Is It Wrong To Choose Plastic Surgery?

Pardon me while I rant…or don’t. I’m mad as hell and don’t want to hear this poison anymore. And you shouldn’t either.

The recent news and commentary about Rene Zellweger’s “transformation” has been hot and heavy.

The media seems surprised, disillusioned and downright horrified by her plastic surgery. Most of the discussions I’ve seen on social media express the same or worse.

Why, in this youth obsessed society are we surprised when a woman has plastic surgery? A woman in the entertainment field, no less. Seriously people!

Which has me wondering…
Why are women bashing each other? Why are we so critical of each other? Why do we criticize women who don’t conform to our standards?
Does it stem from our own insecurity or an anger that someone seems to have “broken” the unspoken rules?

Is It Wrong To Choose Plastic Surgery?

Why do women criticize women…

~ who choose to color their gray hair…and those who don’t.
~ who choose to have cosmetic work done…and those who don’t.
~ who choose to date younger men and those who don’t.
~ who choose to choose to go makeup free and those who don’t.
~ who choose to maintain a svelte figure and those who don’t.
~ who choose to dress eccentrically and those who don’t.


Why do the women who choose to gray naturally, feel  superior to women who choose to cover their gray hair! This one astounds me.

Why do we put down, ridicule and make fun, at the expense of other women?

I remember how prevalent female bashing was during high school. Perhaps you got off easy. In my high school, the girls were downright vicious.

Why haven’t we gotten past that? Why can’t we cut each other slack?

Is the competition so tough or are we so insecure that we need to align ourselves with one group against another to feel strong? For validation.

Gay bashing is abhorrent. Racial bashing is disgusting. Body weight bashing is totally unacceptable. And yet women bashing, is alive and thriving. It seems like the bashing of older women is the worst.

It seems to me that it’s our lives, our bodies and our choice!

What do you think?

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  1. We rant because in some twisted way, it makes us feel better, more superior. It’s a petty, small-minded thing to do. I support women unless it’s concerning something that will drive them off some cliff. Even then, I must be careful to check if that’s MY cliff, or theirs.

  2. Good morning Jennifer ~
    I’ve so enjoyed your travels lately, I always find your posts are very in tune with what I’m living or what I might be considering. I love that you keep it real and that you write YOUR personal thoughts. It’s what makes blogging fun and therapeutic as well, right?

    If you recall, I discovered you and your “Well Styled Life” when I was researching different ways of protecting myself from the sun. Your tips were very useful. This discovery was on the heels of my personal journey into skin rejuvenation. Writing “Skin Deep” was the most personal journey I’ve ever shared on my blog. I will tell you that before I clicked the publish key, I made sure that I was emotionally prepared to deal with criticism from readers. Fortunately they were kind or chose not to comment. I’m quoting you when I say that I too prefer to surround my self with “Women with backbone, manners and kindness in their hearts.” Aren’t we lucky that there are so many of us still around!

    If you don’t mind, I’d love to share with you an article that I have saved regarding the emotionally loaded & spiritually conflicted choice to change ourselves into the women we want to be. I hope that you and your readers might find the author’s perspective helpful.

    One more thing before I wrap up this extremely long comment ~ thanks to you, I now keep a sunblock stick in my car and have been spotted vigorously covering the tops of my hands at stop lights!

    Thank you Jennifer ~ keep writing your inspiring “Well Styled Life!”
    Xoxo Lisa


    1. Thank you so much Lisa! Your comments mean a lot to me.

      It’s very hard for me to open my heart and expose in such a public forum. In fact, my whole hacking experience this summer, followed by his cyber stalking and invading my privacy, has definitely changed how I feel about exposing myself.

      I had a very hard time pushing publish…but I’m so glad I did.
      Ultimately blogging IS about connecting with like minded souls, and I’m finding many wonderful friends through this medium.

      I do like to share informational posts that I’ve learned as an Image Consultant and think might be helpful. But the reaction to my latest post reminds me it’s a personal connection as well.

      Thank you for sharing this link. I’ve already “liked” them on Facebook!

