beauty

A 'size 0' woman on why having lipsuction doesn't make her self-obsessed or superficial.

Image via Youtube

Is cosmetic surgery one of the last beauty taboos?  In Hollywood, at least, it seems you’re criticised if you do (“superficial”), and condemned if you don’t (“look how old she looks”). You just can’t win.

Who can forget the insanity that was caused when Renee Zellweger stepped out last year looking “unrecognisable”, with news outlets immediately analysing all the work she’d “obviously” had done? Miranda Kerr, Nicole Kidman and even 17 year-old Kylie Jenner have also been subjected to the same speculation.

The point being missed amid the has she/hasn’t she debate? It shouldn’t even matter.

RELATED: Miranda Kerr might have had a boob job. And you know what? That’s OK

Megan O’Brien is the latest woman adding to the discussion. A beauty blogger, she’s written about her experience getting liposuction in Harpers Bazaar. The “catch”? She’s a size zero.

“Reading the title of this [I’m a size zero and I got liposuction] makes me instantly dislike the author. Me,” she writes.

“I sound self-obsessed, superficial and vapid. I know I’m none of those things, which is why I’m sharing my story. Because as ironic as it sounds, I am actually comfortable in my own skin.” (Post continues after gallery.)

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She’s quick to point out some misconceptions about what being “size zero” means.

“My body type isn’t apple or pear, it’s spider: I have spindly, long chicken legs and arms and a really round stomach. I buy my clothes in a size zero, but I can’t wear anything that’s tight in the middle,” she says.

RELATED: These are the most popular plastic surgery procedures in Australia’s capital cities

After quitting smoking at age 38, O’Brien gained significant weight around her belly to the point where she says “everywhere I went – the nail salon, the dry cleaners — I found myself being congratulated on a baby I was not carrying.”

O’Brien tried the typical course of action first — healthy eating, seeking the help of a personal trainer and going to the gym four days a week for five months. While her arms, bum and legs became more toned, her stomach stayed the same.

Megan O'Brien on her beauty youtube channel. Image via youtube.

Feeling discouraged, she sought help from a plastic surgeon who told her to go to the gym: "If it doesn't go away after that, then come back."

After more months of working out still failed to make any changes, O'Brien went back and underwent a series of procedures on her stomach, chin and under eyes. In bandages for the first week and a half, she says the recovery was "uncomfortable but not painful."

RELATED: "Why I will never try lip injections ever again."

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Believing that wanting to look better should not be a taboo subject, O'Brien was determined to be open about what she was doing.

"Most people keep their plastic surgery a secret. Not me. I announced it on Facebook and made a Youtube video about it. I believe in full transparency. Sure I got a few snotty comments but more than that, I got tons of questions and I replied honestly to all of them," she says. (Post continues after gallery.)

It's not something restricted to the US either — a growing number of Aussies are also turning  to cosmetic enhancements, including Rhiannon Langley who recently documented her experience of getting rhinoplasty on her Instagram account.

It's an industry worth a billion dollars and  in 2013, it was reported that Australians actually spent 40% more than the US on plastic surgery per 10,000 people.

"Was my decision extreme? Yes, of course it was. Could I have lived a perfectly fine life without it? Without a doubt. Do I feel like a new person? No, but I do feel like someone who can go out confidently in a bathing suit," O'Brien says.

"Was it worth it? Look at my pictures and decide."

Image via Megan O'Brien/Harpers Bazaar.

The real issue surrounding cosmetic surgery is not whether a woman has had it or not. That's a totally personal choice up to the individual.

What's more problematic is the never-ending focus on a woman's appearance and its relation to her worth. This is precisely why women are made to feel like they need to make changes to their bodies in the first place.

Everybody has hangups. Everybody has insecurities. Some people embrace them. Others change them. Just know you're beautiful either way.

Does your perception of celebrities or friends change if they've had plastic surgery?