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Thu, Aug 02, 2012
The New Paper
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Just $40,000 to look like my idol
by Maureen Koh

At our usual weekly conference, my news editor asked: Would you consider going for plastic surgery?

My response: Sure? Why not?

I'd have opted for plastic surgery when I was younger, if I was certain my parents would have allowed me to continue living.

And now, if my husband is as supportive as say, Mrs Mary Ng's husband.

The thing is the Hub's only peeve is that his wife does not exercise enough. I mean, she does not exercise at all.

But revisiting plastic surgery this week, first with celebrity blogger Peggy Heng, followed by Miss Veronica Ng and Mr Teoh Nam Rui, has planted new ideas in this K-drama fan.

So I ask Ms Elaine Teo, regional marketing manager for Item Clinic: What are my chances if I want to look like South Korean actress Song Hye Kyo, who starred in 2004 hit drama Full House.

"Possible..." comes the tentative response. (I reckon she's trying hard not to burst my bubble.)

And the likely damage (the cost of re-arranging my face) from face to thighs: $40,000.

It will, says Ms Teo, give me "a slimmer, tighter, uplifted face" and "combined with the eyes and nose surgery," I will look at least 10 years younger.

And a chance at looking almost like Song.

It sounds like a good deal. Until my 12-year-old son put his foot down.

"Why, mummy? Why do you want a common plastic (face)?" says the indignant boy.

Which reminds me of a comment I wrote in 2010: "When people say my daughter is pretty, my standard response is: I think she'd likely need plastic surgery when she's older."

I'm not being mean. It's only because she looks almost like me.

And yes, I cannot help but fret whenever I think of what my girl, 11, will have to go through in another couple of years.

Except for her thick and long black hair and a set of deep dimples, she is not exactly a ravishing beauty.

It worries me that she has my family genes.

We indulge in our love for food too much to care about what it will do to our figures.

Recently, I was at an event and this good-looking newsmaker with the to-die-for eyelashes and smooth complexion paid more attention to the sweet young journalist than this dowdily dressed Heartland Aunty with a plain face and everything big below her waist.

It's a given, says a male journalist friend. "I mean, he's a beautician, would he want to chat with you or her?"

I know. Sigh.

My husband approves of his daughter going for plastic surgery: "Actually, I wouldn't mind. It's her body and as long as she knows what she's doing, I'd approve."

I second that.

And I'd like to add, I feel it's acceptable if she is making an informed decision, with no - or, minimal - risks involved.

If, for legitimate reasons, a small nip and tuck can go a long way in boosting her self-confidence and self-esteem, why not?

But, I also feel that as parents, we should not shirk from our responsibility of ensuring that our child grows up knowing she is loved.

And if she does, she may not even have to consider such a decision, right?

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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