      You were brave to tell your story. You look wonderful!! I’ve seen two doctors in the past few years, to check if I can have the procedure you did. I really want to repair the many years of sun abuse I suffered (caused).
      Unfortunately, they tell me I will de pigment, and end up with a ghost-white face. All scars or burns I get turn ghost white, so they assume my entire face will do the same:(
      It’s scared me off but I’m hoping something else will come along I can try.

      Heading over to read your link. Have a wonderful day and loving holiday season.
      Many thanks and love,

    2. I enjoyed your comment and wholeheartedly agree with everything you said. I have never seen a sunscreen stick but will be looking for one now. Several years ago I found on Amazon a pair of summer driving gloves that give sun protection. They not only protect my hands from sun damage while I am driving but allow me to hold onto the steering wheel when it is too hot to touch with bare hands.

  3. Interesting discussion. I don’t know or associate with women who are nasty and jealous — I can say that my friends and I only build each other up! As for the discussion on plastic surgery — I see it as another feminist issue; just as women wore crippling corsets, powered their faces with toxic white powder and had their feet bound — all in the name of beauty – some women today seek youth & perfection and seem to have become addicted to removing any – god forbid – sign of aging, or perceived flaw. While of course everyone has the right to choice I wonder what message it sends to young girls — aging is horrific! I look up to my mother & aunts who all embraced their age, looked wonderful, loved clothes, and felt age was just a number.

    1. You’re so lucky to have the friends you do. I let friendships go, that weren’t supportive. Life is too short to waste on people who undermine me. The message our young women are getting is horrific!! I worry for their future.

  4. Sooo complicated right?? My personal opinion is that a lot of us grew up with her and her hiding her age is only making it more obvious but she reminds us of our mortality…it’s scary bc we are truly conflicted. Eat cake be happy then but you’re fat unhealthy and your husband has left you so what on earth were you thinking eating cake etc. unfortunately I don’t see this criticism ending and women will always be critical of looks but then go easy on other things so it balances out?

  5. I continue to read disparaging comments about her choice, and it continues to baffle me! People who are self confident and secure do this less, but I do think part of it is gossip laced with old fashioned meanness.

  6. Wow. What an interesting dialogue you’ve got going here Jennifer. And I love that you shared your ‘rant’ because this is a topic that strikes a cord on so many levels. The Rene topic has baffled me (since when is plastic surgery that dramatically changes one’s looks so shocking in the movie industry?) angered me ( about the anti-aging messages all women get in our society) and made me sad (for Rene, or any other young, pretty woman who feels insecure and inadequate as they are). And I do agree with your point about women being the worst offenders when it comes to criticizing other women. I think it’s all about self confidence and esteem, don’t you? When someone feels genuinely good about themselves, they don’t need to put other people down. That goes for men as well as women. Great post. 🙂

  7. I am late to the party, I truly believe it is insecurity. I come across as a very strong and confident person and I am always surprised at how many people, both men and women are put off, envious and downright nasty just because I appear to be in control and confident.

    These people truly do not believe we bleed the same as everyone else and they attack with a vengeance.

    I always remember what my grandmother told me, be glad they are attacking you-you can take it-rather than attacking someone they could truly hurt and make cry.


    1. Your grandmother was a wise woman! I appear tougher outside, than I am inside, and tend to get hurt by callous, mean comments. You’re never too late to my party Nola. Thank you for stopping by!

  8. I do think it is all personal and there should be no judgement here but as a society, it seems there is always criticism. I really try hard to focus on lifting one’s spirits with good positive comments! (or say nothing at all!)

    1. I think our society struggles to say nothing at all. Our social media explosion seems to have thrown “being graceful” out the window. xo

  9. I seriously do not care! The one thing I absolutely abhor is the continuing publicity of Kim & Kanye. I mean seriously, is this all we have to do? And, the “is she or isn’t she” of Jennifer Aniston? I think we have some real authentic movie-star icons but none of this type fit the bill for me.

    1. It’s amazing how wrapped up people are in the lives of “celebrities”. These folks are just that, folks. Nothing more or less.

