Valentine’s Day may have come and gone again for another year, but the human endeavors that we aspire to that lead us to celebrate Valentine’s Day remain.
Love and beauty are of course synonymous with Valentine’s Day. A powerful yet rarely discussed connection is self-love and individual beauty.
So what is self-love and how does it relate to beauty. For me, self-love is not to be confused with self-absorbed, vanity, or narcissism. Self-love is about respect, appreciation, and gratitude for the uniqueness of ones own being. Self-love is a close cousin to self-worth and by definition it is the acceptance that everything and every part of us, both physical and non-physical, has inherent beauty.
This is an important part of the way I choose to see patients and plastic surgery procedures and I try to both communicate this idea to my patients as well as listen to their concerns and goals.
Take for example a tummy tuck patient. As many women know having babies has powerful transformative effects on the human body. Skin may develop stretch marks, abdominal wall muscles may separate, and belly buttons may loose their youthful appearance secondary to pregnancy, but there is always beauty left behind. Looking at the abdomen and waist area of a woman after having children with the perspective of self-love and beauty fundamentally impacts how the tummy tuck consultation proceeds. Instead of noting only what has changed, both surgeon and patient can see the beauty that has remained. A tummy tuck envisioned, communicated, and planned in this manner will therefore be a procedure that aims to uncover the beauty that remains by reversing some of the changes of pregnancy.
This is but one of many examples of the importance of self-love and its relation to beauty.