Remember the good ol’ days when everything landed right where it was supposed to? We’re not talking Boeing 747s here. We’re talking boobs—and not just those. From eyelids to booty, this kind of work covers all that swoops and sags in between. It’s cosmetic surgery and it’s damn popular.

Read this: Are you FOR or AGAINST Botox?

Considering a cosmetic surgery procedure? Welcome to the club. No judgment here, of course, but if you decide to join the million-person march, we do want you to make sure you go in with your eyes open. Crow’s feet and all.

Nip and Tuck: 5 Questions to Ask Before Cosmetic EnhancementsThere are some women who throw aging to the wind and declare themselves proud and loud about how fabulous they look—no plastic surgery needed, they say. They’re embracing every wrinkle with abandon! They’re proud to look their age! Our culture celebrates youth and we will stand for it no more!

Well, it’s true: Our culture does celebrate youth. And we’re OK with standing for it no more, even if it’s right after this next butt lift. Or so says Donna Arp Weitzman, author of Cinderella Has Cellulite: And Other Musings from A Last Wife, a wild satire that offers a realistic look at relationships and what happens when Prince Charming suddenly walks into your life.

Jokes aside, the nip/tuck isn’t for everyone. But if it’s crossed your mind to get lifted up or smoothed out, Donna advises that you take a quiet moment with your understandably vain little heart to ask a few key questions.


Have you tried other things?

Listen up, ladies: Big business is onto us. They know we want to look 10 or 20 (or 30) years younger. They’ve concocted all kinds of products to help us rewind the clock. Everything from special moisturizers to FDA-approved medical devices designed to give us face lifts without going under the knife. Before you decide to go under, make sure you’ve considered all your options.

Do you have a good surgeon?

Make sure you have a trained, skilled, experienced plastic surgeon. It seems like this would go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many surgeons have the money for fancy advertisements without the resume to back it up. Don’t assume you’ve got Dr. Beverly Hills just because he or she says so.

Ask: How many times have you done this procedure? Where will the surgery take place? What should I expect? Get references and follow up. This is one area where you don’t want to short-change yourself. Believe me, you don’t want to wind up getting a Brazilian butt lift on Dr. Drop-Out’s secondhand sofa.

What are your expectations?

It sure would be nice to look like Kate Beckinsale, Kerry Washington, or Heidi Klum. Unfortunately, most of us don’t have millions of dollars at our disposal. (If you do, email me. We should be friends.) Remember, these women have a regimen that includes specialized diets, exercise, fitness routines, and—in some cases—the highest-quality nip/tuck. Cosmetic surgery is designed to enhance your strengths, not turn you into the next Gisele Bündchen.

What’s your motivation?

Cosmetic surgery is a fickle friend. You don’t want to hold hands with her unless you truly understand why you need her in your life. She’s not here to solve all your problems. Your self-esteem might get a lift along with your eyebrows, but if you’re looking for cosmetic surgery to eliminate your depression along with your wrinkles, it may be time to do some self-evaluation.

Have a good, solid understanding of why you’re doing this. And for the love of all that is holy and wrinkled, do not get plastic surgery just because you want to please your man. This is your body. Your face. Your life. Do it for you, and no one else. Don’t go under the knife because you want to become a strong, confident woman. Go under because you are a strong, confident woman—one who’s decided to get better cheekbones.

Are you ready?

There are no guarantees. Every surgery comes with risk. Not just physical risk, but the risk that the results won’t be what you expect. (Like I said, she’s a fickle friend). Your boobs may not be what you envisioned. Your face lift may take off 3 years instead of 13. Your butt may not be Kardashian enough for your liking. But that’s part of this process. You have to be emotionally, mentally, and physically prepared for everything involved.

Donna Arp Weitzman is a wife, mother, and businesswoman who lives in Dallas, Texas. Cinderella Has Cellulite is Weitzman’s first book. For more info, click here.

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