When Does Plastic Surgery Go Too Far?


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  289 comments   :  27,876 Views

Heidi Montag is an MTV reality star who has been in the news recently. She's on the cover of People magazine, discussing the 10 plastic surgery procedures she had (all in one day) a few months ago. She's been flooded with negative feedback from people who think it's excessive, unnecessary and even potentially dangerous. My opinion has always been that people should do what makes them happy. But is there a point where it becomes too much?

In the People issue, Montag defends her decision, saying "I just want to be as beautiful as I can be, inside and out." She feels she basically looks the same, but is just an improved version of herself. Montag doesn't think this should set an example for other young people to follow, since they aren't in the entertainment industry where appearance is such a big part of success.

Experts say that risks of complications rise after a patient has been under anesthesia for more than six hours. Montag's procedures are also drawing controversy because they took over 10 hours to perform.

I think it's important to be happy with who you are. If that means having some "work" done to make someone feel better on the inside, then who am I to judge whether or not its okay? But I see this situation a little differently. This young woman is 23-years old, and in my eyes, was beautiful to begin with. I know that the decisions I made at 23 and the decisions I'd make today are not the same. So who's to say she won't regret what she's done in a few years? I see a difference between doing small things to improve your confidence, and doing a lot of things that start to completely change what you look like. Personally, I prefer a natural look with imperfections versus a "Barbie" appearance. I think those differences are what make each of us unique.

Many of the comments I've seen about this situation are very negative and sometimes harsh. More than anything, I feel sorry for her. To see that many imperfections in yourself that bother you so much you want to have them surgically changed is kind of sad. I'm not saying I would rule out plastic surgery for myself or judge anyone else who does. But this seems beyond the normal scope of doing something to improve your self confidence.

What do you think?

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  • 289
    How sad to be so critical of yourself and in her early 20'!!!! Very sad. There are times I think I might like to have something done, but I would never take the risks involved. I will just have to find a way to love my wrinkles and whatever else life throws my way. - 6/26/2016   1:21:46 AM
    I'm sorry but I have to say, ten surgeries in one day, all for the sake of business?? that is total BS!!! that is just the excuse she used because she was self conscious about the way she looked. I get having body issues, but to completely change the way you look for "the sake of your career" when she has done NOTHING with her career since gossip girls is absurd!! she needs help!!! women in general have body issues. I am a 41 year old breast cancer survivor, who had a radical hysterectomy, and because of that I went from a size 2 to a size 8 in one year. I am trying to accept the fact that my body has completely changed, and will only have surgery when I absolutely have tried everything to change what I don't like and just can't do it. God bless her, I hope she gets the help she needs. because there will come a day when her body will start to change, but all the surgeries will stay the same and she will have to do it again. what a shame, and quite frankly, I would be embarrassed if I were her. - 7/21/2013   5:26:10 AM
    I am from Los Angeles so I can understand how a young girl wanting to be "famous" thinks changing her looks will help. Unfortunately she doesn't understand that one has to have the "it " factor in Hollywood to make it. There are many good looking and talented people who are not famous because they are missing that "something something." You are just born with that.

    I don't like what the plastic surgery did to her and thought she was better looking before. That is only my opinion. I am all for plastic surgery if something bothers you but you should be a secure person first with good self esteem before you go under the knife. You should never go under hoping to get self esteem. - 5/24/2013   3:31:40 PM
    I began reading this article with the hope of being inspired by another like-minded woman who values and celebrates the whole woman. I ended reading the article with disappointment and discouragement. We still have such a road to travel - we need to refrain from putting so much emphasis on a woman's physicality - or for that matter, refrain from it altogether and take wonder in our innate and true beauty - the whole woman. I, a 42 year old woman, am finally putting to paper, my life-long battle with physical objectification and I've boldly decided to share one chapter of my book at a time on: iamnotmybreasts.wordpress.com. I hope you will join me there. The world is about to see a movement, the likes of which have never before been witnessed. It is time for women to finally awaken to their true strengths and rise above......... now is the time.


    Carreen - 1/22/2013   11:01:18 PM
  • MARIE554281
    She looks disgusting. . I hope she's happy getting naked for money. That is all that she is good for. And obviously, by getting so much plastic surgery, that is all that she really wants out of her life.( She was in playboy if I'm not mistaken) Seriously. Its sad and pathetic. There is nothing about her features that is truly unique, exotic, or that sets her apart. She looked better before she messed her face up.

