I have to confess that I have lived all my life trying to adhere to the feminist belief that you should be comfortable with your body. I have never been extremely thin, extremely pretty or extremely anything physically... Instead, while I was growing up, I focused on growing my mind and personality.
It’s odd that a woman who loves her books, does not weigh herself manically everyday, gets bored with diets, and sometimes forgets to put on any makeup would go in for a non-surgical face lift.
Why did I do it?
I needed to. After establishing myself (somewhat professionally), raising a kid, running a home, managing some random volunteer work to save the world, I felt it was time to focus on the outer me. I would be lying if I said turning 40 had nothing to do with it. We live in a world dictated by transactions, and women usually still transact with their looks. Despite the raging debates of feminism, when it comes to the world of romance and social acceptability, women are still judged by looks, and men are judged by other things -- things they own or achieve. It’s the way we are wired. It’s the way we judge and categorise people.
Which is why I opted for a non-surgical face lift! Suddenly at 41, I wanted contoured cheeks and nose, a firm jawline, no slack. I wanted to look pretty in my Facebook profile picture, I wanted to be shallow, ephemeral. Maybe I am chasing the proverbial fleeting image of youth in myself, when I am no longer young, and therefore it is something I cherish more. Maybe I realize that looks give you power or confidence in ways that you can never imagine.
It’s not like this procedure is changing my life. It is expensive, time-consuming and irritating, while not as invasive or expensive as plastic surgery. Has it changed my life? Yes, the differences are subtle. People comment on how good I look, and the more they comment, the better I feel inside. Have I done it to make anyone happy? Yes, I have done it to make me happy. Will it matter after 5 years? I do not know, but right now, at the peak of life, it feels wonderful.
Would I advise you to do it? Yes, do it once you have achieved a semblance of something else with your life. Just being good-looking outside, with no sense of self inside is boring -- and damaging as well. But, if like me, you are the strong, intelligent woman who sometimes gives in to the very feminine need for appreciation, then do it. It’s just a better version of yourself!
Sonali Sokhal earns her living as a communication consultant, is a full-time mother, part-time dreamer and flirts with hobbies like Instagramming, running and reading.