Would You?

6 years ago by

If you could change your face or your body and become perfectly beautiful, and you were young enough for it to affect your whole life, would you do it?

I’ve already asked myself this question, of course.

Plastic surgery has become so normal these days, we’re kind of wondering who to look to anymore. Ten years ago, it was simple. You hid it, and whether you were famous or not, as long as the surgery was subtle enough for people to wonder if you’d done it or not, they forgot about it. We all pretended we didn’t notice anything, and your reputation was safe and sound.

Ah, morality.

What is it that bothers us so much about modifying our physical appearance? The idea that beauty has to be natural? That some people were blessed and other people weren’t and we have to accept whatever was given to us? But it’s perfectly fine to pluck out all our hairs to have smooth skin? And to change the color of our hair as soon as it starts to show signs of age? And to wear Spanx to make people think we have a perky butt? Where do we draw the line?

No idea.

When surgery went too far, though, you get totally lynched by the media (or by the non-media, like your coworkers) and it can last for years, and maybe even cost you your career.

But women, especially women in the public sphere, have been getting plastic surgery forever.

Everybody knows it. Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, and many others.

What’s changed today, though, is that plastic surgery has become so apparent that there’s no use trying to hide it. It’s become the norm.

So you end up with girls like Bella Hadid on the cover of Porter magazine, looking gorgeous, with the title MODERN GODDESS in huge letters, and you say to yourself, maybe I can be a modern goddess too, if I want to be. So you ask yourself again:

If I could change one thing…


And the crazy thing is, this is all happening at a time when women are waking up. Women are mobilizing. Trying to fight against inequality, unite and rebel. But in my Instagram Explore tab, I see images of bodies that are so modified they seem like they’ve come straight out of planet Barbie, right next to feminist slogans on pink backgrounds like, “I am a feminist, what’s your superpower?” and honestly, I have to say, it makes my brain explode. I don’t get it.

No, wait, this is the actual total brain explosion: naked women in super suggestive poses with the caption: “My body is free, I’m a feminist, so I’m naked with my finger in my mouth.”


The truth is, women are so oppressed today, and it’s so insidious, there are no guidelines anymore, there’s nothing to understand.

And when I say oppressed, I don’t necessarily mean by men. Women are oppressed by society, by ideals, and often by themselves.

Because today, to be a “real” woman, you have to be skinny (and if you’re not skinny, you’re a “revolutionary,” a “rule breaker”) you have to be beautiful, but it has to look natural, you have to be a #girlboss, you have to be a completely self-fulfilled-and-never-overwhelmed mother of two, you have to have a happy marriage, and you ALSO have to be a feminist, be cool and have a sense of humor (and be good at photography) so you can show it all off on Instagram.

[Excerpt from a conversation with two friends the other day:
“I just met this guy, he’s great but his Instagram is as manicured as Kylie Jenner’s nails.”
“Ugh, no, guys shouldn’t even have an Instagram, or if they do, it shouldn’t be very good, like there should be four photos with a couple friends fighting, max!”

= Guys don’t have the same pressure!]

So to get back to my question of the day, would you do it?

If it would guarantee you a destiny like Carla Bruni’s, as a top model in a time when top models were stars, a talented singer, and first lady of France, who admitted a few years ago that she had work done on her nose because she thought it was too round and not photogenic, would you do it?

Other women who are very intelligent, brilliant, and talented, have said yes. Women I respect, women with special talent. Nicole Kidman, for example.

And I don’t judge them, not for the changes they made (even though sometimes, like anyone, I’m a little shocked and have to Google it) or for their choice to keep it secret. It’s their choice. It’s their life as a woman. Some of them say it made them happier, some say they regret it. That’s their story. Let’s leave them alone about it.

Obviously, I’ll always prefer the women who accept themselves as they are, who expand the realm of possibilities and change the way we think about beauty, instead of forcing it to mean having a little nose and big lips. Charlotte Gainsbourg, Meryl Streep, and more recently, the “revolutionary” (!!!) Ashley Graham.

Their public personas make them models for us. And we love them because they make us feel free to be ourselves – unique and beautiful as we are, not as society wants us to be.

Because the truth is, getting your nose redone doesn’t guarantee anything. Having more pouty lips doesn’t change your life. Sure, sometimes it might make it a little better. And in that case, why not?

As long as you know that beauty doesn’t guarantee happiness, or love.

Life, and happiness, is about learning to love yourself, for yourself, regardless of other people’s opinions. Typically, that can take years and years, but when you finally get there, you don’t want to change anything anymore. You’re good as you are.

But it kind of gives me chills to think about the future, a time when it won’t be acceptable to choose to live with and love whatever we were born with. When young girls will feel so much pressure to be beautiful, they’ll resort to plastic surgery before they’ve even had time to develop a self-image that goes beyond the mirror society is holding out to them.

But I hope before that time comes, thanks to what’s happening in the world today, women will have learned to make peace with themselves and will understand that what counts isn’t anyone else’s approval but your own. What counts is the journey to yourself.

Translated by Andrea Perdue


Add yours
  • Women are oppressed only by their vanity. But everyone is at its mercy.
    You have to learn to control pride. If you spend too much time in the mirror you will be desperately unhappy. Life is elsewhere than in the mirror.

  • I applaud this. I cringe thinking about how much time I spent looking in the mirror when I was a teenager, comparing my features to those I saw in a magazine. Crazy! Plastic surgery sells a myth of trying to make yourself look perfect. There is no perfect. That quest only leads to critical self-judgment and misery. Best thing we can do is turn away from the mirror and think about something else.

  • That is too simple of a reduction, to say that women are only oppressed by their vanity. Where does vanity come from? Women are not born being vain, we learn it from our mothers, our media, our society. Be obsessed with your looks, but don’t let anyone know. Be absolutely gorgeous and have it all, as Garance pointed out, and show it off on Instagram, but don’t look like you tried too hard! Women are enculturated into so many societal expectations of what we should be, literally from the moment we are BORN when people begin calling us “pretty” and “beautiful,” and then we pretend that vanity is just a phenomenon that women have created. No, we haven’t. Not to sound all revolutionary, but the patriarchy and all the ideological structures that reproduce it are responsible for this vanity that forces itself upon women! There is always a more complex answer lurking beneath…

  • Complètement en phase avec ce que tu décris. Je ne peux que regretter que l’on soit dans une uniformisation physique et que la norme est d’avoir un petit nez, une grosse bouche, une grosse poitrine et le tout dans un corps xxs! C’est terrible je trouve, puisque on en vient à soi même se remettre en question et se dire et cette ride? et ce bourrelet! Et puis passé un certain âge on lâche l’affaire! ah ah ah
    Heureusement qu’en France, il reste encore des femmes naturelles sans être dans la course après le temps ou la perfection. Ce fameux effortless qui reste notre signature, je reste dans cette optique même si biensur quelques fois quand on se regarde dans le miroir et que l’on voit les signes de l’âge on a quelques doutes.

  • Fabienne March, 28 2017, 12:09

    Je suis d’accord avec vous Aude. Et avec Garance. Chacune est libre de son apparence. En ce qui me concerne je tend à vieillur comme une “belle vieille” et non une “vieille belle”. Vieillir ne m’effraie pas car je suis aimee, entouree. Bien a vous.?

  • Love the comment above by M. No, I wouldn’t get plastic surgery unless there was some weird situation that happened like an accident. You have to embrace who you are. Also, most people I’ve seen get plastic surgery or botox end up looking awful.