    I think she has really low self esteem. She needs some extreme counseling. To be only 23 and to get so much work done. Theres obviously some serious emotional issues going on that need to be addressed. She needs to see a psychiatric before she sees another plastic surgeon. - 10/28/2010   4:42:25 AM
  • 284
    I think she did it as a business decision, and to make people talk.

    what a pity she had to risk her health for some free PR - 10/26/2010   8:56:37 AM
  • 283
    She looked better before her surgeries. There is this cookie cutter image that women are supposed to subscribe to that just isn't realistic. Not only is it fake and fake looking, but it's also boring and unattractive. No one should look like Barbie. - 10/15/2010   8:21:54 AM
  • 282
    I don't see anything wrong with what she did as long as she also paid the bill. I see it as a more extreme version of people spending money on makeup. The risk of infections, irritation, allergies, and other health risks are generally ignored by those who wear makeup. So how is this different? - 10/13/2010   7:31:55 PM
    Like was pointed out in the article she is a TV personality. The better she looks the longer and more successful her career. Most of us care about our appearance but for her the difference between looking good and great could mean $millions. Her appearance is her job. In addition to the surgeries no doubt she has a personal chef, personal trainer, etc. all working with her on the same goal of making her as marketable as possible.

    Anesthesia is the most dangerous part of most surgery. It does sound unwise for her to stay under so unnecessarily long.

    It is society that demands perfection and the fault lies collectively with all of us. She is just acting in the best interest of her career. - 10/11/2010   3:52:47 PM
  • 280
    I think she was soooo much prettier before she had plastic surgery. Unfortunately she fell into the Hollywood trap and decided to change herself. She doesn't appear to be truly happy and many in Hollywood don't appear to be truly content or happy. They move from spouse to spouse and make the same mistakes over and over. They believe they have to be someone else to be happy. If she thinks she's happier for this good for her, but I highly doubt she is. We all worry too much about what others think of us instead of trying to live our lives and not judging others. If we'd stop worrying about other people and what they think of us and try not to harm others, I believe we'd all be more satisfied with ourselves and stop trying to be what others want us to be. I struggle with it all the time and have to talk myself out of decisions that are based on what others expect of me versus what is actually best for me. - 10/11/2010   5:12:43 AM
  • 279
    what a shame she's not happy with who she is. - 10/10/2010   6:44:31 AM
  • WANDAC2013
    What a shame that a beautiful young woman feels she has to turn to plastic surgery to be beautiful....such a shame our society does this to people. - 10/9/2010   2:44:28 PM
  • 277
    When I was in Canada, my daughter and I passed by a plastic surgery clinic and my daughter was coaxing me in. I told her that I want to age gracefully and healthily and not look like a stretched '40 year old' when I'm in my 60s. I like who I am and working on better still. No, I am not in favor of plastic surgery unless you have gone through an accident. Anyway, it is a personal thing of mine. - 10/9/2010   2:22:16 PM
  • 276
    Even if I could afford plastic surgery, I don't think I would do it. There are so many ways you can make yourself more attractive. A new hairstyle, new perfume, an outfit that compliments your complexion and figure are just a few things people can do to make people more attractive. - 10/8/2010   10:05:23 PM
  • 275
    I think it would be interesting to see a list of what all of the procedures were. It really sounds like overkill, and I agree that it's pretty sad when you see that many imperfections in yourself. But regardless that I would not condone such a thing, I also would not want to restrict anyone's right to have them done if they desire.

    I am tempted to say she should have had better medical advice if there are significant risks to that length of anesthesia. However on second thought I think we can safely assume she was fully advised. That means that she made a choice, presumably the choice that was right for her. I've no right to second guess a choice someone else makes that does not impact me - and everyone's level of risk tolerance is different.

