The way we look can contribute significantly to our mental health, which is why cosmetic surgery makes a ton of money every single year. People want to feel good about themselves and will pay money for it.
Reddit user wastemytime_101 found herself being judged for a cosmetic choice that she made for herself. Some friends didn’t understand that cosmetic surgery says nothing about a person’s character.
Unsure if she was somehow in the wrong here, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for feedback:
Our original poster, or OP, was talking about plastic surgery with her friends.
“I (26F[emale]) got into a bit of a debate with my friend group. We all hopped on to game, and someone brought up that their coworker got a boob job. Then mentioned how they thought they were shallow and image obsessed.”
“I was like ‘I got braces to improve how my teeth look. Y’all supported that, what’s the difference? It makes me feel better. If she has the money to do something that makes her feel better, good for her.'”
“Another person said that braces are different. People should love the bodies they have, not pay to change them to try to look better.”
“And that’d I’d be an a**hole for supporting someone who wants to get/already got the surgery for ‘not loving their natural beauty.'”
OP wasn’t buying that as a difference.
“I said that I still don’t see the difference. Did they say negative things about my teeth? No. When I couldn’t afford braces they said positive things about my teeth to try to help me feel better.”
“When I could afford them, they hyped me up about getting my braces even though ‘I didn’t need them.'”
“Even with positive comments, I still hated them and wanted braces. Got them, paid to change how I look, now I’m happier.”
“I don’t see the difference between that and anything anyone else wants to do (as long as it’s in a healthy way). Braces, boob jobs, tattoos, piercings…”
“All things people pay for because they like how the results look. Imma let you know you look great now, but I’m also gonna support you on any decision you make for yourself.”
“You’re happier because you got XYZ done? F**k yeah, I’m happy that you’re happy.”
But her friends still really resisted her.
“My friends all came to the conclusion that not only am I wrong, I’m an a**hole. I feel like my argument was pretty valid, but I’m kinda worried I might be the a**hole.”
“Maybe I’m sending the wrong message or just missing the entire point. So I’ll give it to you guys to decide. (And hopefully learn something if I’m TA.)”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Reddit agreed with OP’s assessment pretty readily.
“I had braces as a teenager, my teeth were so bad that the state paid for me to have them (with associated care) for four years.”
“While going through the process I was asked if I wanted to get an elective surgery that would change the shape of my face (lessen my underbite) and prevent potential issues as I got older.”
“I was 17/18 and said fuck yes I want to change my face. The procedure technically falls under the umbrella of dental care but I got it for cosmetic reasons.”
“It took me a while to not be embarrassed about my reasons but it was my body/choice, I wanted to look a different way and now I do. There’s nothing wrong with that and you’re NTA.”~bibliophile14
“I’m only 4’10” as a wholea** adult; the insecurity it brought was almost unbearable. The amount of times I’ve looked into different height treatments to get taller is insane.”
“Getting pulled at from both ends, breaking bones to reassemble into a longer length, random meds and herbal crap, the list goes on.”
“I’m still not totally over not being able to change it, but like the most of us ~petite~ ones, I just kinda learned to tolerate it until I reached the point of appreciation. Oh well. Self-love and all that.”
“OP is 100% correct in her comparison, those friends are wack.”~Trick_Literature_
“NTA. Your friends are enormous a**holes for judging someone for getting breast enhancement surgery without knowing the person nor their motivation.”
“It’s you friends who are image obsessed and shallow and generally awful people.”~IRideTheShortBus74
“NTA, as others have said. Even if you were wrong, which I don’t think you are, having an “incorrect” opinion wouldn’t make you an asshole anyway.”
“Your friends, however, are being a**holes for calling you an a**hole without good cause.”
“Not especially pertinent to the overall conversation, but it’s also worth pointing out that breast implants can be particularly important for women who have survived breast cancer, or gone through mastectomies for any number of other reasons.”
