Modern Etiquette: Let's talk about cosmetic surgery

Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:42am EDT
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(Mary M. Mitchell has written several books on the subject of etiquette, including "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Etiquette" and "Class Acts." She is also the founder of executive training consultancy The Mitchell Organization with the website The opinions expressed are her own.)

By Mary M. Mitchell

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Four generations coexist in today's workplace, each with a different set of perception glasses through which they see the world, their colleagues, their work, and themselves.

And generational differences aside, each individual has a different set of needs, a different set of motivations. There is, however, some commonality: everybody wants to be at their best, to feel good, to look good, and to perform well.

The Wall Street Journal reports, not surprisingly, that more Baby Boomers are having cosmetic surgery than ever before. A recent wire service story reported that image scanners are now looking into individuals' original appearance before cosmetic surgery to validate identification. This technology never would have been conceived were it not for the numbers of people who are changing their appearance.

When we change the way we look, it almost automatically changes the way others react to us. One would do well to adopt the approach of "mine not to reason why", to paraphrase Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

That requires setting some parameters.

"Plastic surgery takes on a polarizing effect like religion or politics. People have very strong opinions about it," commented Mary Lee Peters, a board-certified Seattle-based plastic surgeon.

Indeed they do.   Continued...