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Plastic Surgery Shaped My Self Confidence as a Mom
Plastic surgery shaped my self confidence as a mom and made me a stronger woman. It hasn’t been an easy ride, however. There is an unspoken stigma within our south Asian culture that made it hard to talk about openly and honestly for a long time.
I have always had a relatively petite frame, but after 2 kids my body just wouldn’t recover back to what it was. I had diastasis recti, ab separation, and the more I exercised, the saggier the skin on my stomach would get. I had also always dreamed of a breast lift (even before having children) so I decided to take a closer look into getting surgery.
I have gone under before and I am pretty good with dealing with pain, so I wasn’t afraid about the actual procedure itself. Instead, I was scared of how I might feel after it had already been done. What if I regretted it? Or what if it didn’t look good afterwards? And what if I no longer felt like myself anymore?
I went to various orientations and even joined a Facebook group with women from all over who shared their experiences. Hearing their stories and advice was key. Many of them also shared that they had gone too big or too small with their augmentations and how easy it is to make that change if needed. There are so many resources and ways to learn more but the best thing I did was ask actual people like myself.
My husband was also a big support system for me. He had the perfect balance of “ you are beautiful without this procedure” and “I want you to feel as beautiful as I think you are, so if this will make you happy I am here for it.” Now I will say my biggest worry of all was “who the heck is gonna take care of this house and kids while I’m recovering?” There was a lot of takeout food, my toddler wanting to jump on me, and my 6 year old girl asking a thousand questions.
If I am being honest, the recovery for the breast lift/augmentation wasn’t bad at all, but the tummy tuck was rough. I was on the couch for a good week and couldn’t stand completely straight up until about day 10. I was back to work fully by week 3 and back in the gym by week 6.
Post procedure, I struggled with many emotions. How will I tell people? Should I even tell people? Will they notice? What will they think? What if they think I am vain, that it was unnecessary and too expensive? These thoughts haunted me before and after having the procedure.
But it really got me thinking. Why do we feel the need to justify our decisions about our own bodies in the first place? Why do we feel shame about paying a doctor to rejuvenate our bodies back to what they were before children? After all, I sacrificed my body to make these beautiful children. So why the shame in treating myself now and hurting my self-confidence as a mom?
After about a year and half of healing, I finally feel like I can talk about it openly and feel proud of my body and the decision I made. My scars have healed and my body is stronger. I feel more grateful than ever for my health too. I am also surprised by how many women open up to me about feeling the same way. They have so many questions about this topic. I hope that sharing my story it will encourage more conversation in our south Asian community, especially.
Written by Contributor Julie Patel, who is a self taught designer and mompreneur who creates contemporary clothing for south Asian women. Follow her on Instagram at @julkeefashion and at www.julkeefashion.com.