Let's Talk About Goals

Ask yourself this: Do you want to look younger or more youthful? What does looking young really mean? What is the goal and what's the best way to get there? As Oprah always said, visualize where you want to be and then go after your vision. If we know what we're looking for, it's easier to find it. A good surgeon wants to know what works for you. You'll need to tell him. Let's explore.

First, let's talk about what we probably don't want. One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to try to defy aging. Some patients think more is better and some plastic surgeons go too far. Trying to achieve the totally wrinkle free, uplifted look of our 20's results in that all too obvious “done” look. You know what I mean. The look that tells the world, “I'm an adult woman trying (unsuccessfully) to look like a kid”. The look that shocks the friends you haven't seen in a while. That makes people ask, “Who is she”? Tightly pulled skin, muscles that won't move, in short, a face that's no longer your own. A lifetime of experience denied; your own special smile, your unique expressions erased. No thanks! Move on from that!

My young self was pretty but naive. My young self was unwrinkled but more self-involved. My young self had tight skin but not enough wisdom. My young self... fill in the blanks. Honestly, there's no way we want to go back to those days. We like who we've become and what we want is to look like the newer and smarter version of ourselves. Hmm, guess we don't want to look exactly like we used to look. Instead, our appearance should reflect who we are now; lovely, attractive women “of a certain age” who have vigor, intelligence and a point of view. In other words, not young, just refreshed and confident. The exact number of our age isn't relevant when we appear youthful. Bingo.

So, what's a girl to do? Luckily there are many options for improvements that don't go overboard. Not all wrinkles are created equal. you may like a few tiny crinkles around the eyes, the ones that say “I'm wiser than I used to be”. Or not. Smile lines are natural, but not many would say they love deep crevices. Sagging jowls, a downturned mouth-now we're talking about sending the wrong message to the world. When your face looks tired, weak, or angry and the mirror no longer reflects who you are it's time to take action. Time to assess the situation honestly. Which lines do you like, which do you dislike? Is it the sagging that bothers you or the brown spots that seem to have popped up when you weren't looking? Is it your skin tone or your neck? All of the above? Make a list and prioritize it. Check the budget. Assess how much time you can commit to the healing process. Now you're ready for a consultation with a surgeon who listens, who knows how to ask the right questions and who has the skill to reveal your best self, without turning you into a cartoon.

Finally, my advice is this. Don't try to deny your age – manage it intelligently. Exercise keeps us limber and healthy. Eating right helps to manage weight, mood and blood levels. The right cosmetic procedures help us to look the way we feel: rested, content, healthy, energetic, grateful. We can keep the good and improve the rest. Just know your goal. Visualize yourself youthful. You can get there!

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