    -Kirsten // http://www.porkandcookies.com

  • Le commentaire de M. est très intéressant. Le problème n’est pas tellement de savoir ce qui est acceptable ou pas en termes de modification de son corps et son image (que ça soit avec ou sans chirurgie), mais de ne pas chercher le bonheur ou le sens de sa vie dans son miroir. Il y a tellement d’autres mondes à explorer !

  • Orangeufunny March, 28 2017, 10:56 / Reply

    It’s funny. I was just pondering this today. I am 49 and am beginning to see saggy family traits appear in the mirror. My neck is not as firm as before. My jawline is getting rounder and starting to become one with my neck. But.. I have great skin and thick hair. My eyes are bright and clear. My tummy is still relatively flat. I realized I still have many more positives than negatives. I did want to enhance my breasts about 15 years ago. I went through a 2 year period of not feeling very feminine because of this. I opted not to do it after all because of all the negative outcomes I had heard from others. I am now glad I made that decision. I want to be satisfied and happy with features and my family traits. If it gets to the point where I can’t get out of a slump because of them, I think I would seriously consider doing the least invasive surgery possible just to get through

  • I don’t know that I would ever have major plastic surgery as I’m more focused on natural health and skincare although I wouldn’t be opposed to non-invasive procedures if I ever reached a point in my life where I felt moved to do so. I will say that, while so many talk about society’s pressure to look a certain way and the importance of “being yourself”, the pendulum also swings in the other direction. My friends (who do get botox in their 20s) and I often discuss the disgusted looks and judgmental comments people make when someone does express interest in Botox or plastic surgery. I think that feminism and being a woman is about allowing women to make their own choices based on what works best for them and not judging them for it.

  • European March, 28 2017, 11:00 / Reply

    I’ve been fortunate enough to inherit very good genes and look young/no sagging/wrinkles without having had to resort to any type of procedure as of yet. However, I was not born typically/naturally beautiful in the eyes of society. But, having full lips, almond shaped eyes and a symmetrical face and good skin, I learned I could do wonders with make up, hair and working out. So, around the age of 24, I blossomed. People took notice, everybody wanted to be around me, I had a great network of affluential friends and boyfriends, I always got the job I had applied for so easily and so on. I felt so visible, I felt so comfortable, so relaxed. Life was great. Also, looking so much younger, I was always used to being the “little” one. Fast forward to today. I’m 42.5 and over the moon to be expecting my first child with my husband (by choice, not infertility) in 2 weeks’ time. But, I will say, even though “I look great/young for my age”, it’s just not the same. Having gone through life always getting what you wanted due to looks (and staying there due to personality/character/brains) feeling visible due to appearance, it is VERY hard for me to accept that ship is sailing out of the harbour. I sometimes don’t want to go out as I don’t feel beautiful enough, I don’t want to go to the gym because I hate not being the beautiful girl working out. It’s still sometimes strange I’m not the little one in my social group anymore. I sometimes feel all the more invisible. I miss summer fun by the beach bar having cocktails, lights glimmering in the background and everything seemed possible. Now I don’t see the point of going. I know this sounds incredibly disturbing, but having had beauty and seeing it slip away in every aspect of your life is very, very hard. They say beauty isn’t everything etc. but it really is something and we should not feel ashamed for wanting it, well, forever. Sometimes I think because I had to “fight” for it, that is why I feel this way. My niece was born beautiful. Tall, blonde, full lips, big blue eyes etc. She became a known model and did so many Vogue. Marie Claire kids and so much more glossy magazine editorial shoots. But she never cared about beauty. She left that all behind her to focus on this year starting med school to become an oncologist to children of “a lesser God” around the world. So, sometimes I think, when beauty has been handed to you from day 1 as opposed to “fighting” for it, do you not care so much about the above?

  • This is one very beautiful and brave comment of yours. I applaud you for putting it in such eloquent, raw and honest words.

  • I give you a lot of credit for writing this (and so eloquently too). You seem like a woman of intelligence, and you clearly have a talent for writing and expressing yourself. Your raw honesty is so much more appealing than any over-filtered Instagram will ever be.

  • Well said! I applaud your being so candid and honest.

  • Thanks for your honesty. Very insightful and well-written.

  • Wow! This really hit home with me. I went through the same thing- awkward long- legged and feeling like I did´t fit in- to actually combing my hair, excepting myself and making an effort and got recognition for this. I wasn´t class most popular, but people noticed and I got and had the POWER. Then, I got married young, had kids, let myself go- and I noticed that no one looked at me anymore. I had lost the power (false power) and that was devastating . I did´t know how to act. I was so used to the attention that I built my whole identity around it. But, now- looking back- I know I had lost myself from all the attention I craved. I did´t do the work on the INSIDE because I was so busy working on the outer appearance . A great life lesson.
    Now I am 49 and I see all the botox and corrective surgery used by my peers. I do NOT LIKE it!!!! Because, the feeling of beauty, even though it´s cliché (we´ve heard a trillion times), comes from within. It comes from living with yourself on the inside. Looks come and go, but it is your soul that defines you. And that is beautiful from the start. You just have to remember to water and feed the soul. (Oprah fan alert!) We all can see and feel each other´s souls- isn´t THAT what we women should teach our younger “sisters” -to be able to connect with each other on a deep level and not on a superficial one?!
    The corrected faces look fake, to me. I am sorry. For me, it looks like they are a type of burn victim. It´s hard to look at, but you have to because you make an effort to look past this and look only inside the eyes. And why does everyone want to look the same, anyways? (high cheek bones, little nose, puffy lips and a forehead that doesn´t move?) I have a chipped tooth and a round nose, but those two imperfections are ME. Sure, I can correct them if I want to, but it won´t make me get my youth back. I´ll stop thinking about it, maybe, but then I will be looking for something else to correct. (Argh! The problems of the privileged) Let the youth own the time of smooth skin so we, as mature women, can own our time of spiritual growth and teach our young- that beauty is compassion and imperfection.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! You inspired me to write mine. I believe our bodies are just vehicles for the soul. We will all one day die and our bodies will be left to rot like flowers and leaves. But our souls will be lifted to a higher place. So, instead of lifting my face, boobs, or spending money on expensive creams, I will continue to nourish my soul with the love of people, nature, books AND FASHION. AND, I will own my age and live my life inside out! AMEN (hehe)
    (Love you,Garance!)

  • Isabelladreams March, 28 2017, 11:11 / Reply

    This is lovely and refreshing to read on a beauty/fashion site. But I have to wonder if you feel your site is really not contributing to the culture of perfection. Though you all seem to be wonderful people and express desire for women to lean into self acceptance, the images I see are of privileged women with the means to live extremely curated lives, who can afford beautiful clothing, time for a lot of exercise and access to the best of everything. Class is a feminist issue as well. Wealth sets a standard that the less fortunate attempt to measure up to. I believe that we are all responsible for our own journey and our values and spiritual practice will determine our happiness, but we are also all influenced by culture makers such as yourself. I applaud your thoughts on this topic and hope you’ll go further and let them be reflected in the content of your site.

  • I totally agree with this.

  • I agree with ISABELLADREAMS ! It would be so much more interesting and enlivening to see more women of variety with stories of more creative lives that aren’t always so perfect and well off. You have such a great voice in this world and we appreciate your new directions but please, surprise us with less perfection !

  • I agree. Funny, right before I read this post by Garance I thought, gosh, everyone is soooo perfect and beautiful on Garance’s site these days! Thin, cool, great careers, perfect homes, into “health”, yoga etc all the things Garance said women have pressure to be. So, yeah. We do like to look at beautiful. The former “street”Garance did have a bit more variety. I love you Garance and I don’t know the answer. I’m 70 and imperfection looks a lot different from this age than from 40. It’s a shocking experience to “become invisible” at around 55 or so. It’s kind of restful in a way, but a big change even if you weren’t “beautiful.” Ah well… life it is.