“The toll on mental health can be pretty severe, and restorative surgery can be really helpful.”~HoleToad
Redditors all agreed that someone’s body is their business, and anybody judging them should mind their own business.
“NTA – if you were generally going around telling people they need cosmetic adjustment then you would be an A but that’s not the issue at hand.”
“You are just supportive of an individuals’ right to choose how they treat (and cosmetically adjust) their body.”
“Your comparison is valid but your friends cannot see it because they think of a boob job as a more invasive procedure with more inherent risks (which it is) and to some people those risks are not worth it to adjust your body for the sake of aesthetics.”
“Your friends became the A’s when they refused to consider the feelings of the woman you were talking about and also when they decided to bring her down for wanting to make an adjustment.”
“It’s her choice to have a boob job and if she’s happier with it then great for her!”~worriwart12
“NTA. While braces often serve practical purposes and not just cosmetic, your argument is sound.”
“I wonder if they would say the same about a woman that got a reduction due to severe back pain, or someone that got implants after a mastectomy. Especially in that second case, it would only be cosmetic.”
“What’s important is you’ve got the right attitude. If it’s making someone happy and isn’t hurting them or others, it’s no one else’s business.”~KaliCalamity
“Nta also boob job can hold lots of things. People always assume it is to increase size but were they sure about it?”
“An acquaintance of mine got a cancerous cell removed and breast restructured, another got a reduction because of back problems, and it isn’t unheard of to get it corrected (some ppl have varying breast sizes, so they can make them equally as big).”
“But next to this: if it isn’t going through insurance and they can pay it it’s still nobody else’s business, and they are still wonderful people.”~gamemamawarlock
“NTA – You’re right. They are both structural alterations to improve the owner’s confidence.”
“Some plates/braces might be necessary so someone can eat properly but mostly it’s a cosmetic thing to improve someone’s smile. A boob job is just a larger intervention.”
“The biggest difference is the way they are perceived by society. It’s ok to want a nice smile but vapid to want breasts so as not to feel like you never made it through puberty.”
“That’s a double standard that belittles women. I bet if the technology existed to reliably improve certain male characteristics that it would be normalized and no one would be making those men sound superficial.”~airazaneo
In fact, OP’s friends don’t really come out of this situation looking too great.
“NTA. Sounds like your friends are uncomfortable with a woman taking agency over her own body in a way that could be perceived as sexual.”
“Coworkers body, coworkers choice. Your friends are shallow and images obsessed for taking time out of their day to gossip and judge someone’s body.”~katewastoolate
“NTA – You have a great outlook one that I have struggled for years to achieve. Live and let live. Judging people on superficial characteristic just leads to hate and sadness.”
“Who knows if that coworker had life long body image issues and those cosmetic breast make her feel more herself and happy.”
“By your friends way of thinking, gender reassignment surgery is just cosmetic and people should love the bodies they are born in.”~Eladiun
“NTA. If it helps her confidence to get a boob job = great, and if the braces helped your confidence = great.”
“As long as the braces were just for cosmetic reasons instead of bite issues etc, then braces are absolutely comparable to a boob job. They’re both done to boost confidence.”
“Your friends are weird, and very judgmental.”~singing_stream
“NTA. Dental procedures for cosmetic purposes and surgical procedures for cosmetic purposes are both for cosmetic purposes.”
“Do your friends shave their legs? How shallow and image-obsessed they must be if they do. They’re ‘not loving their natural beauty’ if they’re changing their body to look better.”
“Humans are constantly doing things to make themselves look better – some things are temporary and inexpensive (shaving legs) and some things are permanent and more expensive (braces, cosmetic surgery).”
“But that should be up to the individual person whose body it is and they certainly shouldn’t be shamed for it.”~UnicornCackle
There is nothing wrong with a human being wanting to do something to make themselves look better.
We all know we’d look better if we could. OP has learned that lesson. Have you?