Samantha Turnbull Writer, mother, anti-princess

Toothless daughter

I’m getting ‘a little work done’

I’m of the age where I’m noticing a lot of my friends are having ‘a little work done.’

New boobs, tummy tucks, smoothed out foreheads, fuller lips.

Some of it is hugely obvious. Some of it is subtle. Some I’m sure I haven’t noticed.

I to and fro over this plastic surgery business and whether it’s healthy.

In my other life as a journalist I’ve interviewed quite a few people who have raved about the benefits not just to their physical appearance but to their internal wellbeing.

And I completely understand how someone’s life must change post-nose job after growing up as the ‘kid with the huge schnoz.’

I’m rarely happy with my reflection and I’m sure I’d feel more confident with a flatter stomach, perkier chest and smaller thighs (and I realise that’s kind of sad).

But I also have a voice inside telling me to accept myself the way I am… that there are many definitions of beautiful… that if I change features my children inherit I’ll be effectively telling them they’re not good enough either (despite the fact I think they’re perfect).

I won a poetry slam last year with a piece about the impact a woman’s plastic surgery had on her daughter (I’ll share it here one day), and as the audience applauded I felt like a fraud because I wasn’t convinced by my own words.

To and fro.

I’ve grown a gap between my two front teeth over the past decade. It’s gradually widened with each passing year, to the point it’s all I see in photos now.

I was on a TV talk show last year and as I watched myself on screen I couldn’t hear what I was saying. I could only focus on the flashes of tooth gap.

I’ve been Googling cosmetic dentistry this evening, wondering if I’m a big fat hypocrite for swaying between acceptance and condemnation of plastic surgery.

Is there any difference between me wanting my teeth ‘fixed’ and Mrs Smith down the road getting liposuction?

No. Not really. It’s all ‘a little work.’

My husband and kids couldn’t care less if I have a gap in between my front teeth. My friends also don’t care.

And I think that’s what it should probably boil down to. If you’re going to get ‘a little work done,’ don’t be doing it to fulfil someone else’s expectations whether that be your partner, your family, your social circle or broader society.

Do it for you.

*PS the featured image with this post is my BEAUTIFUL daughter embracing her gappiness after the loss of her first tooth. I could learn a thing or two from her.







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