  • I totally agree with this comment.

  • Zaza von Geneva March, 29 2017, 4:35

    Bravo Isabella (we share the same first name to a letter) !! You expressed what I’ve been thinking for a long while about Garance’s website. Finally someone who mentions the social class issue, which is not really represented on this site. All the women shown here are young/beautiful/slim/well-groomed, have fancy jobs/husbands/boyfriends/families/homes/lives, to a point it might be intimidating to other women who are not so well off. It would be good to introduce a bit more diversity so that ALL types of women are being represented here – if you want.

  • Cheriza March, 29 2017, 10:34

    thank you for saying this. I agree.

  • Add me to the agreers! I love your site Garance, but mostly for the writing content! I am a broke 28 year old full-time student/waitress, and I literally cannot afford anything that is posted on this site! The fashion isn’t what keeps me coming back — it’s your lengthy articles about anything that are so HONEST while being silly and relatable. I love your writing. But yea, it would be cool to see some women of different means featured every once in a while, women who aren’t rich or living a high-fashion, high-profile lifestyle. I mean, I am a white woman, so I’m not implying I am underrepresented on this site, but I feel very out of touch with the lifestyles that are featured on here!

  • Your comment is spot on !
    I wouldn’t have phrased it better myself.

  • Mamavalveeta03 April, 1 2017, 12:42

    Very much so!!! I agree in every way (as a lower-middle class, but still educated woman)

  • I agree as well, ISABELLADREAMS.

    I visit this site because of topics on lifestyle (ex. life in big cities, exercising, those recipes from the fancy restaurants in New York that I can replicate at home, travel destinations reviews etc.) and I very much enjoy the posts on how daily activities are organized in Garance’s team (the escapes and dinners, the way they work together as a team etc.).

    I cannot relate at all to the subjects on fashion shows, brand reviews, beauty advices from celebrities that are paid to be beautiful and are genetically blessed. Those people seem to be living in another galaxy. Although, like any women, I want to dress presentable, I’m not some kind of weirdo hippie in this aspect.

    But I think the humanity needs less narcissistic women. Posing in great clothes at fashion shows and always craving for all the possible attention in the Instagram community has become the norm. Sadly, Anna Dello Russo is the new hero in town and has become more appreciated than Mother Theresa :)).

    Garance and her team are very talented, but I wish they would expand their horizon, shifting from these little, insignificant things to big and really important things in life. Women can do much better than dressing up or spending months thinking if they should cut their hair or not. Can we?

    An old lady, who is paralyzed since her teenage years, put it so beautifully in words: “Life is much more than this body”. This statement is very spiritual and deep. During my tough times, I always turn to those types of women and their experiences to help me carry on. In those moments, the fashion and beauty world only seems to be a bad joke.

  • karacocoa April, 7 2017, 10:21

    I’m a few days late, but wanted to let you know I absolutely agree with your sentiment.

  • You could read on this the book “Beauté Fatale” by Mona Chollet :

    (I don’t know if it’s been translated into English)

  • La MODERN GODDESS (à mon humble avis) c’est toi ! :)

  • Wow, loaded question. When I think about what I would change about my body…I think about the fact that I am short with short limbs and a long torso. I LOVE fashion and constantly fight with the fact that my body is not an average size/shape. I would love to have clothing fit me correctly right off the rack, I am constantly fighting sleeves and inseams that are too long or tops that are too short. And forget about jumpsuits : ( It’s tiresome when I’m trying to experiment with a new look. I buy ‘capri’ pants/leggings so I won’t have to hem them or I try to alter things with limited success. If I could change my dimensions to be closer to average I might. But overall I have come to accept and feel blessed to be unique. I am in my forties, and as gravity pulls a bit harder on my skin each year, I may reconsider in another decade or so. Sometimes I think that if everyone could create their body/look to match the current fashion it might get a bit boring and we would then revert back to something more unique. I have always been a fan of women who are not necessarily traditional beauties. My final answer is to fall in love with yourself and all of it’s individual glory!

  • Isabelle March, 28 2017, 11:58 / Reply

    Même si je me sens plutôt affranchie des critères d’uniformisation de beauté de notre société actuelle, je suis plus sensible à l’omniprésence du jeunisme qui lui est indissociable, ayant difficilement passé cette année le cap de la cinquantaine. En conséquence, je me contenterais juste, si j’en avais les moyens financiers, de pouvoir atténuer les signes du temps qui vont devenir de plus en plus présents. Il s’agit peut-être de vanité ; personnellement, je le vois surtout comme une volonté d’entretenir l’image que j’ai de ma féminité, au même titre que je me teindrai les cheveux lorsqu’ils blanchiront. Il me semble que le fait d’être en harmonie avec notre image personnelle de la beauté et de la féminité est ce qui importe, plus que les artifices à condamner ou non.
    Et puis, quand on est en harmonie avec soi-même, on rayonne de l’intérieur et donc de l’extérieur, non ? :)

  • i agree with M.! very interesting reflexion

  • If you are confident enough you have not to adapt to the utopia. Had some enhancement in my mid 50’s without any
    regret and it doesn’t change my life particularly but now at 71 my focus is on health, wellbeing and good life at all. Easy said? yes and no because it took me centuries to find my real ME …now I am confident and happy as never before.

  • Landdemain March, 28 2017, 12:10 / Reply

    Excellent billet, excellente réflexion!

  • peu importe March, 28 2017, 12:19 / Reply

    Les femmes pensent que la beauté est dans la perfection. Les hommes ne nous demandent pas d’être parfaite. J’ai séduit l’amour de ma vie grâce à un nez que je trouvais trop long!

  • I love this piece…my family is from S Korea where the brutal honesty and dependency on looks for happiness (friends, marriage, even jobs!) is frightening. I grew up being verbally dissected on my looks each summer when visiting, it broke my heart that these were often the first words out of their mouths after a year away and how easily they suggested ‘fixes’ via plastic surgery. What a bland, muted world to have unique and diverse features carved, pricked, plumped, and reshaped into seeming ‘perfection.’

  • No, I wouldn’t. The traits that I most often dislike when I analyse my body in front of the mirror are also those that distinguish me as me. My nose, that I share with my beloved sister, inherited from from the men in my dad’s family, that I see in my 4 year old niece. Some acne scars, that remind me of teenage struggles of acceptance. My tiny breasts and wide hips, that all ex boyfriends have gone crazy for. My not-so-feminine, strong ankles, that make me a good rock climber. My chickenpox scars, that still carry the memories of menthol talcum powder generously applied by my grandmother caring for me. My body is a jigsaw of my story, my family, my habits, memories of those I love and loved and wouldn’t change that for the world.

  • Roberta, your comment brought tears to my eyes. What a beautiful way to describe your body! I’ll keep that in mind whenever I look in the mirror from now on. Thank you.

  • Mamavalveeta03 April, 1 2017, 10:58

    Thank you! History means something. Perfection is false. I’m all for authentic living and minimal artifice.

  • The problem with plastic surgery and all these little fixes is that they will never compensate if you don’t feel beautiful inside. It took me a long time to feel good in my skin. I never thought I was beautiful. Now I feel amazing in my 50’s. What makes us beautiful is our uniqueness, our quirks.
    I have no problem with people doing it but I know I will not be bothering with it. I get more joy out of exercising and eating as healthy as I can. Sure I still have some wrinkles and a bit of fluff but not nearly as much as if I stopped taking care of myself. I feel like I am in charge of me.

