Style Beauty

Thursday 16 August 2018

Nips, tucks and fibs: when should you admit to cosmetic surgery?

Ageless beauty: Jane Fonda promotes face cream despite having undergone cosmetic surgery. Photo: Getty Images
Ageless beauty: Jane Fonda promotes face cream despite having undergone cosmetic surgery. Photo: Getty Images
Katie Byrne

Katie Byrne

Actress Jane Fonda has never denied having plastic surgery but, like many women of her generation, it isn't a topic she likes to talk about.

The former workout queen can be frank and forthright when the subject is broached, but she can also be evasive and hostile. We've all seen the death glare she gave talk-show host Megyn Kelly for daring to raise the issue...

At 80 years of age, Fonda can be forgiven for being a little mercurial and, besides, she should be celebrated for her honesty in an industry that ritually denies its nips and tucks.

Lorraine Kelly agrees. She recently remarked on Fonda's agelessness when she was a guest on the How to Age Well podcast.

"Look at Jane Fonda, she's beautiful and she's had everything done - facelifts, you name it," the TV presenter said to host Stuart Miles.

"But she's advertising (face) cream," added Kelly. "I really don't agree with that. Really, she has a great doctor and lots of money, cream isn't going to do that."

Kelly makes a fair point, but what about the surgically-enhanced stars who are pushing anti-ageing products while denying that they've had a little cosmetic help?

And what about the clean-eating models who put their glow down to green juices rather than injectables? Everyone has a right to keep their business to themselves, just not when they've made anti-ageing their business.

Some stars channel their inner politician when the question is broached. When asked if they've ever had surgery, they emphatically declare that they have "never gone under the knife". What they're actually saying is that they've gone under the laser, needle and roller but, for now at least, they haven't had a facelift.

It's much the same for civilians. To tell or not to tell is a dilemma that the cosmetically-enhanced often face.

Enhancement might be the new normal for a generation raised on selfies, filters and Kylie Jenner's lips, but it's different for those over the age of 35.

Generation X is still wary of admitting to procedures lest they seem vain, insecure or shallow, which, of course, they are.

They came of age pre-Instagram, during a time when cosmetic enhancement was kept on the down-low. That's why they tend to take a different tack when it comes to admitting to cosmetic surgery. Here's how:


It's a little naive to deny that you've had work done to a parent or sibling. They know your face and all of its furrows almost as well as they know their own - so you're not fooling anyone with your eight-glasses-of-water-a-day excuse. In-laws are a different matter entirely. Deny, deny, deny - even if one eyebrow is up and the other is down and they can see their reflection in your forehead. With a bit of luck, they might just think you've had a mini stroke.


There are dear friends and there are loose acquaintances. Know the difference before you spill the details about your Brazilian butt lift. The first group will only share your secret with four or five people - that's what friends are for. The second group will push your news out across all platforms quicker than Perez Hilton at a pyjama party.

Romantic partners

Okay, if they ask, you can hardly lie to their face. But what if they don't? Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to give a new lover the key to your secret diary. Besides, they'll never get their head around how much it costs.


If you want your 'procedure' to be the front-page splash on the Watercooler Times, by all means, tell your colleagues. If, however, you would prefer not to be the talk of the Christmas party, keep your heavily injected lips sealed and pray to God that somebody in the office has an affair, gets fired or does something - anything - to take the attention away from you.


It's important to differentiate between meddlesome interest and genuine interest. If a woman you've never met asks about your boob job, you're hardly going to give her an honest answer or, indeed, any answer at all. If, however, a fellow follicularly challenged man discreetly enquires about your hair plugs and tells you he's been looking at options in Turkey, well, it's really only fair to hook a brother up.

Irish Independent

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