Tag Archives: can Christians have plastic surgery

Should Christians Get Plastic Surgery?

I rarely re-run posts. But this past week, I was reading an article from Juli Slattery on Is It Wrong to Get Plastic Surgery? She did an excellent job covering the questions involved with such a big decision.

FashionHowever, Juli Slattery mentions that she’s considered plastic surgery and decided against it. I also considered plastic surgery, and did it. So I wanted to revisit the topic and explain my own thoughts on whether it’s okay to have plastic surgery, from someone who went through it.

First inward, then outward. I have a friend who lost 90+ pounds in a year and went from obese to oh-babe! How did she manage that? I think it’s because she got her inner self right first. She stopped looking at herself in the mirror and seeing a fat person. Instead, she saw the beautiful woman inside and decided she was worth something better. Once she believed in herself, willing to see herself as God saw her, she felt empowered to do the hard work of changing her diet and exercise routine so that she realized her goals.

That’s often how body image improves — not by fixing the external parts first, but rather by appreciating the unique way God knitted you together (Psalm 139:13). You are wonderfully made, beauty! If you’re looking for plastic surgery to resolve your inner self-image issues, you’ll likely be disappointed. Satisfaction with who you are must come first from within. It’s from an understanding of who God created you to be.

Those poor women who have procedure after procedure after procedure never get this. They’re always looking for another outside fix for what really ails them inside. Get your priorities straight and work on your inner self first. It’s only from a position of inner, emotional health that you can make the right decision on what to do to improve your body for health or appearance.

Some things really are a matter of degree. Some Christians believe that it is wrong to have plastic surgery, that altering your appearance is going against God’s design.

Yet we do plenty of everyday things that involve aesthetic reasons, like bracing our kids’ teeth and wearing make-up and coloring our hair. Plus, we correct appearance that goes awry, like skin grafts after fire damage or breast implants after a mastectomy. Before announcing that all plastic surgery is off-limits, we might want to pause and ask what appearance-altering steps we’ve taken and what makes those okay and not others.

Because honestly, some things are a matter of degree. Eating is perfectly fine, but the Bible certainly warns against gluttony. Jesus attended a wedding with wine, but drunkenness is always spoken against in scripture. A little spice in the bedroom is rather wonderful, but an obsession with more and more kink becomes unhealthy. Likewise, some enhancements of our appearance would seem just fine, while extreme changes can become problematic.

And the question is then: What constitutes “extreme”? Is it numerous procedures? Surgery itself? Any changes to your appearance?

I suspect most people would agree on where the ends of the continuum are, but it’s that middle section of what’s a-okay that we struggle with. And we should. We should struggle to answer that question. Because if we are considering something as invasive as surgery, we need to ask some hard questions of ourselves and ensure that our choices honor God.

But I also suspect that my answer of where to draw the line might be different from the answer of another Christian whom I love and respect. And that’s where our own soul-searching and conscience come to bear.

For you, not someone else. I did not get bigger breasts for my husband. In fact, my husband was originally opposed to me having breast augmentation, because he was concerned about me undergoing surgery of any kind that wasn’t absolutely necessary (that sweet man). We talked about the pros and cons for a while, and he agreed with my conclusion and supported my decision. But I didn’t do it for him. I did it for me.

I’m always taken aback by the number of women who have plastic surgery as a “gift” to their man. And the number of men who request that. Having plastic surgery because you don’t feel like enough for your lover isn’t a great reason. Indeed, it’s likely to make you feel that you don’t measure up generally — that you’re only acceptable if you can “correct” whatever external appearance issues you have. And love looks beyond that.

Of course I wanted my husband to have more to handle in the bedroom, but that wasn’t my ultimate reason. My husband had already chosen me — flat chest and all. For most husbands, it’s about how much they love us and the feminine form itself. So as long as we wives show up (especially naked), they’re reasonably happy. We don’t have to look like magazine models or waste time and money fixing imagined flaws.