    As far as the Modern Goddesses goes pfff, not too impressed with them and the standard of beauty today. So many of them look fake and empty. I have a tough time telling them apart. I’m not sure that they go beyond their beauty.
    I haven’t seen anyone that I would call a Super Model. I think that some of the fashion looks attributed to them are pretty boring too. I see more fun stuff on social media but the everyday person.

    Just trust in yourself, surrounded be beautiful,warm caring friends and you will be amazing.

    Love that you think about these things Garance.

  • Although I had problems with my appearance when I was young (46 know), I think it was mostly due to the lack of self-confidence and self-love. I was far from perfect, but when I look at photos of my young self, I would like to travel back in time, and tell that insecure girl to accept her imperfections and most of all, see her beauty, and really ENJOY the body she had. I would like to to that, and wanting to have changed my body before, would feel like a betrayal of that young person, who was once me.

  • True Story!!!! Last night I was with two women who have had the requisite LA Botox and nip/tuck…both super skinny (okay…I’m botox free, a bit overweight and perhaps a bit jealous) AND WHO WAS AT OUR RESTAURANT??? JLo and ARod. She is wearing all over cream, high waist pants and voluptuous off the shoulder sweater.

    These two women went to the Ladies room together (Alert – You are NEVER alone in the ladies room at a fancy restaurant!) and started sniping on JLo’s cream pants “Trying to call attention to herself” blah, blah and….

    JLO walks (stomps?!) out of a stall behind them!!!! Says nothing and goes back to dinner.

    Women are the WORST to other women. Even being one of the most beautiful women in the world clearly doesn’t protect you at all. The women were mortified and I felt no pity (they were probably chatting about my wrinkles :) )

    So today and every day – be super kind to women – we’re WOMEN we need it!

  • Zaza von Geneva March, 29 2017, 4:44

    Absolutely!! This is what terrifies me most with women: the total lack of solidarity.

  • We’re all born perfectly beautiful. What gets taken away (by those outside ourselves-society, parents, ect. ) is the comfort and security of simple being in our own skin. Which we (women) spend our lives trying to get back to. I wish we could all feel (all the time) there’s no need trying to compete with perfection; we’re alread perfect. Look at Linda Rodin-she’s spectacular! #goals

  • I love this piece, and I love how real you always are, Garance! Thank you for being an inspiration and for talking about things that some of us, or media, are sometimes too shy to approach. Your writing is so honest and wise!! XO

  • At 53, so far I have chosen not to have plastic surgery because I want to recognize myself in the mirror. I also (so far) choose to keep the connection to me and my family. There are MANY things that could be improved (objectively), but if I did, I know I would feel a deep loss.

    I say “so far” because one day my droopy eyelids will become too much, and I will fix them! But I won’t change the shape of the eye (though docs have recommended I do so). My eyes are too close to those of my late mother for me to ever want to change them.

  • Charlotte March, 28 2017, 2:35 / Reply

    I’d get rhinoplasty to remedy a large nose.
    It’s the one thing that that I can’t change/edit/diminish/hide.
    It’s also the one thing that remains so prominently displayed.
    I avoid photos as a result; it really affects me.
    At 46, it doesn’t make sense to have such an intrusive surgery.
    On the bright side, I accept everything else.
    Years of hot yoga and running have given me young genes, long, strong hair, a petite figure and a healthy BMI.
    Thankfully, my 18-year-old daughter did not inherit my nose.

  • Hi Charlotte,

    I had a nose job at 39…it didn’t change my whole life but it changed the way I feel.

    Je me suis fait refaire le nez à 39 ans. Ca n’a pas changé toute ma vie mais je me sens tellement mieux :)

  • Bella Hadid is really too too much. Her whole face seems to have undergone surgery… Where is the limit ? Cyborg ? I prefer Lara Stone and her flaws.

  • As I read the top, I was dismayed that there would even be a discussion of plastic surgery at the same time a bunch of politicians in the U.S. nearly took away vital things like maternity care and contraception. So many people, even in the U.S. but all around the world, lack the very basics, it feels obscene to think about this insane pressure on women to be perfect Barbies. I am disappointed when movie stars do it, but their livelihoods depend on their looks–it’s a price of doing business. But when more and more regular women feel they need to be surgically adjusted, it seems that society has gone off the rails.
    As European says, getting old is a bitter pill to swallow. I have many friends who were great beauties when they were younger and who, though still looking great for their age, find themselves a bit lost that they no longer turn heads. It makes me glad to have never turned heads to begin with. There’s always someone taller, thinner, blonder, prettier.

  • Lisa Walker March, 29 2017, 12:09

    Hell yes.

  • Zaza von Geneva March, 31 2017, 8:58

    I think it depends on what are your values in life, what you are looking for. It’s clear that growing older is quite tough for these women who have been living mainly through their power of seduction, how many men they could have, etc., etc..; it is tough realizing you are losing that power and that men are now looking at much younger women.

  • Victoria Regia March, 28 2017, 3:58 / Reply

    One can’t “become beautiful”. You’re either born with those features/body type or not.

  • Slushee March, 30 2017, 7:20

    Perhaps- but that’s short sighted view of beauty and what you can enhance with a little effort.

  • A l’epoque de Brigitte Bardot, toutes les femmes voulaient lui ressembler ou du moins ont copie sa facon de s’habiller et de se coiffer car c’etait la “femme ideale”. Difficile de s’y comparer ! Mes icones ont toujours ete F.Hardy, C.Rampling, J.Birkin qui ont vieilli a leur propre rythme et que je trouve toujours aussi fascinantes.
    Aux U.S. toutes les “celebrites” se ressemblent, a croire qu’elles ont toutes le meme chirurgien esthetique ! :-)))

  • Erica Allen March, 28 2017, 4:39 / Reply

    You are always so relevant and timely to me. I’ve thought about getting a boob job for such a long time. I’m getting married in two months and just totally freaking out about not being”enough” so just last week I scheduled consultations with two different plastic surgeons. One quote came back at a whopping $19k (!). My boobs are basically nonexistent and while I know I can be attractive and at times, beautiful; sometimes I just feel “nonexistent” in the boob department. Why does this even matter? What’s worse is that I walked away from the consultations feeling even worse about myself. These ideas of not being enough or feeling nonexistent physically can really #@360! around with your head and emotions. The perfect body images we see on Instagram posted above feminist quotes and sayings are equally confusing. Why are these women (Kim, Emily) admired by so many? Lip injections, implants, lifts, makeup artists…the work is so obvious. Do we continue to persist against plastic surgery or will we at some point follow suit and become like those who seek and achieve fake perfection? Our partners, boyfriends, husbands are seeing these same images, yet come home and say they really do love and accept us just as we are. Why is that so hard to believe? I am so perplexed by it all. Still debating the surgery…but it’s on hold for now until I get clarity over why I really want it.

  • Dear Erica,

    I also have “non-existent” boobs. I also thought about surgery (back in my teens when EVERYBODY had boobs already, except for me). And you now what? Now, in my 31, I cannot be happier with them, exactly how they are! That freedom, that easiness, that lack of bother of wearing (and buying) bras, no constraints dressing-wise , OMG ahhmazing!. I wouldn’t change them for anything. Please try to enjoy and love them and they’ll love you back.



  • C O U R A G E….love this, Jana!

  • Erica,

    Someone wants to marry you – spend his life with you, he has chosen you. It seems to me that your chest size is inconsequential. You found love with your own unique features. Do you know how rare that is? Savor it, rather than obsess over something so trivial in the big picture. There are people who would love to marry, love to find a devoted partner, love to find that level of acceptance – but won’t…some are unlucky in love. If I had a partner, chest size would be the last thing on my mind.