  10. Great post! As an ageing feminist, I am amazed at anyone’s opinion of WHY an individuals choice matters to other people? I, as many many others I am sure, throughout my life, have fell victim to some sort of bitchiness, aka women bashing, and as a woman I made the choice NOT to catch the ball, whenever it’s thrown my way! However,
    I think the simple answer is jealousy, for some strange reason, whenever a woman decides to empower herself, it makes some women feel inadequate, whether it be a hair cut/colour, weight loss, new shoes, hell the list goes on!
    So obviously if we choose to support one another instead of tearing each other apart, hopefully things would change, but until we see our sisters as our friends not enemies, we will continue stabbing each other in the back!

  11. I totally agree with you. I’m sick of girl/woman bashing. Haven’t we had enough of this all our lives? It is because of this that I don’t really have any women friends. I have acquaintances, but because of the meanness, bashing, competition and also husband bashing I just choose not to have to be around it. I appreciate your article, thank you, sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who feels that way. Besides I feel Renee Z looks great either way, as long as she is happy. You know the saying about walking in the other persons shoes.

    1. Thanks for sharing Sandee! We are not the only ones who feel this way. The “mean” girls have never gone away. They’ve simply gotten older.

  12. The first time I noticed this was when I became a mom. Before that, I guess I chose non-judgemental pals but suddenly it seemed lots of people had opinions on me. I find it frustrating to say the least!

  13. I agree Jennifer!! We can all be so critical of one another and ourselves…life is not a competition…let’s be a little kinder and a lot less judgemental.
    Great post…you rant well 😉 xx

  14. First of all! LOVE your new blog format!

    I remember when Jennifer Gray showed her face after her rhinoplasty. I was sad, but not critical. I thought she was beautiful in Dirty Dancing. Maybe she did not feel beautiful. Her nose had a dorsal hump. She most likely was self conscious of the hump.

    Renee’s charm was her little imperfections. Most remember her face when she said, “you had me at hello”. Many years have passed. She is now 45. Most woman that pursue cosmetic surgery usually begin to address the physical changes that begin in their forties. Renee’s charming hooded eyes began to age. She wanted to correct it. Go Renee!

    Something that I may or may not have shared on the blog…I work for a facial plastic surgeon. When we were a private practice, our cosmetic surgery business was larger. Now that we are part of a large healthcare system the doctors focus on otolaryngology.

    For the life of me, I don’t know why woman are so critical of one another. Most of my blog friends are positive, strong women, such as yourself. That’s why I love this vehicle of communication.

    I have been a bit absent of late because my workload doubled for three weeks.
    It ended Monday, I’ll be catching up with everyone!

    Great post!
    Thank you for caring as you write, Jennifer!

    1. Thanks Lynne! I’m glad your work load has slowed down. That’s a tough pace to keep up! I do remember Jennifer Gray’s nose job and wondered why she did it. I thought she looked beautiful and unique as she was. But it was her choice and I respected her decision.
      I had hooded eyes all my life and had the upper lids changed (I won’t say fixed) in my forties. They were dropping to the point where I could see them in my field of vision. No one noticed I’d done it, so nothing was said. But I felt so much better and never regretted having it done. I must write post about that right after I finish my gray hair woes one :)). Much love to you.

  15. I completely agree with you, Jennifer. I don’t know why we as women would ever spend time bashing each other. When I have a sense that there is competition, a vibe of negativity and criticism in a friendship, I tend to run the other way. I choose to surround myself with genuine and supportive relationships and don’t have time for the drama. I hope Renee’ is able to rise above the negativity and own her choice and her look. We each have the right to choose how we live our lives. Great post my friend! xx

    1. I hope she does too. It’s not as though she owes anyone an explanation about her decisions. I too, do not tolerate toxic friendships. My time is too precious. Looking forward to seeing you soon, my friend.

  16. Haters gonna hate, and I think that you always have to consider the source of comments. That being said, surely everyone has something better to do than pick at others, and worry about whether Renee “did” or “didn’t”. Get a life! Try to see the good around you is all I can say….Nice post!!

    1. Good points Andrea! It’s a hot topic but I’m happy to be hearing more people speaking up for her right to choose. Life has enough challenges.
      Looking forward to seeing you in January!

  17. Wonderful post Jennifer. I too hate the nastiness that can be rife amongst girls and women.
    Jealousy? Insecurity? Habit?
    I steer clear of any women that display these characteristics and have encouraged my daughter to do the same.

