DEAR HARRIETTE: For my birthday this year, my mother took me into a separate room and told me she'd love to gift me a nose job. I have never loved my nose, but I've learned to accept it as a part of myself. I have considered getting it done, but always balked at the cost. Should I accept this birthday present? It bothers me that my mother offered me surgery, never having asked me how I felt about my nose. -- New Plastic, Miami
DEAR NEW PLASTIC: Let’s start with the fact that it is obvious that your mother knows you well, and she knows (without your saying it out loud) that you are uncomfortable with your nose. In fact, she seems to be clear enough about how sensitive you may have been about the topic that she thought long and hard about how to offer this gift to you so that you would not be offended. I recommend that you consider her offer to be very thoughtful and loving.
If you want to have rhinoplasty, thank your mother and schedule an appointment. Leading up to the surgery, talk to her and a counselor about how you feel about yourself. Ultimately, self-esteem issues have to be faced head-on. Surgery doesn’t miraculously take them away.