Cutting class on June 22, 1998…
Dear Breakup Girl,
Okay, here I go. I am 15 years old and in high school the past few years I have only had one boyfriend. All my friends tell me that I am pretty and that I should have a lot of boyfriends but not to worry about it. Well, I am and I am begining to think that it is the way I look so I am thinking about getting plastic surgery to change the way I look so maybe I could get a boyfriend. I have been told from a few boys that they think I am pretty and nice but they would never go out with me. I have no clue why that is the way they feel. I would love it if you could help me with this little problem.
Hey, can anyone help me find a photograph of Jocelyne Wildenstein on the web? Breakup Girl’s supercomputer was unable to locate one. NYers, at least, will know whom I mean. Seeing a photo of her may be just what I need to scare Sunkissed straight.
But in the meantime, for those of you currently in the dark, perhaps including Sunkissed, here is what The Daily Telegraph had to say about JW: “At 52, she has had so much plastic surgery that she was dubbed the `Bride of Wildenstein’ by one US newspaper. She looks like an alien or a strange bird, her eyes tightly pulled up to either side of her white domed head, her inflated lips drawn back in a gruesome permanent smile. Even her favourite plastic surgeon, Dr Richard Coburn, refuses to take credit for his work. `She did something with her hair and it changed her whole look,’ he has said. [BG snorts: “Ha! Her HAIR?!”] One newspaper reported that when Jocelyne arrived in his waiting room, her appearance so terrified the other patients there that they fled.”
AND Jocelyne is in the midst of an ugly divorce. Have I made myself clear that plastic surgery is not the answer?
But oh, Sunkissed, Breakup Girl is so sad that you are even considering such a thing. It’s one thing to catch yourself wondering what to wear — or how to do your hair — in order to appeal to boys, but entirely another to try to physically, permanently change something about what I’m sure is a perfectly “normal” face under any standards. I mean, if you were born with a birthmark that randomly happened to spell, “No, thanks, I’m already seeing someone,” then Breakup Girl might look through her Rolodex under “safe, non-surgical, laser removal.” Or something. But this is not exactly your situation. Aside from all the physical dangers and discomforts — not to mention who on earth is going to pay for this for you — consider this: you “lift” your eyes, change your nose, reshape your chin — and everyone will know. Everyone will think it was a totally weird and unecessary thing to do. And then even fewer people will go out with you. Harsh, I know, but I’m just trying to give you a way more convincing reason than “BUT SUNKISSED, YOU’RE BEAUTIFUL THE WAY YOU ARE.”
Now, even more importantly, we need to find some way — laser? — to replace your self-esteem. First of all, it is not weird or lame for you to have had only one boyfriend at age 15. Or, to put it another way, your friends who have had more are not necessarily cooler or happier than you are — they just have a different set of problems. I know I may sound like a clueless grownup saying that, but I promise. Now, I’m not sure why those boys say they would never go out with you, but I’m fairly certain that they were just trying to be cool, play it safe, avoid getting some rumor started that they don’t want to deal with. I’m also pretty certain that, well, if you’re already decided that your only hope is to go under the knife, then you’re not carrying yourself around school with a whole lot of security and confidence, are you? People can sense that. If you’re stooping your way down the halls, hiding behind your notebooks, and forlornly asking people if they think you’re pretty, that — not your actual looks — is what’s going to take you out of the running for homecoming queen. It’s not attractive. And then no one asks you out, and then you stoop more. Here’s what to do: find something to do in or outside of school — besides taking “pretty” surveys — that you love. A sport, a club, a volunteer project (except no candy-striping in a cosmetic surgeon’s office). Do it. This is not dumb grownup “find a hobby!” advice. The experience of activity and discovery will affect how you look, it will. It will occupy you, give you confidence, a sense that you are someone behind your face. Even conventionally “pretty” girls don’t always have that.