    1. Absolutely, definitely, not a doubt! Jealousy, insecurity and habit! Nasty, jealous girls grow up to be nasty, jealous women!! Very sad.
      It is very hurtful to be the object of their meanness. I have found it best to avoid them completely.

  18. As old FF says, I don’t rule anything out.
    yes this may be just women bashing, the thing with Renee, though I think to some extent people are very attached to her old, very natural and charming but not perfect look. I can see that. Its as if one of the other actresses with very different looks tries to make herself look homogenously star looking.
    She looks pretty but not like herself around the eyes.

    1. She looks different in many ways to me! Charming and imperfect apparently didn’t appeal to Renee any longer. I rely on it for myself, but don’t rule anything out either.

  19. Hot topic indeed. I have to admit that I haven’t been following anything about Renee since the “story” first broke. My immediate, and only, feeling about it was a sadness. Sadness that she felt pressured in any way to alter her looks, sadness that such a big deal is made out of it. Honestly, we don’t know all the facts about why she chose the path she did and being a celebrity automatically puts her in the line of fire. Looking at it simply from a medical point of view, she was heavy lidded and with aging, she might have been losing some field of vision–it happens. My DAD had lid surgery for this very reason and it did change his looks. Some might feel he did it purely for cosmetic reasons…but he didn’t and maybe Renee didn’t either.

    1. Your point on the lid surgery is bang on! Some insurance companies even cover upper eye lid surgery for that express purpose!
      I’m not sure if she felt pressured or if she wanted to change her looks. The options are endless with plastic surgery, and it’s more rampant than most of us know.

  20. I have wondered why there has been so much chatter about Rene’s recent surgery too. It is not my business to judge others. I have experienced very little negative bully/bashing from other women. If they bash me it is from behind my back and I never hear about it.
    I had to laugh when you mentioned that some women who go grey feel superior! I have never felt that way! It is a personal choice for me and mostly one that was a financial consideration.
    I don’t understand why women can be so mean and nasty….isn’t it in our nature to be loving, kind and supportive? Besides my mother taught me that if you can’t say something nice say nothing at all.
    Let’s embrace our differences and move beyond judgement.

    1. I love how you phrase this Leslie! You are blessed with a wonderful mother.
      It seems that some mean, nasty girls have grown into mean nasty women! I love your hair…my hair woes are in the works for a future post:)

  21. I thought this article in The Guardian got it right, covering many of the points you raise: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/oct/21/renee-zellweger-face-nothing-wrong.
    I must say that I wish more of us would resist the pressure to alter ourselves surgically — I worry about the modelling we do for our daughters and our granddaughters. But I also think it’s unfair to attack an individual for choices she makes under what she must perceive as enormous societal pressure. And since the cosmetic continuum includes my own hair-colouring, I can’t criticize others for not remaining natural (although clearly to me, at any rate, there’s a big difference when you get into changing the physical body’s integrity)
    Plus unkindness is never a good thing, is it?!

    1. Great article Francis. Thanks for sharing it. It is the unkindness of women by women that disturbs me the most. I worry about our daughters and granddaughters as well!!
      The hair issue is a moving target for me. Post in the works on my woes!

  22. god gave us the right to choose,not to judge. I’ve always been saddened by women who don’t support each other. I’m happy when others succeed, I may not agree with some choices, but I will support you in whatever you choose to do or how you choose to represent yourself, as long as it respects the rights of others.

  23. I must be honest, I have a tough time with the cosmetic surgery. Releasing the furrowed brow with Botox…I can understand. I just do not understand the cutting, and pulling, and stapling of perfectly beautiful women. I honestly believe we are all wonderfully made. To reconstruct an entire face or body because of vanity…sorry there is a deeper issue going on.

    1. Cutting and stapling is a much more dramatic decision and the deeper issue is a personal one.
      My problem is with the vicious criticism of a woman’s personal choice.
      Some would and do find Botox abhorrent. The criticism of it ranges from “poisoning ones face, removing natural expression” …
      My point is, it is her choice. Yes, as a celebrity, she leaves herself open in the public forum, but I hear too many women taking pot shots at her without any kindness. We need to cut each other more slack. Bad pun not intended.

  24. Jennifer this post is so important. We need to be kind and uplifting of one another. Isn’t life enough of a challenge! Great points!

    The Arts by Karena