of taking either path, surgical or chemical, as neither is risk-free. Neutrally, ask how much research she completed – often, people go through cosmetic changes because others do so, so we assume the procedures do not cause harm. Also, gently inquire why she wants to have the cosmetic changes. Is there something with which she feels insecure her whole life that she wants to correct, or is she merely trying to enhance features to make herself look younger or better? There’s no right or wrong here — merely reason and opinion.
Consider setting up a “code word” in advance so you can signal when/if she’s taking it too far from your perspective. Code words highlight previous conversations. Agree to the meaning of the word/phrase and it will signal the prior conversation or when something’s going too far, like with “maintenance”. Agree upon a word or phrase that’s a benign signal, cautioning her that you’re getting concerned. For really sensitive topics, I highly recommend using something funny to lighten things up.
I hope you can be supportive regardless of the path she chooses.
My daughter’s so sharp-tongued and deeply opinionated online. She embarrasses me. It’s such a contrast to the person I know and I hate it that others may misperceive her. What can I do? ~Embarrassed Mom
Dear Embarrassed Mom~
Passions are high for so many in the current times. Much of what comes across our screens was created to trigger an emotional response to be shared for exposure. It takes a lot of maturity to thoughtfully manage our energy before responding. Many people would be better to pull away from their screens because of the negative mental-health impact the opinion of others takes on them, especially when fear is triggered.
You can try to gently approach her about it, but that may not work well. Try sharing media resources about mental-health management that highlight how to navigate triggers by pulling back for a period of time to let the emotion/fear settle before more calmly responding.
Meanwhile, work with your energy about it because you can’t control her. She may be going against your value system, but if she’s an adult, she can do whatever she wants. Work with releasing any attachment as a reflection on you, because it’s not. If it’s hard to release, consider using online filters which will calm your nervous system and keep her in a better light for you since you won’t be exposed to what she’s doing.
Alecia Rice is a Spiritual Alchemist and a personal advisor for those ready to unravel their issues with conscious choices. She offers grounded perspectives for energy management and sage insights in columns, videos, and podcasts. Visit www.AskAlecia.com for more information. Submit personal questions and quandaries to firstname.lastname@example.org.