Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Mom of Influencer Opposes Cosmetic Surgery

DEAR HARRIETTE: My daughter is a popular social media influencer. Since she has become more popular, she has been entertaining the idea of having plastic surgery to keep up a particular image that the media puts out there for society. I am totally against it. I think she became popular being who she is, and changing that is not going to make her more popular. Apart from that, it is expensive and dangerous, and she wants me to help her pay for it. Why are millennials so focused on their appearance and wanting to change it? She is beautiful. -- Mother of a Beauty

DEAR MOTHER OF A BEAUTY: A huge challenge of being so engaged with social media is managing a healthy self-image. People judge so harshly on social media, both liking and dismissing aspects of those they view in a blink. Never mind how the people being judged are affected by the click of a finger on a computer or handheld device.

As a parent, your job is fierce. You must constantly remind your daughter of her value and work to help her see that she is beautiful as she is, inside and out. If your daughter is still a minor, you can forbid her from having plastic surgery. But more, you should encourage her to employ temporary alterations rather than permanent ones as she explores her personal appearance.

Makeup application can change the appearance of one’s facial features without ever using a knife. (I remember when I was a young model, a makeup artist suggested that I get a nose job. He hurt my feelings, but I opted to use contour instead!) Wardrobe alterations can often make a difference in one’s appearance by camouflaging or emphasizing curves, depending on the desired effect, rather than taking drastic measures with surgery.