When considering plastic surgery, ask why. Is it for your own convenience and confidence or to feel like you measure up to an unrealistic standard for the sake of someone else? At the end of the day, you will be the one having surgery, you will be the one living with the results, you will be the one changed. So make sure it’s what you want.

Obviously, I wanted to have plastic surgery, I made the decision to do so, and I do not regret it. I’ve been open on my website about my own doubts about plastic surgery, my process and reasons for deciding to augment, and my concerns about jumping in too eagerly to solve body image issues. I’d like to hear your perspective.

When do you believe it’s okay for Christians to have plastic surgery? Have you had any procedures? Why did you choose to do it and what was your experience?

Plastic Surgery: Should You or Shouldn’t You?

A few weeks ago, Paul Byerly of Generous Husband wrote a short series about breast augmentation. He asked the question, Is It Wrong to Augment? and reported the feedback from Women Who Have Augmented.

When I commented on the posts about my own experience, I received a couple of questions from readers there. I wanted to revisit the topic again on my own site and clarify a few thoughts about having plastic surgery.

First inward, then outward. I have a friend who lost 90+ pounds in a year and went from obese to oh-babe! How did she manage that? I think it’s because she got her inner self right first. She stopped looking at herself in the mirror and seeing a fat person. Instead, she saw the beautiful woman inside and decided she was worth something better. Once she believed in herself, willing to see herself as God saw her, she felt empowered to do the hard work of changing her diet and exercise routine so that she realized her goals.

That’s often how body image improves — not by fixing the external parts first, but rather by appreciating the unique way God knitted you together (Psalm 139:13). You are wonderfully made, beauty! If you’re looking for plastic surgery to resolve your inner self-image issues, you’ll likely be disappointed. Satisfaction with who you are must come first from within. It’s from an understanding of who God created you to be.

Woman + quote

Image from Microsoft Word Clip Art

Those poor women who have procedure after procedure after procedure never get this. They’re always looking for another outside fix for what really ails them inside. Get your priorities straight and work on your inner self first. It’s only from a position of inner, emotional health that you can make the right decision on what to do to improve your body for health or appearance.

Some things really are a matter of degree. Some Christians believe that it is wrong to have plastic surgery, that altering your appearance is going against God’s design.

Yet we do plenty of everyday things that involve aesthetic reasons, like bracing our kids’ teeth and wearing make-up and coloring our hair. Plus, we correct appearance that goes awry, like skin grafts after fire damage or breast implants after a mastectomy. Before announcing that all plastic surgery is off-limits, we might want to pause and ask what appearance-altering steps we’ve taken and what makes those okay and not others.

Because honestly, some things are a matter of degree. Eating is perfectly fine, but the Bible certainly warns against gluttony. Jesus attended a wedding with wine, but drunkenness is always spoken against in scripture. A little spice in the bedroom is rather wonderful, but an obsession with more and more kink becomes unhealthy. Likewise, some enhancements of our appearance would seem just fine, while extreme changes can become problematic.

And the question is then: What constitutes “extreme”? Is it numerous procedures? Surgery itself? Any changes to your appearance?

I suspect most people would agree on where the ends of the continuum are, but it’s that middle section of what’s a-okay that we struggle with. And we should. We should struggle to answer that question. Because if we are considering something as invasive as surgery, we need to ask some hard questions of ourselves and ensure that our choices honor God.

But I also suspect that my answer of where to draw the line might be different from the answer of another Christian whom I love and respect. And that’s where our own soul-searching and conscience come to bear.

For you, not someone else. I did not get bigger breasts for my husband. In fact, my husband was originally opposed to me having breast augmentation, because he was concerned about me undergoing surgery of any kind that wasn’t absolutely necessary (that sweet man). We talked about the pros and cons for a while, and he agreed with my conclusion and supported my decision. But I didn’t do it for him. I did it for me.

I’m always taken aback by the number of women who have plastic surgery as a “gift” to their man. And the number of men who request that. Having plastic surgery because you don’t feel like enough for your lover isn’t a great reason. Indeed, it’s likely to make you feel that you don’t measure up generally — that you’re only acceptable if you can “correct” whatever external appearance issues you have. And love looks beyond that.

