Plastic Surgery Is the New Trend in Mother Daughter Bonding
Because nothing says "Happy Mother’s Day" like a vial of Botox.
Los Angeles jewelry designer Pamela Sonnenblick was 32 when she first went in to see a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon A mere child!” she jokes. She’s now 57, “and I’ve done it all,” she says—some lipo, a tummy tuck, an eyelid tuck. She’s had her breasts done three or four times (“first he made them bigger,” she says, “then I felt they were too big.”)
The benefit to starting so young, she figured, was that it would appear more natural. “Sometimes people wait too long and it changes the way they look entirely,” she says. “The thing I like about Les is that he makes you look good. It’s never too much. I don’t look fake at all.” About a year and a half ago he cleaned up her jawline.
The work has never been for a man, she says, or her friends. “Half the time I walk around in sweatpants and no makeup,” says Pamela. “My husband’s never cared. It was always about how it made me feel.” And she was always open about it with her kids: “Here’s what Mommy’s gonna do,” she says. So when a few years back, her daughter said she was feeling self-conscious about her body—“her clothes didn’t feel quite right, she was uncomfortable,” remembers Pamela—she knew just the guy to help. Pamela’s older daughter Alex had already been to see Stevens. “Our family was always so open and we talked about everything,” says Alex, who’s 27. “And what was important was, how do we feel our best? I wish everyone was so lucky.”
“We used to send flowers. Now we send Botox.” And implants and nose jobs and mini-lifts. Because, well, the Mother’s Day pedicure’s fun and all, but a visit to the plastic surgeon is far longer lasting. Now mothers and daughters may celebrate their closeness by getting matching nose jobs. Especially since in many cases, as Doft points out, they may have matching noses. In New York, girls and their moms don’t even have to visit a surgeon to have their work done. The famed Oscar Blandi Salon in Manhattan recently announced its new "blotox" service—a blow-out followed by botox—which is being positioned as "a perfect mother-daughter experience for Mother’s Day."
The trend owes itself partly to the fact that plastic surgery in general is less taboo—women are more likely to talk about it with their friends as well as their family—and partly to the fact that they’re starting younger. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s 2016 member survey, 56 percent of facial plastic surgeons reported an increase in cosmetic surgery with patients under age 30.
“It shows a change in what the millennial wants,” “15 years ago, you waited till you were ‘old enough.’ But the idea of prevention and maintenance is something that women in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are coming around to. They start earlier, make gradual changes, and get to enjoy it.”
The AAFPRS also reports that 42 percent of patients seek cosmetic procedures “to look better in selfies,” which may be why, among moms and daughters, event-based procedures are also on the rise. pre-wedding nips and tucks, for brides, mothers of the brides, and mothers-in-law of the bride. “Everyone goes on these diets before the wedding,” “Why not have a little help?” (As a bonus, points out Yannis Alexandrides, a London-based plastic surgeon and the founder of 111 Harley Street in London, studies show that when people go through surgery at the same time, they experience less stress overall and recovery is easier.)
Lisa*, a 54-year-old interior designer in Albany, was going to her niece’s wedding in August. Around April, she got to thinking: Her jawline just wasn’t the same. She went in t to a facial plastic surgeon and past president of the AAFPRS with offices in Albany, Manhattan, and, a testament to business, St. Thomas. She first met Williams through her mom, who saw him for a facelift.
It’s all about starting young and making little tweaks along the way.
Had also done Lisa’s first facial procedure, a brow lift some ten years before, around the time that Lisa’s daughter Jess* went in to fix a nose that was, as Lisa recalls, “splattered across her face” after years of playing soccer. Once Lisa’s older daughter saw how good Jess looked, she wanted one, too. Now they all go see Williams together. The girls, 21 and 22, both get lip injections, Jess also gets Botox, and Lisa gets “a little bit of everything”—Sculptra, Volbella, Restalyne. “Jess is really into makeup,” says Lisa. “And raising up the brow a bit, with the lip injections… what a difference.” Of course, says Lisa, they’re too young for anything more invasive. But as she tells them, “It’s all about starting young and making little tweaks along the way. You can’t just go and get facelift at 60.”