  • Annabel March, 28 2017, 4:39 / Reply

    Ton article laisselles en moi beaucoup d’approbation bien sûr, une vision très intéressante sur ce qui se passe en ce moment du côté des femmes. Et il me laisselles une question. Tu dis pour conclure que ce qui compte c’est le chemin vers soi. Je pense que je ne suis pas d’accord. Le chemin vers soi est à mon avis une étape nécessaire de notre vie (et qu’on ne finira jamais dexplorer) mais qui prend sens lorsque l’on sort de soi pour aller vers l’autre (que ce soit son mec, son enfant, son voisin ou qui que ce soit). Je pense que ma propre existence prend sens avec l’Autre. L’homme est un être profondément social. Ce serait triste si le but de sa vie était un retour à soi non ?
    Grosse bise

  • Merci ISABELLADREAMS! Votre site contribue a cette problématique … La perception du beau est aussi une question de classe et les questions qui sont posées ne sont pertinentes que pour les femmes qui n’ont pas a se soucier du quotidien -comme pouvoir trouver un travail, nourrir leurs enfants, payer leurs factures. Ce serait de contractualiser de temps en temps avant de faire des généralités .

  • Wonderful piece, wonderful comments written by thoughtful women. Your ‘real’ women paragraph hits the nail on the head, I feel all those things whenever I spend an extended period of time online browsing (and I don’t loiter on Instagram at all), I don’t feel stressed about it, but I don’t enjoy that feeling. And I agree with the comment above that we’re born beautiful, and it is sad we become unhappy with our bodies and skin; they carry us through life on amazing journeys, we should show love and respect.
    I love that you’re writing about this. And no, I wouldn’t!

  • Chacun fait fait ce qui lui plait plait … Au final même si il s’agit de foirer et Bien yalla ! Que la personne aille au bout de son chemin , si c’est ” juste” dans l’instant ,alors libre à chacun de se faire une chirurgie ou pas …. libre de se comparer même, quitte à se défiguré parfois … c’est un chemin d’acceptation vers soi, de liberté …. certes complexe mais un chemin comme même ….. y’a un site Que j’aime bien : Style like u , et notement leur ” what’s underneath project ..”.. ça fait du bien de voir des femmes et hommes avec des corps si différents dans leur plus simple apparat et qui s’acceptent , dans leurs formes, leurs histoires …En les découvrant c’est pas leurs revendications qui m’intéresse ….j’apprécie de les voir si différents surtout … ils sont beaux ,puis quand on s’accepte vraiment je crois qu’il n’ y’a rien à revendiquer ( transformé ou pas ) … on se sent bien c’est tout.

  • Wow, wow. Garance has impeccable timing as usual. I was having a similar conversation last night w/my dad about the tsunami of hyper-sexed, over glamorized & ridiculously processed images that permeates society today. While at the same time women claim they are too be respected & valued when, in most cases, the image they present says otherwise. I’m a woman & I’m confused. And I have to say the same can be said for the guys as well. If you’re a guy & you don’t have the big booty stripper chick or ultra slim model on your arm then you’re a loser & something is wrong w/you by society’s standards. Interesting and honest post I appreciate the viewpoints. And a major kudos to all you commenters for sharing such honest & intriguing feedback. I want take a moment to high 5 European & IsabellaDreams for hitting it out of the park, you guys rock.

  • camille reddress March, 28 2017, 5:58 / Reply

    RIGHT ON GARANCE!! you always tell it like it is

  • Jessica March, 28 2017, 6:42 / Reply

    So I’m totally with you on this, but…

    What a sad and narrowly prescibed concept of maleness, too! You can only do x, y, and z with your Intagram or you aren’t “manly”??? What if you are an artist or a designer or a ceramicist? What if you just like taking good photos of your dog and sharing them with your friends? What if you like it?

    It *may* be less pressure on men – or it might be just as much pressure, expressed differently.

  • Pas le temps de dire plus mais je voulais juste mettre un petit mot tout de suite : merci!!

  • This needs to be more than just a single post. The dialogue shouldn’t stop here because we easily move past it and start talking about clogs vs. mules, summer fun and the perfect set of abs. We must catch ourselves because we are part of this “society”…all of us—and thus responsible on some level. We have voices and our voices are heard loudly through “likes””views””comments” and so on and while yes, there are times when many a rich+sophisticated+beautiful model gets featured here it’s important to note that this site is one of the few that consistently offers some depth on a cross section of topics, this one included. As a society the more we uplift the Kims, the Bellas, and whoevers of the world by blogging about, liking, viewing them the more we perpetuate this beauty standard of “perfection” which with every click imprints on our souls…”perfect hair” “perfect body” “perfect boobs” nose, legs, booty, “perfect relationship” “perfect life”… causing us to struggle, causing us to become double minded, causing confusion, identity issues, feelings of inadequacy which we all can see is becoming a big problem for our society. I say “us” and “we” because it is everybody’s problem and we can’t expect that somebody will do something because then nobody really does. We need to see images of bigger noses featured, we need to see small boobs glorified, all types of hair, all types of skin, all sizes and so on. Dove (your soap) shines some light on this topic, Target seems to be jumping on the bandwagon; companies are taking notice because women are screaming for change–

    But folks, myself included, WE need to change what we imprint on our souls (what we let ourselves see, what we choose to tell ourselves). Personally, I’ve had issues with my nose, with my boobs and if I stare at Instagram too long–my butt becomes a problem, my life, my this, my that. It’s a bunch of horsepoo but it’s serious horsepoo because it becomes real, a real problem. I am ultimately responsible–what I expose my eyes to repeatedly then gets logged in my brain and with repetition it becomes the lie I tell myself. Then comes some retreat to help me digital detox. Amiright?

    But the truth is that I am beautiful and you are beautiful too. We just flipping are! Think about it, when people pass on we don’t sit and remember {how perky or big your boobs are nor how straight and cute your nose is nor is it about your big big booty butt nor your flawless skin nor the ten lbs. you just can’t lose} Noooooo. We remember the person for all the non-physical things– your kindness, the way you encourage everybody in a room, your sense of humor, your tender heart, how your face crinkle when you get upset, your boisterous laugh, your cooking skills at Thanksgiving, your idiosyncrasies. You!

    Garance, yours is a platform that could blow a whistle, influence others, truly help change the conversation around this…and of course beautifully capture it all. We’re all in this!
    What I’m trying to say is …No, I wouldn’t.

    Bisou Bisou

    Nod to M., Isabelladreams, European

  • I think that you should get plastic surgery if you want, BUT do some deep soul-searching beforehand to figure out why, exactly, you feel the need to change your body. The patriarchy has started selling this glossy, fake form of “feminism” – take control of your body, you little feminist you, and get these breast implants to make yourself look like a Sports Illustrated swim model! or Taylor Swift and her squad of uniformly skinny models – because they have realized that it makes them money. We, as women, need to make sure we are not getting caught up in that.

  • We had a family friend who moved from here (Canada) to California with her daughter when her daughter was a preteen. They went from a typical Canadian life to one where children get weekly manicures. The mom got plastic surgery within a year.

    Not saying all of California is like that, of course, but it’s definitely a thing in some regions…so I wonder if you’re going through some understandable culture shock now that you’re immersed in the lifestyle?

    And in this way–presenting the most ‘perfect’ exterior in a slightly disingenuous way–Instagram and some parts of California culture have a lot in common. They also have beauty and creativity in common, of course!

  • Mamavalveeta03 April, 1 2017, 12:48

    Not to be dismissive of your thoughts, Garance, but you’re in LaLaLand now!

