Debra Messing has recently gone on record as denying she underwent any plastic surgery procedures. And the reason she did so came down to one fan, who–after seeing some photos of Messing that may have suggested a cosmetic procedure–asked Messing why she couldn’t just “age gracefully.”

Why Don’t Celebrities Just Age Gracefully?

So why don’t celebrities just age gracefully? Why go through all the trouble of plastic and cosmetic procedures. The thing is, that question is not at all fair. Not only is not fair to ask about celebrities, but it’s not fair to ask of anyone else.

First and foremost, the definition of “aging gracefully” is going to change from person to person. Every individual is going to age in a unique way–and so the grace part will be unique as well. Secondly, cosmetic and plastic surgery may be one way to age gracefully–not somehow antithetical to the notion. Indeed, many everyday people will use plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures to help exert some control over the way they age. Why don’t celebrities just age gracefully? Well, maybe they do.

Celebrities and Pressure

Celebrities have long been the public face of plastic and cosmetic surgery. In large part, that’s because of the intense amount of pressure those celebrities feel to maintain a certain look. As actors and actresses age, the roles they’re offered may change or dry up all together (this is particularly true of women actors).

Imagine if your livelihood was so tightly bound up in how you look. It suddenly becomes very understandable why plastic surgery is so common in Hollywood. But it’s not just Hollywood we’re talking about.

Because this exact same trend is becoming much more common all across the country. People are undergoing plastic and cosmetic surgery in order to help boost their careers. In large part, that’s because we have a very youth-oriented society. We like to stay young! And in certain fields, your age can start to work against you after a time. That’s why many people who want promotions or are going in for a job interview will first undergo a quick cosmetic procedure to eliminate a few of those unwanted wrinkles (and boost their confidence a bit as well).

Cosmetic Surgery and the Aging Process

So, we understand some of the professional motivations behind plastic and cosmetic surgery. But there are personal ones, too. And that’s why this whole notion of “aging gracefully” tends to fall apart when you start to think about it. Because what that really means is “aging naturally.” But for some people, that aging process moves a little too quick.

Sometimes you can develop lines and wrinkles or excess skin or all manner of issues–common signs of aging–and you might no longer feel like yourself. You feel too young to look that old. And plastic surgery, therefore, becomes a way for you to have some control over the way you age.

Many procedures give patients a bit of control over the appearance of aging:

  • Facelift is a common example, allowing patients to minimize lines and wrinkles in the face.
  • Blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid lift, helps patients to eliminate lines, wrinkles, and droopy skin from around the eyes.
  • Tummy tuck: This procedure is designed to eliminate excess skin from around the abdomen–excess skin that can develop due to pregnancy, weight loss, or many other factors.
  • Breast Lift: Generally speaking, breast lift procedures are designed to give the breasts (which sag over time) a more youthful and buoyant looking silhouette.

There are, of course, countless ways that you can gain a little bit of leverage over the signs of aging. There are even non surgical procedures, such as Botox and dermal fillers, that are great ways to provide a quick fix (though the payoff is usually a little more subtle).

Grace and Control in the Way You Age

Having control over the way you age does not mean that you somehow don’t age “gracefully.” Indeed, it’s entirely possible that, for you, grace comes from aging how you want to age. As we said in the beginning, much of this comes down to the fact that aging is very much an individualized proposition.

And that’s how it should be. And that’s why, for the most part, I think we should let celebrities age the way they’re going to age.


About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery for over four years. This article was written in conjunction with the staff at South Shore Plastic Surgery, in Houston, TX.

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