There is a mole on my L eyebrow that I don’t like because I feel that it isn’t part of me. So I went to see three plastic surgeons today. Not just any plastic surgeon – I wanted the best of the best. Stanford Plastic Surgeons. And not just Stanford Plastic Surgeons – but a Facial Cosmetic Surgeon, a Mohs Surgeon, and a highly, highly specialized hand/orthopedics/plastic Surgeon.
The first, a valedictorian of his medical school class, the second a summa cum laude of her undergraduate degree, and the third, a triple specialist in complex region anatomy specialties.
Of course, taking this wonderful, rare, unique opportunity to speak to such esteemed surgeons who make a living doing plastic surgeries on people – I was excited by this awesome opportunities to ask them for their options for plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes – you know, maybe it would be fun to get a new face.
Let’s do some procedures, the ones that every one and their mother, and Hilary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi, and probably the Dali Lama has had to look so personable. Not hot, but personable, and youthful, and energetic, and attractive, and powerful, and interesting, and intriguing.
I wanted Botox, fillers, eye lash grower, possibly a full face lift, a nose job, a tummy tuck, a buttock implant, cheek implant, eye lid surgeries, lasers, and yes, ALL OF IT!
Why? Because! Beauty is power, as I have learned. Beauty gets you everywhere. Beauty gets you free sushi when you go out to eat, extra credits when none is due, instant respect and going to the front of the line. So who am I to blame?
I gathered up enough courage, and asked the plastic surgeons, each one in turn.
“So…um…what do you think? Can I get a little Botox on my forehead? Or some other type of surgery, what do you think?” I said
The first guy squinted and squinted, and looked at me, with a real puzzlement. “Where? Where do you see the wrinkle?” I thought he was cute.
The second gal frowned her nose, and squinted and squinted, and looked really puzzled too. “Where?” And then she started laughing, or maybe it was a gentle smile. “No, I don’t think you need it. You look fine, really! I could do it but you don’t really need it.” I thought, hmm, is there a trend here.
The third guy said, took out his special binoculars, and looked and looked. “Yeah, I can take off your mole but it’s just going to leave a scar there. While most people will not think twice about a mole on your face, they’re more likely going to wonder about how the scar got there. So I would probably leave that mole alone. And I don’t think any procedures should be done either.”
As the third doctor explained to me why he would just leave the mole alone, I saw against the California landscape, that he too has a mole on his face!
The doctor has a mole on his face too!
He has a mole on the R sider of his face. And being a plastic surgeon, you would think he could have done a lot to his face, but he has done nothing to his face. Even his finger nails are not perfectly trimmed. And sure enough, the mole does not take away who he is, the aesthetics or the characteristics of his face, or his spirit. He’s a young doctor, very thin, and very energetic. I liked the way he looked, even with a prominent mole on his face, and it was at that moment that I believed him: that his mole is OK to be left alone, and so too I would leave mine alone.
“And by the way, most people when they see the mole, they’ll just think, oh, it’s just a ‘cute little mole’ rather than, ‘oh, it’s a scar.'”
So in that instant, the mole “that went’ part of me” that had been bothering me became “just a cute little mole.”
Just a cute little mole – funny how the perspective has changed. I actually like my ‘just a cute little mole’ now.
I told the plastic surgeons about my fascination w the trend of dramatic plastic surgeries done in Korea – they all thought I was nuts and they told me to stay away from those crazy things or at least for many years until I got much older.
And then it dawned on me. These are doctors.
How remarkable it is that these surgeons who could have made a lot of money off me if they were to cut me, genuinely looked very puzzled and very confused when I asked about the procedures.
And so three ‘second opinions’ later, I have gotten a new perspective of beauty. I love my plastic surgeons. I think each one of them is beautiful. Each one of them is incredibly smart, hard working, and down to earth. And they made me love me, my face and my body, and my person just the way it looks.
The fact that they don’t temper what God or nature has created, and has respectfully left it alone, has such a nice, empty, Zen and Taoist quality. It leaves one in a space of peace and a wisp of white smoke that turns into ether into a true space.
Stanford Medicine: Plastic Surgery and Dermatology
S. Tyler Hollmig, MD
Angeline Lim, MD
Subhro Sen, MD