According to an opens in a new windowarticle in the Washington Post, divorce is motivating more and more men and women to seek out body shaping, facial rejuvenation and other cosmetic procedures with plastic surgeons across the country.
While some say they merely want to look and feel better in the wake of the stress and emotional turmoil caused by divorce, others hope their enhanced appearance will help them find a new mate and even serve as a form of revenge against their former mate for discarding them.
Dr. Michael Cohen said one of his breast augmentation patients, a woman in her 20s who had recently discovered her husband had cheated on her, “suggested to the people preparing her for surgery that it was sort of payback.”
Divorce-inspired plastic surgery is becoming so popular that some physicians have even created “divorce packages,” according to the Washington Post article, which offer discounts to patients seeking plastic surgery after a breakup. One such plastic surgeon, Dr. Stephen Greenberg, says that of the patients taking advantage of the divorce package offered at his practice, about 70 percent are women.
Anne Soriano, a 49-year-old divorcee, said she was motivated to seek Restylane injections to put her best face forward upon re-entering the dating scene. She is also considering liposuction to slim and shape her mid-section.
Soriano’s attitude is a common one, according to Seattle plastic surgeon and American Society of Plastic Surgeons president Phil Haeck, who said many of his patients come in saying, “I’m going back on the market, and I’m afraid how I look right now isn’t going to work.”
“The first thing [people notice] is the look, unfortunately,” says Soriano, underscoring the reality that finding a potential mate after passing your physical prime can be difficult.
But Dr. Haeck is quick to point out that while having plastic surgery can boost the confidence of men and women looking to make romantic connections, choosing to undergo cosmetic surgery or other procedures during an emotionally unstable time, such as during or immediately after a divorce, can lead to unrealistic expectations and disappointment.
This is especially true for the small handful of patients who think plastic surgery will offer some sort of vengeance against those who rejected them, or an instantaneous date with the man or woman of their dreams.
“There’s a discussion that has to be had – do they expect to find Superman or Superwoman the next day after they change their appearance? Because that person may not suddenly drop into their lives just because they’ve had something done,” says Dr. Haeck.
However, Haeck agrees, as do patients like Soriano, that surgical and non-surgical cosmetic enhancement can produce subtle changes in appearance and self-esteem, which make it easier to attract and engage strangers and potentially make romantic connections.