Some people who are interested in what plastic surgery can offer them may worry about a negative plastic surgery stigma and how well they can (or if they should) hide the fact that they’ve gone under the knife. Classic famous figures who appeared to have jumped way overboard with plastic surgery haunt our images of what plastic surgery means. If I get a rhinoplasty, will I look like Michael Jackson? What about Kim Novak’s one-too-many injectable fillers? How much plastic surgery is okay, and how much is too much?

Growing Popularity of Plastic Surgery

The world of plastic surgery is rapidly changing. Just a few decades ago, cosmetic procedures were reserved mainly for the rich and famous. Today, more affordable prices and the ever-growing abundance of plastic surgeons and practices combined with better financing options make plastic surgery accessible to just about everyone. Plus, the flexibility allowed by newer, nonsurgical products on the market, like BOTOX® and injectable fillers, appeals to men and women of all ages and makes the process of growing older a lot more controllable.

Yet, despite the growing popularity of plastic surgery, there is a lingering sense that patients who have had cosmetic procedures should shove all the evidence way back into the deepest, darkest corner they can find. We idealize what is ‘natural’ as if being surgically altered or enhanced somehow makes a feature inferior, even if there’s an undeniable aesthetic improvement. We endlessly speculate over which iconic stars have had what done and to where. But is this a human reaction, or just a cultural one?

Cultural Differences

Besides the United States, the two countries with the most cosmetic surgeries performed annually are Brazil and South Korea. In South Korea, it’s actually not uncommon for parents to buy their sons or daughters a cosmetic surgery procedure as a high school graduation gift, while Brazilians casually undergo plastic surgery to get an edge in a competitive professional environment. And while Americans may go out of their way to hide the fact that they’ve had that nose job, Brazilians and South Koreans take the opposite approach, proudly posting Facebook pictures of their new look post-recovery.

In the United States, we seem to be slow to overcome our apprehension toward plastic surgery, but maybe this has started changing. More high-profile personas are coming out about their past surgeries, while others are quick to sing the praises of their bi-annual BOTOX® appointment. After all, we’re a culture that prizes beautiful appearances just as much as Brazil or South Korea. Why should there be any shame in turning toward plastic surgery to improve your look?

‘Too Much’ Is Subjective

Modern developments in plastic surgery also make for improved, more natural-looking results. For instance, fat grafting to improve your wrinkles uses your own fat cells to restore lost volume. And faster recoveries thanks to more advanced surgical techniques help patients get back on their feet and into their normal routines quicker and easier help make plastic surgery a more realistic fit into many people’s lives.

Ultimately, patients should maintain a focus on what makes them happy and can offer them the benefits and results that they want. It’s your body and whether to undergo plastic surgery is your decision to make. By focusing on positive doctor-patient relationships, thorough pre-surgical consultations and taking a customized approach toward cosmetic surgery results that honors each patient’s individual needs and preferences, those interested in plastic surgery can help ensure a positive experience, without concerns over what counts as too much.