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Ask Rene: Needle Nightmare.. How Do I Tell My Friend Her Plastic Surgery SUCKS?




 Hi Rene:

I have a touchy subject and I hope you can help. For as long as I have known her, my best friend, Holly, has been complaining about the size and shape of her nose. So a while back, for her 40th birthday, she treated herself to a nose job. The surgery went well,  her relief was palpable and I think it gave her self-esteem a little boost. All sounds good, right?

Well, here’s the problem. Now she wants more. Holly had an eye job, which turned out okay (but not great). Now her latest obsession is with wrinkles so she’s been going to the dermatologist for Botox and fillers. She’s always looking at actresses on TV and comparing herself to them. Now, instead of a woman, gracefully transitioning into middle age, Holly looks like a circus clown!

I’m really not sure what to do. Should I tell her to back away from the needle? Should I worry that she’s going through some sort of mid-life crisis? I’m confused as to how to help since I would never go this route.


Paralyzed in Paramus

Dear PiP:

Oh, well this is a pickle but you’ve come to the right place.  Full disclosure (and I’ve said this and it’s in print so many places it’s not really a secret) I have had plastic surgery. I also use Botox a couple times a year. I am a fan of both of those things… IN SMALL DOSES! And this is exactly where I think people mess up a good thing.  When the swelling goes down, they look in the mirror, refreshed and youthful and think, “DAMN I gotta get more of this!” Um. No. The question is should we step in for those seduced my the siren song of plastic surgery? In a word? No.

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You sum up the issue perfectly with your first sentence: “I have a touchy subject.” You got that right! I think is actually less about beauty and more about self-esteem; you said yourself you have seen an uptick in your friend’s mood. So my fear is that anything you say might be taken as a personal attack. Bottom line: if she has the money, is healthy enough, has a doctor who will do the surgery, keep your lips zipped.



Now here’s where it gets tricky. If Holly asks, what you say really depends on the question. If she says, “I’m thinking about getting more plastic surgery, what do you think?” I would talk to her a bit about why she thinks she needs more, focusing on what already looks good. But if the question is more pointed like, “How’s this look? Isn’t it great?” be polite and again find something positive to say. The less, the better.



Holly spent her whole life with a nose she hated; she got it fixed and is happy. I wouldn’t be surprised if on some level, she thinks the secret to feeling better about herself is in a vial. Of course, we know it is not. So talk to Holly about what’s really going on. You don’t have to be a therapist as much as friend. And while you’re listening, remember you’re handling aging and self-esteem issues the best way you can for you; Holly is doing what she thinks is best for her.

One more point before I go: never say never. Years ago as a young woman, I stood firm in that conviction too. Of course, that was pre-kids, early morning TV shows and and I had skin that was tighter than a Hefty bag. Let’s just say, years later, that opinion has changed.

Good luck, mommy.. you’ll be great!

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More from GEM:

Ask Rene: Should I Let My Daughter Stay Home Alone?

Ask Rene: My Daughter’s Throwing Her Life Away With This LOSER!

Ask Rene: My Friend Double-Crossed Me; What Should I Do?


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Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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