Of course I wanted my husband to have more to handle in the bedroom, but that wasn’t my ultimate reason. My husband had already chosen me — flat chest and all. Indeed, as Paul Byerly (Generous Husband) mentioned in his first article, one man put it this way: “The two things I require in breasts are 1) nipples, and 2) accessibility.” I suspect that’s a common perspective for husbands. And it’s probably true for our breasts, butts, wrinkles, etc. As long as we wives show up (especially naked), our husbands will likely be reasonably happy. We don’t have to look like magazine models or waste time and money fixing imagined flaws.

When considering plastic surgery, ask why. Is it for your own convenience and confidence or to feel like you measure up to an unrealistic standard for the sake of someone else? At the end of the day, you will be the one having surgery, you will be the one living with the results, you will be the one changed. So make sure it’s what you want.

Obviously, I wanted to have plastic surgery, I made the decision to do so, and I do not regret it. I’ve been open on my website about my own doubts about plastic surgery, my process and reasons for deciding to augment, and my concerns about jumping in too eagerly to solve body image issues. I’d like to hear your perspective on plastic surgery.

When do you believe Christians can and should have plastic surgery? Have you had any procedures? Why did you choose to do it and what was your experience?

Aiming for My Best Chest – Part 2

“We have a little sister, and her breasts are not yet grown” (Song of Songs 8:8).  I’ve hated that verse for a very long time.  No matter what my age, I’ve been the “little sister” in breast size, instead of that wonderful Beloved from the Song of Songs whose breasts are described as “two fawns,” “clusters of fruit,” and “towers.”

In my last post, I explained that I never thought I’d have breast augmentation.  I kept hoping to have actual breasts someday…but, despite waiting, wishing, and weeping, they never arrived.  So the surgery is scheduled.  Here’s more about how an otherwise modest Christian woman decided to upsize her mammaries.

I started researching the prospect online.  Thankfully, the Internet has unlimited information about this procedure, from explanations of the surgery, to before-after images, to chat-room Q&As, to extensive plastic surgeon and implant manufacturer websites.  As I researched breast augmentation, I saw that breasts come in all sizes and shapes, and many women are simply trying to achieve normalcy.

There are numerous reasons for breast surgery–small breasts, excessive sagging, differently-sized breasts, heavy or extremely large breasts, odd nipple placement, extra skin, etc.  Plenty of women who get breast surgery aren’t doing it to draw gaping looks from men or to grace the centerfold pages of a skin magazine.  Perhaps we just want to feel good about ourselves in a cotton tee, a swimsuit, or naked in front of our husbands.

I spoke candidly with my sisters, my mother, and my closest friends about breast augmentation.  They were supportive.  Knowing how long breast size had frustrated me, they recognized how important a normal-sized bosom could be.

My husband was the last to come around.  Thankfully, he couldn’t care less whether I am as flat as the Sahara or as mountainous as the Rockies.  And he was reluctant to risk my health for unnecessary surgery.  But he was persuaded after a shopping trip with me, in which I tried on much and left with little.  He realized that it took forever to find clothes that fit me, and even those that I owned would look better with more on top.  My husband saw the practical side of having bigger breasts and agreed that I should do it.

I set consultation appointments with plastic surgeons.  My husband accompanied me.   (Yes, it’s awkward to have a doctor give you a breast exam in front of your husband, but we both thought he should be present to aid the decision.)  The patient care consultants and the doctors explained the surgical process and my options, answered questions, and let me try out sizes.  I also looked at photos (with no name or face) of before-after breast augmentations the surgeons had performed.  I chose my doctor and my implants, scheduled the surgery, and paid my deposit.

A verse kept coming to mind as I contemplated my decision:  “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).  Some basic questions ran through my mind as I determined whether I could have plastic surgery and honor God through the process:

1.    Am I being a good financial steward?  Plenty of people spend the same amount of money on vacations, furniture, home renovations, etc.  That’s okay, as long as we are taking care of our families’ needs and giving generously to our local church and those in need.  I had to know that we had money to use for this event and weren’t taking it from another, essential area.