    Anyway, she probably gets bulk discounts on this stuff by now. Heck, maybe she makes endorsement and referral money from the surgeon. *snicker* - 10/8/2010   6:53:47 PM
  • 274
    Some of us have a hard time learning to love ourselves; we are just individual on how we express it. I weighed 315 when I started SP; Heidi had a 10 hour cosmetic surgery. Others cut, abuse, starve, throw up, stay in abusive relationships, or allow their significant other to treat them like a doormat. It's not about her surgery. It's not about my super morbid obesity. It's about learning to love yourself. - 5/3/2010   1:32:02 AM
  • 273
    I'm not one to judge either...live and let live...but you can't help but to wonder if all her procedures were bc it was all physical flaws....it seems she is trying to fix her inner struggles by altering her physical appearance, but never getting to the bottom of her inner conflicts...so it seems she will continue to have sugeries until she confronts her inner demon.. - 4/6/2010   10:40:13 AM
  • 272
    She was really a cute girl before she got the most recent surgery. I think that everyone has the right to be happy with the way they look but like many are saying 23 is really young to be having so much change to the structure of the face. Even if she wanted it I think that the surgeon should have encouraged her do one surgery at a time to see what each change would look like before proceeding. Of course these surgeons are all about their bottom lines but I think it's unethical to do as much surgery on someone as they will allow you to tell them they need. I hope she doesn't regret what she's done in the future...if she likes it, I love it. - 2/28/2010   12:08:47 AM
  • 271
    "Barbie" has sold MILLIONS and MILLIONS of dolls, because we all know she's beautiful. I'm laughing at the comments against this girl. MEN want women who are beautiful, which is why the "PLAYBOY" Centerfold is a beautiful woman and not some plain looking one. This girl should have had about 3 separate surgeries instead of doing 10 hours at once. - 2/27/2010   6:23:52 PM
  • 270
    scary and plastic. - 2/10/2010   5:48:15 AM
  • 269
    I have a bump on my nose from either wearing glasses for most of my childhood, or the 2 times I "kissed" a swinging door in middle school. As much as I don't like this bump, I wouldn't go under the knife just to have it removed, to give me a "perfect" nose. Goodness knows that I am far from being perfect in every way, but this bump on my nose is a part of me. Plus, nose jobs remind me too much of a since past, well-loved celebrity who had bad luck with his nose jobs. Why take that chance? - 2/7/2010   9:15:08 PM
    She may think she is beautiful on the outside but it does not seem as though she is beautiful on the inside. She may even feel in a year or two that she is still not beautiful on the outside and get more work done. I have nothing against plastic surgery but I do think that 10 at once is a bit excessive. - 2/7/2010   4:29:59 PM
  • 267
    I'm 23, and I would never consider letting anyone near me with a knife! (Unless I was horribly disfigured, of course.) This girl is crazy, and in my opinion, she's still ugly. Not just her appearance, but someone this shallow and insecure likely has little to no real beauty on the inside, either. - 2/7/2010   11:33:52 AM
  • 266
    MARZAPAN, I fully agree with you. We need to get away from judging others so much, and focus on improving ourselves and becoming the best we ourselves can be. It is so much easier to look outward and point fingers than it is to do the hard work inside ourselves. If Heidi feels that this is what it takes to help feel better about herself and she can afford it, than I hope she finds what she is looking for... - 2/6/2010   3:10:09 PM
  • 265
    The one thing that I notice here.... judgements- Why do we feel the need to judge others, their looks their jobs and/ or their decisions. By judging what we see others doing we are perpetuating the 'media hype' for perfection- even if you do not favor some ones choices, by judging the 'right or wrong is defined and continues the desire to be right-perfect. Does one say it is wrong because they truely feel it is or do they say it is wrong because they are judging? What is wrong for you..... can only be wrong for you. Heidi M. made this decision for herself for her own reasons and she is the only one who can judge if it is 'right'. If we want to stop being judged then we must begin with ourselves and stop judging. Right or wrong it is and was a personal choice that only Heidi M. can judge. - 2/6/2010   1:34:57 PM
  • 264
    When a person gets cosmetic surgery for vanity reasons, I think it's too much. Removing excess fat following drastic weight loss is one thing, but getting the breasts enlargened, nose minimized, and eyebrows permanently inked in are going a bit too far. I guess it's ultimately up to the individual, but I feel we should focus more on who we (and others) are on the inside and put less value and pressure on "perfecting" and judging by the outer appearance. - 2/6/2010   11:47:30 AM
  • 263
    It is always easy to comment on other people's lives and their very own personnal motivations. Humans have always been concerned with physical beauty, ancient history is full of examples about how people tried to change their fugures and faces to improve their physical beauty and look like their image of divinity. I am always suprised that someone young and beautifull by our criteria will go through plastic surgery to improve their looks. I dfon't judge, it is not my place. I know I have my own harsh judgement about my looks but am not ready to make changes and face the risk of surgery. I rather choose to work on my inner beauty that is eternal, will never change and does not care less what other people think. Have a great day everyone. - 2/6/2010   9:55:22 AM
  • 262
    I think we have given her way to much attention. If she was not an icon for plastic surgery, we have made her so by giving her so much press. That said, I think it's sad that she felt by removing the character in her appearance she is transformed into a beauty. If she felt all the pain of surgery was worth it for that goal, then she recieved what she wanted and I'm hoping she has found happiness. - 2/6/2010   7:43:58 AM
  • 261
    I agree with what most people say. She went over board. But that is her choice.