  • Times really do change, I’m 61 and remember up until 45 I barely identified with what I saw in the mirror. I was always more concerned about the clothes not the face! Now I really notice the sagging jaw line unfortunately it’s now the first thing I see. some women are lucky and manage to maintain a sharpe jaw (it depends on your face shape). This I have decided to do something about. My husband had really droopy eyelids that were hitting his glasses and it was uncomfortable ,so he had the excess removed and it looks so much better. I’m all for tweaks rather than trying to create something that wasn’t there in the first place

  • Lisa Walker March, 28 2017, 11:33 / Reply

    I think the Third Wave of Feminism’s has re-ignited at the right time. Plastic surgery is plastic. That’s it. Plucking a few eyebrow hairs is nowhere similar to taking a knife to your face; or ‘going under’ to have bags of silicone packed into your breasts; or suctioning fat deposits from your waste-line… These are all procedures that are dangerous. We have totally lost sight of this.

    I think Botox, fillers plastic surgery, are the real destroyers of women’s self-love and confidence. It fools women into thinking they will be more loved if they can just inject a little filler or botulism into their face, etc, etc, etc… How much do you have to hate yourself to not only inflict these procedures upon yourself, but to pay for it, too. Or even worse, have someone else pay for it, like, a movie studio– as did movie stars Rita Hayworth and Marilyn Monroe; both brilliant, gifted women, inflicted with painfully low self esteem. The psychology is– you are not good enough the way you are. And the focus is only external. Zero Feminism. With a psychology like that, a woman can never be pretty enough, perfect enough, good enough and worthy of love. Which is why they usually go too far and lose sight, literally, of they are… Growing older should be a blessing. Some people never get to.

    Why not work with what you’ve got. Working with what you’ve got develops your true gifts. Just look at Diana Vreeland. Look at her. She opened the door to true beauty. She was brilliant.

    Garance, you rule. XO

  • I think rather than obsessing over winning a battle we know we are all going to lose one day, we should focus on just being beautiful rather than looking beautiful. There is nothing more beautiful than girls that smile, are carefree, care about others and just spread sunshine all around. Be it 18 or 80.. That is divine beauty and only shines brighter and brighter as you age! <3

  • I totally agree.
    We’re used to blame ourselves but no one wants to be an outsider in the society she lives. We copy each other and want to be accepted- it’s not something unusual, it’s human nature, it’s natural!

    So I also think: what if it becomes a norm for most people to have botox – I would definitely look weird if I had my face natural. It’s not only what you feel inside and what you think.

    I suspect it’s the wrong way to go to say that it’s all up to yourself. It actually isn’t. The only way to be truly happy is to be happy among other people not only in your oen heart.

  • As I am now 47, I can see things change, and even if I am average looking, with an OK body I don’t like what’s happening.
    So I think that if I can afford it, and when I say afford, it means not an important impact on my lifestyle I would do these things :
    doing something when my breast sag, luckily at my age and 95c, the look like in their 20’s
    the surgery if I have pockets under my eyes
    the upper lid surgery : eyes tend to close and the surgery open them by a millimeter, you can’t imagine how younger and more alert you look
    maybe some liposuction thing for my stomach, I am entering menopause and fat is coming there, around my waist that was never there before, and it really gives an old woman silhouette. For the moment dieting is working, but if it doesn’t anymore, I will do the surgery, I HATE that

    But also what is important is staying fit and flexible, as it affects the way you move, walk and stand and gives you the energy of youth. And this is very important. A few month ago I had a huge backspin episode that slightly affected my movements and while discussing youth with my juniors, they said, nicely, that seing me not moving as alertly and energetically as I do made them realize that it could add years to someone, as I appeared older that usual, as I am lucky to appear ten years older, but not only from my looks, but from my state of fitness and flexibility.

  • Very interesting post, thank you. Especially the part about women and their fingers in their mouth posing as ‘feminist’.

    Just one point: in a way, to say that men shouldn’t have an instagram (or a ‘manucured one’), is it not putting them in a box and classifying a certain behavior as female or male? I’m not sure that saying that ‘Guys don’t have the same pressure!’ is entirely true as women think that there is a certain type of behavior that is male and that if they don’t follow it, there not worthy of the ‘men’ title.

  • Janoushka March, 29 2017, 4:34 / Reply

    Merci Garance. I had goosebumps reading your text. Because it describes exactly what is going on right now. Women raise. We finally raise! Not yelling or fighting, just growing and finally letting out their inner power. And still something holds us back more then anything else – our weird, superficial and rotten idea of “beauty”. An inner voice that tells us what we have to look like to be loved. So many hours we all spend in front of the mirror, in the bathroom, at the gym. Imagine what would happen if we spend these hours creating, laughing, kissing, cooking, working, dancing, sleeping…. I think we need to start NOW to be role models for the little girls so that they will not have to even ask themselves about things like “should I operate my nose?”. I write to you from Berlin and I love the idea that this powerful yet peaceful “women raise”-movement is really happening all over the globe. LOVE

  • Merci Garance:)

  • charlotte March, 29 2017, 6:13 / Reply

    Juste pour préciser que votre chère Carla bruni était déjà toute “refaite” dans les années 90…
    mais je vous laisse “rêver” à sa destinée, cela semble vous bercer…reliez le commentaire de M…
    c’est simple et efficace !

  • Leticia March, 29 2017, 6:42 / Reply

    I would like to look androgynous, because that is how I feel. I do what I can, I have cut my hair short, I wear no makeup, no heels – I am a disaster in heels, but even at my thinnest I still look a lot more like Sofia Loren trying to look like Audrey Hepburn. The thing is, no small amount of surgery would achieve this, heck, no amount of surgery would change my bone structure and I will not put a healthy body through multiple, expensive, dangerous procedures in search of the unachievable.

    There is one I have vouched to do: when my boobs sag they are going to go. I will not have heavy sagging boobs weighting on my back when I am old. So, sometime in the next decade or so, I’ll find a doctor that will do a pretty radical reduction so I can have boyish breasts in my middle age.

    There is a fine line between a little between a touch-up, a nose job here, correcting uneven boobs or fixing a belly that was ravaged by multiple pregnancies and trying to re-shape a body. Plastic surgery was born out of the gueule cassés from World War I, as an attempt to fix wounds of war that were too horrible to live with and I still think it is where it should be. Fixing what is unbearable to live with, not reshaping whole bodies or conforming to every damn social norm.

  • Michelle March, 29 2017, 7:14 / Reply

    I think of the saying ‘youth is wasted on the young’ sometimes now that I’m over the age of shock horror 50yrs!!!!
    It seems you can only figure out who you really are and what your really comfortably with in your life only when you’ve lived and experienced what it is that’s really important in life ie your health,friends,kindness,eating well,sleep,nature,peace,passion for life,sharing etc Maybe you need time to go forward to then be able to reflect on what has happened so you can then keep reevaluating your life!

  • Ana Leonor March, 29 2017, 9:05 / Reply

    So glad you brought this up. I am 36 and I do not intend to, ever, get a plastic surgery. I am all about embracing yourself, your beauty, your flaws… Of course good creams, non-invasive procedures, like facials, massages, vitamines, great serums, but that’s about it. And, as far as for my advice for my 8 year old daughter , I’m gonna try my best to make her embrace her beauty and flaws and love herself for her whole beautiful beeing she is!

