With the holidays at hand, the Costhetics team was having a lively conversation about family gatherings and the work they were having done in anticipation of seeing friends and loved ones.

Everyone has a different opinion about whether or not to be candid with family members about cosmetic surgery or other treatments. Some said sharing the details of their procedures was fun; others expressed fear of negative reactions and harsh judgments from their family.

This begs the question: What do you do when family asks you point blank if you’ve had cosmetic surgery?

Why Aunt Rosie Forgets to Mind Her Manners

Most people would naturally refrain from commenting on a perceived cosmetic treatment and wait for the person who’s been enhanced to bring it up. With family, however, it’s not unusual for loved ones to leave their good manners at the door and speak with more candour than is really appropriate.

First things first: take a deep breath and try to give your relatives a break. When Aunt Rosie turns to Uncle Milton and says, “Cousin Larry looks like someone else. What did he do to his face?” she’s not trying to be rude. She may be genuinely unnerved by the transformation. As Frank Furedi, author and professor of sociology at the University of Kent stated in an article for The Telegraph,

“When someone you love makes themselves unrecognisable through surgery, it can be very disconcerting…Changing your appearance changes something very fundamental in the way people know you, and sometimes loved ones never acclimate.”

That being said, even though family members may not intend to be rude, their questions can nonetheless be intrusive. That’s why our team has put together a choice of ways to handle the intrusion with elegance and grace:

• Let your cosmetic surgery flag fly – You should say yes if you’re prepared to answer a flood of questions and listen to other people’s opinions. Say thanks for their input, and then remind them that you made this choice for you, and you are happy with your decision.

• Accept a compliment gracefully – Say, “How kind of you to say that!” This suggests that you are flattered that someone thinks you look refreshed and rejuvenated without actually answering the question. Polite folks will get the hint and they won’t ask again.

• Be coy – “I’ll never tell” is a way to keep others guessing. After all, it’s really no one’s business but yours.

Cosmetic surgery is a deeply personal decision, but its benefits are on public display. That can make keeping mum about a cosmetic transformation tough. While body contouring can be subtly disguised with clothing, there’s really no way to hide work you’ve had done on your face. The eyes, forehead, and midface are what we use to communicate with one another, so they come under special scrutiny.

Costhetics says, “Be prepared.” Anticipate that your rejuvenated face or body will attract attention, no matter how subtle your enhancement has been. With our list of coping strategies, you’ll be able to breeze through any family gathering with ease.

Stay beautiful!

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