A Plastic Surgeon's Take on the Mom Makeover.
by Carolyn C. Chang, MD FACS
This week I discovered a new phenomenon – the granny momma. Let me explain.
It was Monday morning, and I greeted a very nice woman who was in my office for a consultation. "Hello Barbara, it is wonderful to meet you. How did you find me?" The response was the usual, "Oh my friend referred me, and then I found out that a friend of a friend is your patient, and then my dermatologist recommended that I talk to you, and so now I’m here." As I got to know Barbara a little better, I could see that she was getting more and more comfortable sitting across from someone who could turn out to be her biggest nightmare – a talking mirror. That is not to say that Barbara had a whole lot to worry about. She was an attractive woman in her mid to late forties with a healthy figure, great clothes, and a fun personality. The conversation then turned to the inevitable – "What brings you here today?" She blurted out with indignation, "Someone called me a grandmother last week. I have a five year old daughter, and someone thought I was her grandmother! This happened a total of four times in the last six months. Can you believe the nerve?!!" And then the floodgates opened - her emotions ranged from rage to desperation and despair and back again. I heard about how she could run circles around any of the other moms on the playground. I heard about how she can pull off the latest trendy hip fashions, and I learned all about her camouflage tricks. Unfortunately, though, she admitted that those camouflage tricks weren’t working quite so well anymore.
I looked at Barbara, and I was shocked and sympathetic at the same time – it must be a little unsettling to always be the "mature" one in a sea of perfect nubile Angelina Jolies. She’s had three of her own for God’s sake and takes care of three more, and for sure nobody is mistaking her for a grandmother. The irony of course is that "older moms" are not even that old. They certainly are not being offered the senior discount around town – and one could make an argument that the forties are one of the best times in a woman’s life. But I do think that being around all those twenty-somethings must take a toll on the psyche.
It was then that I realized that I had discovered a new trend – rejuvenation surgery for the older mom - because Barbara was in fact the third mom that I had seen in a few weeks with a similar story. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons statistics show that cosmetic surgery is down, but clearly they are not looking in the right population.