  • Alexandra March, 29 2017, 9:58 / Reply

    Je crois que c’est Deneuve qui avait dit “à partir d’un certain âge il faut choisir entre sa gueule et son cul” .
    Perso je ne suis pas du tout impressionnée par les soeurs Haddid etc (surtout que depuis j’ai lu que leur mère les avait fait passer au bistouri, !!)
    Et comme j’explique à mes filles pré ados , les mannequins , leur job c’est d’être belle, donc toutes leurs journées tournent autour de ça. Dans la vraie vie, faire deux heures de sport , manger des fruits et des graines et faire des masques au quotidien ça se passe entre la 25e et la 27e heure de la journée, c’est donc impossible.
    Je leur montre aussi photoshop d’ailleurs ce soir je vais leur montrer les scandaleuses retouches de l’affiche du festival de Cannes 2017 qui ont fait perdre deux tailles et la moitié des jambes de Claudia Cardinal : http://www.slate.fr/story/142205/festival-cannes-rabote-claudia-cardinale
    Les filles, soyons fortes, nous valons beaucoup mieux que ça. Bisous

  • At 57, I have considered whether to “do something”. But, it’s a slippery slope- a tight face doesn’t match a lined neck, nor thin wrinkled hands. Surgery isn’t risk free, nor are fillers. I admire women who love looking unique, and who value health and intelligence more than keeping a young face – meaning time, attention and money go to other goals. No judgment. I may “do something” too. I wish it wasn’t so prevalent, as I do feel social pressure. Let’s all appreciate and respect each other’s beauty choices, but we are more than our faces, boobs, and butts.

  • Je suis le blog depuis ses tout débuts et je trouve que des articles sur la question manquaient. Vous parlez souvent des nouvelles campagnes de publicité des marques ou des couvertures de tel ou tel magasine, mais jamais rien n’est dit sur les affaires d’anorexie ou de retouches photo qui les entourent. J’ai conscience que ce n’est pas forcément l’objet du blog mais je pense que ce n’est pas hors sujet. Par exemple, en 2015, au coeur du débat sur le projet de loi en France visant à encadrer les maisons de mode pour limiter l’anorexie des mannequins, rien n’a été dit. Quoi qu’il en soit, cet article est un début!

  • Apart from considering LASIK to improve my eyesight, no I would never ever get plastic surgery done. It’s simply not in me to notice or care what these so-called goddesses look like. I mean, if a person is so insecure & has so little in her world beyond what she looks like, then do what you will. But remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the beholder is notoriously fickle.

    Feminism is not about tearing each other down to bleed into the rabbit hole. Feminism is about lifting each other up to make informed choices.

  • Clotilde March, 29 2017, 12:32 / Reply

    Je suis allee google-iser pour voir qui etaient ces soeurs Hadid, et je trouve qu’elles ressemblent tout a fait a notre Nabila, qui, elle au moins, est sortie toute seule du ruisseau. Bref je ne vois pas ce que les americains leur trouvent.
    Pour le reste, j’habite a Nice, et je vous supplie, mes soeurs, de ne pas ceder aux sirenes du bistouri, je vois passer trop de vieilles horreurs !
    Je prefere de loin les petites mamies toutes fripees de Coco beach, qui font leur km de palmes tous les jours d’ete a 70 ans sans faire attention a leurs rides (ceci dit, elles prennent trop le soleil, pas l’ideal non plus).
    Relachez la pression, ecoutez vraiment ce que vous disent vos profs de yoga puisque c’est la mode (les vrais profs de yoga, pas la fitness kind) et profitez de la vie !
    Et si vous ressentez de la pression sociale, c’est qu’il est temps de changer d’amis !

  • Nothing regarding my face, but I would like to be taller I’m 5’1″ and I love flats so I’ll like to be taller so I can get away with wearing flats, Oh and maybe not have scoliosis? It’s giving me chronic back pain. I get back pain standing up for more than 5 minutes so museums and shopping kill me. My doc told me if I did not have scoliosis, I’d be about 3 inches taller. Oh well.

  • Nathalie March, 29 2017, 3:15 / Reply

    Merci Garance pour cet étonnement légitime devant ce grand écart entre l’injonction (l’opression) faite aux femmes d’être au top partout et un soit disant féminisme libérateur…
    J’ai tout de suite pensé, et fait un lien, avec le livre que je suis en train de lire “Out of the box!” écrit par Marie-Caroline Schürr, jeune femme de 31 ans, féminine, prof d’anglais, baroudeuse et handicapée moteur de naissance et donc en fauteuil roulant. Son témoignage recadre les choses: sa joie de vivre, son bonheur de chaque jour avec toute la fragilité de son corps blessé et dépendant des autres aident à changer notre regard sur nous, sur notre exigence de la perfection et du jeunisme. A lire!!
    PS: moi aussi je suis choquée par ces retouches sur la photo de Claudia Cardinale. C’est nul!

  • Hello Nathalie,

    Oui cette injonction contradictoire “sois conforme/sois rebelle” a de quoi rendre assez dingue…

    Je me suis pourtant fait refaire le nez en désobéissant à l’injonction familiale “sois comme nous”.

    J’avais un gros nez cabossé ; maintenant j’ai un joli gros nez que j’adore..

  • J’y ai souvent pensé…surtout que j’étais belle gosse jusqu’a 15 ans quand l’adolescence pointe le bout de son nez avec ces traits ingrats me laissant dans un éternel regret de ce côté femme-enfant que j’avais naturellement (j’ai grandit très vite et ai atteint ma taille adulte à 9 ans…). En lisant ce post je me rends compte à quel point ça a hanté le reste de ma vie de ne plus être aussi belle et de le regretter (on ajoute à cela une éducation très culpabilisante “le plus important c’est le cerveau pas l’apparence” et du “faut s’accepter au naturel”). J’ai recours aujourd’hui a des soins esthétiques (laser, peeling…) , j’y pense même beaucoup (trop?)…mais je dédramatise vraiment le fait “d’aider le naturel”.
    Et oui récemment (très récemment) je déconnais encore avec une amie sur Facebook sur mon apparence pensant faire un trait d’humour lucide…ce à quoi elle m’a répondu que je devais me trouver belle tout le temps, et qu’il fallait que je le fasse au moins pour ma fille, pour sa confiance…et je crois qu’elle a marqué un point!

  • I stopped reading when you described carla Bruni’s life as dreamy… I don’t live in the same world ;)
    LA is crazy about plastic, healthy, fit and all bullshits about women’s body. So much pressure. And add to that instagram and blogs all about money, dream job and Mac mansions. Honestly to me it seems just sad.
    Writing that changing your nose or your boobs could change your life …. This is this kind of writing that stick in our head and make us worry. I happy I don’t live in this world.

  • Simple constatation mais l’on voit très très rarement des femmes rondes sur ce blog…… Une image de la beauté très aseptisée, mince, sans poil, en forme et au final très uniforme malgré quelques variantes.

  • This is a great, thoughtful reflection. Thank you for always putting it out there Garance.

  • A lot of actors and actresses and models had plastic surgery, and mostly it was people who were already conventionally beautiful, and they made most small changes, perfecting that look that photographs well, but up close sometimes they look alien. Every person I ever seen up close who had invasive plastic surgery looks off, it is almost always visible. Mostly it doesn’t bring beauty. When it is well done, it can subtly change your appearance, but it won’t make you beautiful overnight. And most people know this, and they have other things to worry about than being ‘perfect’. I am worried that nowadays with real life and Instagram etc blending into each other young girls loose perspective. I don’t even get those Snapchat filters, the funny ones okay, but the others seem to scream, I don’t want to show my face, because at this moment it isn’t perfect. you are young, I would like to tell them, you are all beautiful. I love your blog btw for showing all kinds of gorgeous women, with all kinds of different faces, and most of them have the most wonderful smile lines. That is what makes people accessible, what makes them like you.
    I ma getting older now, but was constantly told that I was beautiful when I was younger, and it is not all that. Sure you get attention, but people also tend to keep a distance, and are a bit afraid of you. Beauty is weird, isn’t it?