    My real problem is with her fakeness and not the physical kind. She is always talking about God and how great a Christian she is. The Bible warns many times against vanity and against defacing God's temple which is your body. When I went to Catholic school, we were only allowed to wear small stud earings and in only one hole (they gave allowance for the culture of peircings only slightly). In Leviticus 19:27-28 it says: Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you, I am the Lord. If she was such an amazing Christian, then maybe she would have read the Bible beforehand and known that it said what she did was wrong.

    I personally don't think it's a horrible thing to do, but it's definitely not for me. - 2/5/2010   3:27:21 PM
  • 260
    This article reminds me of what I went through with this wonderbra that was given to me. I just couldnt bring myself to wear it. I put that thing on and now that my waist is so much smaller it just made me look----- well.... Like some.... Well..... It was just totally inappropriate. I couldnt bear to wear it. And then what happens when everyone sees me on a day when its in the wash? Come on now, I am a B cup now!!! And trying to hold on to that till goal! The point is that its just not ME. I dont want to be anyone else, or let someone elses standards influence what God gave me. I feel a little embarassed that I even took a look at this one, hah hah! I dont judge people by the way they look. I dont base my happiness on my appearance either. In fact a doctor started me on the path to losing weight because it was required before a treatment. While I like the new me (still under construction) I find myself adopting even more modest behaviors because of how I look now, and what it has brought about. I dont mind that though... Godliness is cool with me... - 2/4/2010   9:28:32 PM
    This article just makes me sad. "Make myself as beautiful as I can be"; how superficial. What about just being a good person, living healthfully, and letting the rest take care of itself? Have we as a society really fallen this low? - 2/4/2010   7:35:53 PM
  • 258
    I completely disagree that weight loss is cosmetic...yes we want to lose weight to look better, but many people want to lose weight primarily for health reasons. I think some plastic surgery is fine, we all may have 1 or 2 things that we just cannot fix on our own, but she went to the extreme, its obvious she has health esteem issues or she never would have had so much done. She was beautiful before...more beautiful than she is now in my opinion. To each his own I suppose! - 2/4/2010   3:57:48 PM
  • 257
    Hell no, I don't feel sorry for her.
    I wish I had the money (and guts) to suck some fat out of my butt.
    She looks like an inflatable porn doll. Thank God she is "beautiful inside" because outside she looks like a whack job.
    - 2/4/2010   3:44:21 PM
  • 256
    She is so very young to be having so many procedures. She was beautiful to begin with, and I too believe she has some self-esteem issues. Good luck in the future, Heidi. - 2/4/2010   12:05:10 PM
  • SOCKS117
    How is this any different than the people on here who put a lot of time and money into losing weight? (Unless they are obese and it is for health reasons). But I am sure there are some other people, other than me, who are at a "healthy" weight and just aren't happy with it. I am probably not the only one who falls in the top of the healthy BMI range, but is not happy with the 25lbs they put on when (college started, they had a baby, they got married...whatever reason it is for them). This time and effort, and MONEY, that we put into this while not dangerous, is mostly cosmetic. - 2/4/2010   10:30:07 AM
  • 254
    I'm not against plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures but there are some people out there that go to extremes with their decisions to undergo these procedures.

    At 34, I'm actually thinking Botox might not be a bad thing when I see my frown lines, but it was pointed out to me that my friends don't even see them.

    I really don't want to attack Heidi about her decision, but would she have undergone all this if she was just an ordinary person, living an ordinary life without cameras around. Both her and her husband seem to revel in all the attention this, and everything else, has given them. - 2/4/2010   9:55:24 AM
  • 253
    I think she was beautiful before! Maybe she needs someone who tell her that she's pretty. - 2/3/2010   5:52:14 PM
  • 252
    I think if she did it for the right reasons, and it makes her happy, then good for her !! - 2/3/2010   3:17:30 PM
  • 251
    It's just a symptom. She says she wants to feel beautiful but what I hear is that she doesn't feel beautiful. And no amount of plastic surgery will fix that; what she needs is therapy to understand why her self esteem is so low. I've met many ordinary people who are far more attractive than her because they are real people, not the result of elective surgery. She should spend her money to find out why she feels like she does, not with what could be a spiraling addiction to the scalpel. - 2/3/2010   2:41:24 PM
  • 250
    Her face was beautiful before - now she looks pretend. - 2/3/2010   11:09:42 AM
  • 249
    What concerns me most is how young she is. She's just 23 years old and already looks like Jocelyn Wildenstein the cat woman. - 2/3/2010   2:16:00 AM
  • 248
    Through these comments I see a lot of the same buzz word, "unnatural." Is it really a good idea to reject things which are not natural? Things like, plastic, glasses, prosthetics, antibiotics, air conditioners (my personal favorite), workout machines, every kind of kitchen appliance... I'm sure you can see what I'm getting at. We have developed the technology to make people feel better about themselves. I think that if someone feel so ashamed of their face/body then plastic surgery would be a very healthy alternative for them.

