In doctors’ offices all over New York, you’ll often hear the receptionist asking, “One credit card or two?” When I first heard this I didn’t understand—but after asking a few questions, I learned it’s because women want to hide their cosmetic treatments from their husbands. And it’s not because of the cost, as if you were buying an expensive pair of shoes: it’s the cosmetic treatment itself. Many women don’t want to readily admit the procedures they go through, often because either their spouse wouldn’t approve or they have hopes of having their friends and family believe they are simply aging beautifully, au naturel of course.
I first got Botox when I was 29, and I kept it a secret for a year. I didn’t tell my friends or my boyfriend (now husband). When I first mentioned the idea to him, he immediately shot it down. “What? No,” he said. “You’ll look like Nicole Kidman. Your face will be frozen. You won’t look like you anymore.”
Dealing with reactions like this has always been a catch-22 for women, and it’s something I encounter all the time. Even with the increase in cosmetic treatments and the stigma slowly falling away, there’s a tension between maintaining a certain look and being honest about how you do it. And the question of whether to tell your significant other about your treatments? It’s still top on that list of tensions.
Dermatologist Dr. Doris Day has an honest take: “It’s a personal choice. You don’t owe it to someone to tell them that you have done anything. Whether you feel more comfortable telling someone or not telling someone, it’s okay. I deal with that issue myself, and I help my patients deal with it on a daily basis.”
Dr. Day adds, “I realize that my husband sees me a certain way, and that’s an image I always want to maintain both for me and for him. I don’t necessarily tell him when I do things. One time I did fillers and Botox, and I got a haircut that same day. He said it was the best haircut I’d ever had. To this day, he has no idea.”
Revealing to your friends and partners what procedures you choose to have is up to you. What are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments.
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