  • Justine March, 31 2017, 4:30 / Reply

    Charlotte Gainsbourg fait de la chirurgie esthétique…
    A la française certes, mais elle en fait :/

  • Coucou Garance, merci pour ton post, comme toujours super inspirant! Il y a quelques années à l’université j’ai fait un travail de groupe sur la chirurgie esthétique. Nos lectures nous avaient poussés à nous interroger sur la chirurgie esthétique acceptée, banalisée au point même qu’on y pense plus (d’ailleurs tu n’en parles pas dans ton article :-) ). Ainsi on ne s’interroge plus sur la dentition, pas de doute possible, il faut des dents droites! J’imagine d’ailleurs que la norme dentaire (dentale?) est plus forte aux USA qu’en Europe: be straight, be white, be bright! Bref, quitte à casser la mâchoire, élargir le palais et j’en passe.
    De même, les oreilles décollées ne font plus légion, elles sont directement re-plaquées contre le crâne pendant l’enfance.
    Je ne dis pas que ces normes soient mauvaises, en ce qui concerne l’orthodontie il y a d’ailleurs souvent des raisons médicales derrière, mais je trouve ça intéressant d’en parler! Notons également que changer ses dents peut servir à changer son visage de manière ostensible (lors de mon travail nous nous étions interrogés – sans toutefois arriver à une conclusion certaine – sur le look de Miley Cyrus et la longueur de ses dents, nous étions arrivés à l’hypothèse de prothèse dentaires/veneers plus longues, lui donnant un air plus “incisif/agressif”, concordant avec un changement de direction artistique (bad girl). Encore une fois ça n’est qu’une hypothèses, mais nous trouvions cela probable.
    Voili voilou! passe une belle journée :)

  • Victoria March, 31 2017, 9:03 / Reply

    It’s so insane that today everyone is so driffen to look the same, as in the same kind of “beautiful”. There is so much beauty in difference, yet we are being told that the the only beautiful is the Kylie Jenner look or that things are simply wrong with us if we don’t look a certain way. I think that if you suffer from a beauty flaw – before getting enything done – try to love it instead of hating it. This may take years but it’s worth so much more than a quick fix. I had times in my life where I wanted to change pretty much everything about me. And now, with 26, I actually wouldn’t want ANY of those changes anymore and pretty much all my friends share the same experience. Life is too short in general to waste too much time or money on those things.

  • It’s called internalized misogyny.
    And how is Meryl Streep considered an unorthodox beauty? Just watch Kramer vs Kramer, she is and has always been a total babe. It just boggles my mind how she got boxed as some sort of alternative beauty.
    And, yes, I would totally go back in time and drink a magical potion, if it meant I could live my life out as a more beautiful version of myself. I will leave the plastic surgery for old age, though, in case something really effects the quality of my life.
    Couldn’t agree more about the unified look everyone has now, it’s annoying, boring and terrifying. For example, I prefer to watch European/Asian movies and co-productions, preferably with as diverse casts as possible, cause actors cast in Hollywood just look all the same to me and I can’t identify with them at all.
    Love the conversation.

  • Mamavalveeta03 April, 1 2017, 11:01

    Yes!!! When I watch shows from Britain, I think, why am I so into these characters? And it’s because they’re REAL!!!

  • Did you mean ‘morality’ or ‘mortality’? Either way probably works :)

  • Slushee April, 1 2017, 11:00 / Reply

    Yes I believe in using plastic surgery when it Is a remedy for something causing genuine angst. Botox between my eyes stops me from looking angry all the time. If someone really hates their nose, then it’s great to be able to re-shape it.
    The pursuit of perfection is too narrow and limiting.
    But forty has really cranked up my glamour quotient. I make an effort now in a way I didn’t in my twenties or thirties. I am way more daring. Maybe I think that cute or pretty can’t support drama, and they are the provenance of the young. You have to have confidence and maturity to carry off drama and that seems to be a gift of forty for me. A new awareness has given me a better body than ever, I use makeup as a tool daily, and my wardrobe has an authority I could never carry off before now. I think I was just terrified of disappearing as I age, so now I’m having more fun and I look better than ever.

    As to beauty, very very few are beautiful. To aspire to it is a fools errand. The rest of us should figure out our best selves and work that.

  • I am so glad that you are talking about this. In Asia, it’s basically like getting braces. Graduation, new nose; boyfriend breakup, new eyes. I am like you, I think that everyone should have the freedom to choose to have plastic surgery. However, I also believing in loving your own parts. I totally live in the philosophy of not needing to please everyone because no way can one win 100% of the population; be thankful of what you have because your uniqueness is your gem.

    I really wish that that is what is taught as as child. Yes, models are beautiful, celebrities are shiny, but those who aren’t need to know that they have their own beauty. This will create a lot less jealousy and more self-acceptance.

  • Sashenka April, 8 2017, 4:11 / Reply

    I asked my plastic surgeon (well…) what was the hardest part about his job and he told me it was managing expectations. He said that his clients often think that once they change their nose, boobs etc, they life will change of the better, a husband will come back… I went to see him because I’ve been plagued by jowls and always wanted a clean, strong jaw (not my genetic make up). So he enhanced my jaw bone with filler and it meant I got my confidence back.

  • Oh non je ne le ferais pas…! L’idée ne m’a jamais traversé l’esprit, les raisons/l’envie d’un tel changement trouvent leur source ailleurs que dans la simple question de l’apparence je pense, c’est vraiment du rapport à soi dont il s’agit, bien sûr qu’il y a des pressions sociales sur des canons et critères esthétiques et bien sûr qu’on ne le vit pas toutes aussi bien… mais je trouve ça tellement dommage de vouloir en passer par ce moyen pour s’accepter… En fait ça revient à s’aimer sous conditions, et je trouve ça affreux.

  • Est-ce qu’on est vraiment destiné à abuser de la chirurgie esthétique ? Sérieusement, quand je vois déjà des filles de 20 ans se refaire le nez ou se faire des injections, alors qu’il n’y a franchement rien à modifier, je trouve ça vraiment ridicule. Après, bien sûr qu’on a des défauts, moi par exemple, je déteste mon nez et je vais pas m’empresser de le refaire sous prétexte d’être mieux dans ma peau..il fait parti de moi, je suis nez avec lui, point final.
    Heureusement qu’il y a certaines célébrités qui montrent l’exemple, je suis contente de voir qu’il y en a qui vieillissent vraiment bien et qui n’ont pas forcément recours à la chirurgie esthétique.
    Je pense même qu’on peut bien s’entretenir en mangeant sainement, en faisait du sport régulièrement et en aimant la vie.

  • As a plastic surgeon, I feel as if I spend most of my time with patients managing their expectations. So many patients come in with at least a small amount of desperation about a perceived flaw in their appearance. Social media is a big part of my practice in these modern times, and as such, I can see how polished and curated evidence of “lives lived well” can make anyone suffer from a fear of missing out. I have to admit, even I suffer it from time to time. That being said, when gauging the importance to a patient of a particular “defect” I always ask them what would happen once I fixed the problem. Would they find something else to worry about? Are they generally happy with their lives despite their concern? What if it can’t be fixed; would they be able to live with it? The answers to these questions are telling. I believe that we only have this one life to live, and if it is in our power to live it well, then we must. If plastic surgery allows for this then it is ok. But, if you are expecting it to change your life in some definitive way, you need to think twice.
    Dr. Shah – https://drmanishshah.com

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