The New Ps and Qs of Cosmetic Surgery Etiquette

By ·
The New Ps and Qs of Cosmetic Surgery Etiquette featured image
Photo Credits: Thinkstock

Boatloads of celebrities have admitted to plastic surgery. Kim Kardashian’s mother Kris Jenner even had her facelift procedure broadcast on E! News for the entire Western world to see. So this means we’re all okay to openly talk about plastic surgery now, right? 

The (white) gloves are certainly off—people are no longer afraid to chat about plastic surgery. Cosmetic enhancements, which were once a very hush-hush ordeal, are no longer hidden in dark rooms behind the billowing silk curtains of Beverly Hills mansions. People are getting work done and they are talking about it. But just because more than 9 million surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the U.S. in 2011 alone, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and there is more media attention around it, that doesn’t mean it’s appropriate to ask your colleagues or friends about their suspected procedures. 

Etiquette guru Mary Mitchell, the columnist who recently penned The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Etiquette, outlined the proper protocol for friends, family and colleagues of women who may or may not have gone under the knife. She states that it is completely inappropriate to ask if someone has had work done, no matter how obvious or how different they look. “It’s incredibly rude to come out and ask about it. Wait for them to tell you,” says Mitchell. “If it’s really obvious, give the person an opening, like, ‘Gee, you look great. What’s your secret?’ And say that without sarcasm.”

She urges people to realize that cosmetic surgery, no matter your stance on it, is or can be a serious subject of health. “Get your judgments out of the way, and ask the person how they are doing,” she says. “People forget that this is surgery. The person has undergone something traumatic to his or her body. Be solicitous about their health first.”

Basically, if your friend has had a procedure done, let them tell you first. And if you, or someone you know, has had work done and doesn’t want to talk about it, that’s OK too. Just because the Kardashians share everything with the world, it doesn’t mean you have to also. 

Find a Doctor

Find a NewBeauty "Top Beauty Doctor" Near you

Give the Gift of Luxury

NewBeauty uses cookies for various reasons, including to analyze and improve its content and advertising. Please review our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use for more about how we use this data. By continuing to use this site, you agree to these policies.