Summary: In a move that bucks the trends of keeping plastic surgery, how shall we say, hush-hush, singer and celebrity K. Michelle has chosen to have her procedures performed and shown on television, as part of her VH1 reality show My Life. We applaud this decision, because it certainly helps dispel some myths about plastic surgery in general—and these procedures more specifically. We also applaud K. Michelle for being so open about her plastic surgery history—and her lack of shame and openness about those aspects of her life. Many people tend to hide their plastic surgery history—and they have every right to do so. But the more women who are upfront about their plastic surgery, the easier it becomes to dispel stigmas about it.
Plastic Surgery Hiding in Plain Sight
Sometimes, it can be tempting to hide our plastic surgery. Indeed, we’ve talked more than once about the power of subtle changes—about how leaving people wondering how it is you got to looking so good can be more powerful than telegraphing how successful your plastic surgery may have been. By the same token, especially for those women who have some cache as role models, this can be an ethically complicated area. For example, if you hide your plastic surgery, you may inadvertently be sending something of a skewed message: it’s possible to look this way naturally.
Of course, the whole point of plastic surgery is to achieve a look that, naturally, would be incredibly problematic or impossible to achieve. Surgery, in many ways, is a last resort when it’s the best resort. That’s why we applaud the decision of singer and TV star K. Michelle to undergo her plastic surgery on television, out in the public, as part of her reality show My Life. The decision to undergo these procedures is important for a couple of reasons.
A Stigmatized Decision
First and foremost, while the stigma attached to plastic surgery has softened dramatically over the years, there’s still a judgment attached to those who pursue plastic surgery. So many often keep it to themselves that they, say, recently received a tummy tuck in Minneapolis. This is a shame, because it only exacerbates the stereotypes involved with plastic surgery—though, on an individual level, it’s certainly understandable. K. Michelle’s decision to be so open about her plastic surgery procedures definitely help shine light on the good that can be accomplished through something like a breast augmentation.
So we applaud K. Michelle’s decision on this basis alone. But there’s another side to this. By being honest about her body, she’s being honest about what is achievable through diet and exercise and what type of results require surgery to achieve. The media at all levels tend to blur this distinction, so it’s refreshing to have at least one celebrity who is willing to be transparent in this regard.
K. Michelle has admitted to having several procedures done to keep her body in celebrity shape. First on the list is breast augmentation—we think. She admits to having her “boobs done.” In theory, this could also mean that she has had a procedure such as a breast lift, which has more to do with correcting the attitude of breasts rather than increasing the size. The difference between the procedures is significant, but it’s important that K. Michelle is, essentially, admitting to some kind of breast enhancement.
She also admits to having had a fat injection butt augmentation. This is an incredibly popular and trendy procedure, in which fat is transferred from unwanted areas of the body (the hips or belly, for example), purified in a centrifuge, and then injected into the buttocks to give a larger and more rounded appearance to the rear end.
Finally, K. Michelle also admits to having some liposuction performed around her belly. It’s possible she had a tummy tuck performed as well, but there’s not enough evidence to say one way or another. And, in the end, it’s probably not as important as simply the fact that she’s admitting to having plastic surgery performed on this part of her body. It’s also worth noting that K. Michelle isn’t necessarily wrong when she considers these procedures “normal women things,” as both liposuction and breast lifts or augmentations are two-thirds of the so-called Mommy Makeover.
We look forward to more celebrities breaking down walls such as this. There is a lot of pressure on both men and women to look great and young for as long as possible—but that doesn’t mean that the pressure has to assume that achieving that look has to be done naturally. Indeed, there is some relief in admitting that the so-called “perfect” body is unachievable, even with plastic surgery (the mission of which has always been to give you your best body—not someone else’s).
So we have to keep in mind that while plastic surgery is a great option for some, it’s not the best option for all—nor should everyone feel as though they need plastic surgery to fit a certain mold. As K. Michelle reminds us, it’s not about fitting a mold, ever. It’s about being the real you whatever the cost. Plastic surgery is there if you want it—but only to help you become that real you.