[Fun With Press Releases] Is Cosmetic Surgery a Career Investment?

Fun with Press Releases: Because sometimes the beauty industry just goes there.

This publicist says yes:

Virginia:

Studies have shown that attractive people have an advantage when it comes to getting hired.  In the recessed economy with so many Americans out of work does it make sense to “invest” in cosmetic surgery?  Smoothing out an angry looking furrowed brow or choosing from a myriad of lunch-hour procedures to look younger and fresher might give job-seekers more confidence and a greater probability of landing their job.

XXX Medical Institute in the XXX area has over 20 years experience as specialists in plastic surgery and eye surgeries. They are available for interviews and comments on this topic.  Dr. XXX of XXX Plastic Surgery is a XXX. area Top Doc and specializes in breast and body cosmetic surgery.  If you would like to speak to anyone on their team regarding a topic, please let us know.

I’m thinking a lot about how the recession has shaped our spending habits this week (like, remember how on Friday, I asked you about this and told you to email me? It is still true and you still should!). For so many of us, the last few years have served as a bit of a wake-up call, whether you were impacted directly and had to do some serious retrenching, or worrying that you might be made you think a little harder about how we got so addicted to buying so much stuff in the first place.

Especially clothes (me). And beauty products and services (me again). And oh yeah, pretty things for my house. Sigh.

And then here comes this press release, suggesting that spending more on cosmetic surgery is actually an investment in your financial future and as essential to your job hunt as your LinkedIn profile. Right away, I was all scoffing and how dare they? about it, because clearly, we would all be better off spending less right now, particularly when it’s money we don’t have.

But I’m also not sure the press release is so wrong. Because I hear from women every day about the pressure we face to look a certain way (usually younger, also thinner) to get and keep a job. And while I hate endorsing that pressure and saying, yes, you, cave and get the Botox, if you can’t beat ’em, you can at least look younger and stay employed! I’m also not sure there is a clear solution here, since, after all, you probably do really need that job.

So, this is a tough one. We do need this wake-up call. It is time to reassess our spending habits and think about how we want to use our money in the future. But we’re also still under a lot of these same pressures, which come with a certain price tag.

How are you navigating this? Do you find yourself spending money on beauty that you’d rather be saving — whether it’s cosmetic surgery, or something more mundane like needing to update your work wardrobe every season no matter what? Or are you conscious of making different choices now? Let’s discuss.

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3 Comments

Filed under Beauty Labor, Fun with Press Releases

3 responses to “[Fun With Press Releases] Is Cosmetic Surgery a Career Investment?

  1. To me, getting cosmetic surgery for job retention or advancement (or really for any reason) constitutes playing a game that we can never win. Even with surgery, we might grow our paycheck a bit, but really there will always be someone younger, thinner, hotter, etc. And I hate to think of women buying into the idea that their primary value (psychological and financial) comes from how they look? Is that the reality? Maybe in some professions. But can’t we choose to fight back ?

    There are many feminisms, and there are internal conflicts in the movement and the ideology. For example, in some ways, the most feminist thing to do would be to fight back against the internalized sexism that cosmetic surgery represents by not going under the knife. But on the other hand, financial security and freedom are about as central to feminism as it gets. So there is no clear-cut answer. I look forward to reading more about your ideas, Virginia, as well as others!

    • Well said, Dana: “in some ways, the most feminist thing to do would be to fight back against the internalized sexism that cosmetic surgery represents by not going under the knife. But on the other hand, financial security and freedom are about as central to feminism as it gets.”

      That’s exactly what I’m circulating around right now. Though I certainly agree that cosmetic surgery need not be a reality in the majority of professions, I do think we’re often faced with less expensive/invasive ways of having to play the beauty game to get ahead professionally. And it often does feel like a game we’ll never win… but it’s often hard to see another option, too.

      Like I said, I’m still percolating on this one.

  2. Stephanie

    My former boss, at a large corporation, hired an image consultant for our senior executives. The female consultant told our stunningly gorgeous (think Grace Kelly) CFO that she needed to have her eyes done. Our CFO was 45 at that time and had 2 elementary school aged daughters. She told the consultant to stuff it, that she would not set that example for her girls. And added that the company didn’t hire her for her eyes, they hired her for her business experience.

    This same consultant told my boss that I was bad for his image. I had shattered my lower leg and was using a walker during my recovery. Apparently, that made him look weak. We parted ways soon after. He was subsequently fired for harassment. : )

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