    side note: I'm not speaking of the perspective of someone who has had a procedure done. I'm faaaarrr too afraid of doctors/needles/anything sharp to do that!! :) - 2/2/2010   4:44:45 PM
  • 247
    To be altered in such a way is wrong in my opinion. Money should not be able to buy someone different looks. It is so completely un-natural. It sets such a poor example for young women in terms of accepting themselves and the look that "Hollywood" and or Heidi Montag is trying to achieve is degrading and distorted. Barbie is plastic and now, so are these women. - 2/2/2010   4:25:22 PM
    I agree in general, to each her/his own. But what she did seems pathological, and I wonder about the ethics of her doctor(s). I would never have plastic surgery unless it were truly essential, for example, if I were disfigured in an accident. Operations always have inherent dangers; why have them if they aren't necessary. I read in a respectable periodical about a woman who had liposuction and had to have both her legs amputated below the knees. Rare? Yes. But I'm not going to take a chance I can't afford to lose. - 2/2/2010   2:13:10 PM
    This really isn't a story. Nearly everyone in Hollywood has altered themselves in some way, whether it's plastic surgery, extreme weight loss, extreme exercise, even extreme weight gain. It's similar to steroids in athletics in some ways. When you are competing against people who are stronger or prettier than you, you use science to give yourself an advantage. Is it right? No, but neither is beating up on Heidi Montag.

    Try living in LA without wanting to dye your hair blonde and weigh less than 100 pounds. Try living in LA and wanting to be in the media business and have to go to jobs where you stand there for directors, casting coaches, countless other people to critique the way you look. They aren't doing it to be mean or hurt your self esteem, they are doing it because they need a certain look that everyone in America expects the "perfect" people in Hollywood to conform to. Compare it to American Idol and Simon Cowel judging the contestants on their singing ability. Yes we people outside of "the business" may think he's harsh, but I imagine he's a lot kinder than most industry executives who aren't being filmed for a television show.

    One day I hope we live in a world where people don't feel the need to change themselves, but until then, one of the job requirements in Hollywood is to look a certain way and like any other job if you don't fit the requirements you don't get the job. If a crooked nose keeps someone from that modeling job, then it's not rocket science to realize that those who can afford it will get a new nose. - 2/2/2010   11:23:24 AM
    im sorry for her that she feels that way..there's no end of it - 2/2/2010   2:44:17 AM
  • FRUITY76
    I don't know exactly why she did what she did, but she looks nothing like herself.....maybe that's what she was going for. I feel for her and hope that she can be happy with what she sees in the mirror now.
    - 2/1/2010   8:49:29 PM
  • 242
    I donít think there should be any limitations to it unless the doctor feels itís dangerous to the person. If someone feels bad about themselves and wants to improve their outside appearance than more power to them. We all do this with cloths, jewelry, weight loss( I know I know itís healthy too but some do it for the looks), and all kinds of makeup and hair color. What is the difference? If someone wants to go through the pain then let them. The last thing they need is to be judged. She did nothing wrong and is not anymore of an influence to young people to look pretty as someone who is just naturally that way...if parents want their children to have an upbringing where they are sheltered from such things than they need to take the steps to shelter their child...why donít we start taking responsibility for our own actions and quite passing the blame to the media. - 2/1/2010   5:06:37 PM
  • 241
    I think that if it is so dramatic, that when you compare the picture before and after you don't see the same person...there is a problem. It speaks of very low self worth. - 2/1/2010   4:40:25 PM
  • 240
    I would probably have no problems with a surgery or two but 10 surgeries taking 10 hrs is a bit too much at that age. Maybe if she had done it after bearing children, etc ... it is probably a bit much. - 2/1/2010   12:51:33 PM

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