Summary: When it comes to big purchases, the order in which you make those purchases says something about your priorities in life. It should be no surprise then, that the more popular plastic surgery becomes, the higher priority it seems to be for a large number of people. That is being backed up by a survey from plastic surgery social media site RealSelf, which basically asked people: plastic surgery or house? In a somewhat shocking turn of events, many people did not say house. The reasons why seem surprising at first, but have to do, I think, with the many benefits offered by plastic surgery.

plastic surgery or house

Which Would You Choose: Plastic Surgery or House?

Plastic surgery can be an important life event. Indeed, one of the central premises of plastic surgery is that it puts you in closer touch with yourself, it brings you nearer to your real self. And to be sure, there are limits on what you can achieve on your own—diet and exercise (even the best of them) will only take you so far. Women, in particular, are expected to have “sculpted” bodies of a very specific proportion. It’s no surprise, then, that plastic surgery has become much more popular in recent years. But how important is plastic surgery? And should you invest in plastic surgery or house down payment savings?

The answers to those questions might seem obvious. Of course, you say, you should save for that house down payment. But a large percentage of plastic surgery patients may actually disagree with you. According to a new study commissioned and performed by plastic surgery social media website RealSelf (this site is hugely popular and has millions of visitors a month (over 51 million unique visitors last year), around 40% of women who had reported having plastic surgery also reported that they put off another major financial purchase in order to get that plastic surgery.

Problems with Methodology

Certainly, this says something about changing priorities for plastic surgery patients. A couple of points should be made however, in the plastic surgery or house debate. First and foremost, the attitudes of Americans towards property investment are changing. Most Millennials have a much dimmer opinion of real estate than their parents, probably because of the real estate crash of 2008. Indeed, young people today see houses as a much less safe investment than their parents. The wisdom of this can be debated (and there are points on both sides), but certainly this has something to do with the survey results.

Secondly, RealSelf’s methodology has some holes. First of all, they performed this survey on site users. Users who come to are, of course, already on the plastic surgery bandwagon—that is, they already like plastic surgery, already recognize its benefits and so on. It wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination to assume that the general population, more broadly construed, would have a very different approach to this question. Of course, that only matters to a certain degree, as those people who are not interested in plastic surgery are also quite unlikely to pursue aesthetic plastic surgery.

Changing Priorities for Patients

But those issues with methodology aside, this survey can teach us quite a bit. First of all, to many people, plastic surgery is quite important. Whether it’s a breast augmentation in Milwaukee or Botox in Seattle, it looks like people are willing to put their own personal needs first—which is good, because it can lead to all kinds of benefits down the road. In fact, those benefits could be part of what’s going on too. Patients who get plastic surgery (especially those who want plastic surgery) tend to report an in crease in happiness, confidence, and quality of life.

Indeed, those benefits can have long term boosts on all kinds of things. It’s possible that you could get a promotion because of your increased confidence or successfully request a raise. Or maybe it’s the little things, like feeling great about your body while you’re walking down the street. The point is that there are all kinds of benefits that will keep benefiting you in the long run. And many plastic surgery patients know this—and they know it because they’ve invested in their facelift or breast lift or breast augmentation.

Invest in Yourself

Maybe that’s the way to think about this. Forty percent of those surveyed chose to invest in themselves rather than to invest in a piece of property or a car or anything like that. In many ways this is a sensible investment, as you are the one thing that can’t be rocked by a sudden crash in the stock market or repossessed after you miss a payment or anything of that sort. In other words: you retain your worth, pretty much no matter what. So investing in yourself is a great way to make sure you retain that value.

And, to be sure, there will be time for everything else down the road. It may seem odd to put off a major purchase so you can enjoy your plastic surgery, but it makes a lot of sense if you end up enjoying the results of that plastic surgery a lot more than your other major purchase.