It’s a fact that cosmetic procedures are on the rise in the U.S. According to data from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.9 million surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures were carried out in 2015. That accounts for a 2 percent increase over 2014 — and a whopping 115 percent increase since 2000.
Despite these statistics, there’s still a societal stigma about getting plastic surgery, fillers, and injectables. And you can bet these statistics are even higher in Hollywood, where stars — especially women — are under pressure to look perfect and keep signs of aging at bay. But Kaley Cuoco of The Big Bang Theory has come clean about her cosmetic procedures — and she’s immune to shaming because she’s confident about her decisions.
The actress told Women’s Health magazine, according to People, “Years ago, I had my nose done. And my boobs — best thing I ever did.” Cuoco’s honesty is a breakthrough, as just last year she denied having cosmetic work on her nose in a post to Instagram. She claimed she was having surgery to help her breathe better, and added, “With that being said, if I DID get a nose job, (which I didn’t) I would be shouting that from the rooftops as well.”
Now that Cuoco’s done a 180-degree turn and decided that her procedures are nothing to be ashamed of, she’s coming clean about all of them. “Recently I had a filler in a line in my neck I’ve had since I was 12,” she told the magazine. Then she got frank: “As much as you want to love your inner self … I’m sorry, you also want to look good,” she said, adding that she also works on her body — but she does that all on her own, through intense exercise and yoga.
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Cuoco made sure to tell the publication that she wants to look good for herself so she can feel good about herself. And she’s spreading her message to anyone who’s considering getting a procedure done. “I don’t think you should do it for a man or anyone else,” she said. “But if it makes you feel confident, that’s amazing.”
Of course, it’s refreshing for a celebrity to shatter the stigma against cosmetic surgery, and it actually sets a positive example, according to experts. “Surgery is such a personal decision but can be a very healthy one as well,” says renowned plastic surgeon Michael Jones, MD, who has treated many celebrities and is founder and director of Lexington Plastic Surgeons in New York. “Oftentimes people are self-conscious about their look, or a body part, or an area, and those issues can affect them (or limit them) from appreciating life. Surgery can restore someone’s self-confidence and make them feel happy and ready to live their best life.”
Jones says that if you feel like a procedure is going to help you feel better about yourself, “go for it!” After all, most women wouldn’t hesitate to undergo regular spa appointments, manicures, and hair treatments to help improve their self-esteem. Cosmetic procedures, when well-thought-out, fall into a similar category. “We’re in the business of making people feel better about themselves,” Jones says of his practice.
Though there’s nothing to be ashamed of, Jones does acknowledge that admitting to cosmetic procedures is personal, and no one is under any obligation to disclose the facts until she (or he) is ready. “People forget that just because you have a surgery, you’re not under obligation to tell,” Jones tells Yahoo Beauty. “I advise my patients (especially the celebrity ones) — at the time when you feel your confidence has been restored to the point where you feel comfortable sharing, do so.”
In other words, the only shame in the plastic surgery game is outing people before they’re ready to discuss their decision.
Cosmetic surgery can be a positive, healthy thing for so many people, so how do you know when you’ve crossed the line into unhealthy territory? We asked Jones. “As a surgeon, I am not willing to go further if a patient requests improvements that are minute, or if I have difficulty seeing what they see,” he responsibly states. “Most importantly, anything that may harm them and not improve them is where I draw the line. The patient needs to have realistic expectations and those expectations need to be aligned with what the surgeon can create safely and reproducibly. You have to remember that you can’t make someone happy because they’re looking for small changes that may or may not occur, and may cause harm.”
As for Cuoco, cosmetic surgery, fitness, and an upbeat attitude have all combined to help the star recover from her divorce from former tennis pro Ryan Sweeting last year and start opening her heart to love again. Despite having almost lost hope, she tells Women’s Health, she “has once again established her faith in ‘the sanctity of marriage,’ and she would ‘absolutely’ consider tying the knot sometime in the near future.” She even wants to start a family one day.
In the end, if it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.