2.    Am I seeking a vain, unrealistic ideal?  God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance (1 Samuel 16:7).  If we believe that our worth is driven by external beauty, we’ve missed the point.  I get that.  I’m not determining my worth based on that.  You see, I don’t want to win a wet t-shirt contest, just shop in the women’s lingerie department.

3.    Am I choosing a size consistent with the body God gave me?  Women do lots of things to enhance their beauty–from make-up to Botox to liposuction.  Where’s the line?  I don’t know!  But I’m pretty sure that a woman slapping in implants big enough to don an F-cup results in the wrong kind of attention.  So I’ve done what I can to keep myself in check–choosing an implant that will take me to a reasonable bra size.

4.    Am I able to help others in the future with this issue?  I think so.  Sure, there are times we’d all like an extreme makeover, but my experience might help others sort through the actual issues involved.  You gotta ask yourself: Why am I doing this? Is it pure vanity or something else?

I took my sweet time considering this operation–making sure that I was sure.  But my time has arrived.  And I’m looking forward to my chest bulging forward very soon.

Aiming for My Best Chest

I never imagined I’d get a breast augmentation.

In sixth grade, I purchased a training bra. I didn’t need one; it was like getting a hope chest, with the plan of someday filling it with something of value.   I waited for my treasure to arrive.

In my teen years, a close family friend assured me that I was simply a “late bloomer.”  After all, she hadn’t gotten her own full breasts until around age 18.  I waited for my buds to blossom.

In my college years, I rebelled against the whole idea of big breasts–throwing aside my padded bras and donning camisoles instead, as if to say, “I’m flat. So what!”  But deep down, I waited for natural hills (even molehills) to form.

When I got pregnant, I was sure this was it!  My mother claimed that she grew two cup sizes post-childbirth, and she had the bras to prove it. My breasts filled with milk, nursed my children, and shrunk back down like shriveled raisins that had once known the glory of grapehood.  I finally realized that I was waiting fruitlessly.

Still, I never considered breast augmentation.  Plastic surgery was for the Pamela Sue Andersons and Anne Nicole Smiths of the world.  I didn’t want a stripper look, a Playboy contract, or cleavage big enough to spill out of a turtleneck.

Plastic surgery was vanity on overdrive, right? Sure, it’s one thing to purchase cosmetics, skin care products, stylish clothes, or even straighten your teeth.   But cutting up your body to achieve some elusive ideal perpetuated by airbrushed magazine covers and runway models seemed like succumbing to the appearance-is-everything hype.

Moreover, plastic surgery was drastic.  Anytime you undergo surgery, you have to fill out that paperwork that essentially says, “Sign this as an acknowledgement that anything or anybody could kill you while you’re out.”  Going “under the knife” is inherently risky.  Why chance that for the sake of big knockers?

After living with a pubescent chest for almost thirty years, watching my breast disappear every time I raise my arm above my head, and putting 19 of every 20 outfits I try on back on the rack because they don’t fit my bodice, I started thinking the unthinkable.  What if plastic surgery isn’t about how I appear to others or vanity? What if it’s about how I feel about myself? About feeling normal?

What would it be like to purchase a dress with darts? To shop for bras in the women’s department instead of the girls’?  To have my husband use more than a couple of fingers to cup my breast?  To feel that I was in the body of the woman that I am, instead of feeling trapped in the body of the 13-year-old girl I used to be?  How would that change the way I look at and feel about myself?

Most importantly, though, I wondered about that verse, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” ( Colossians 3:17).  Can I have breast augmentation and honor God at the same time?

I know that not everyone will agree with or understand my decision.  But I have decided yes, I can.  The surgery date is on the calendar.  I’m feeling confident and relaxed about my decision.

In my next post, I’ll explain how I made my decision–what factors I considered and the process of researching the surgery.