Cosmetic Surgery For Confidence

by L

Noninvasive Cosmetic Surgery Can Deliver Confidence, at a Cost



170 thoughts on “Cosmetic Surgery For Confidence

  1. So last fall, he spent $60,000 to have porcelain veneers put on his teeth


    Mother of God! Were they some sort of porcelain from sacred urns of the Ming Dynasty? I have nothing against having your teeth fixed up, but $60K seems out of control

  2. Alternative article title: Plastic Surgery for People Like Us. and We Aren’t Shallow. For people getting boob jobs, it is often about confidence, too. I’m not sure how this is so different.

  3. RMS,

    It looks like $900 to $2500 a tooth and how many need veneers depends on how big your smile is. If you’re Giada, it’s going to cost you:

  4. I’m thinking about getting invisalign (wish I had done it last year since I have a high school reunion this summer). I wish I could shake my younger self into wearing that retainer. My teeth are fine, but not perfect. I would never spend $60K, but wouldn’t be opposed to spending a few thousand $ on laser treatments on the face and may do just that before the reunion.

  5. Since I have a Los Angeles transplant in my family, my attitude to all of this stuff has softened over the years. Ada’s comment is spot on. There isn’t a whole lot of daylight between covering the gray in your hair or Invisalign and veneers or Juvederm injections. The boob job (usually plus, but sometimes minus) has become so routine for people of all economic and educational classes that the Teri Hatcher Seinfeld episode doesn’t resonate in the same way any more. Nobody cares if they are real. I can recall when as a child contact lenses and 20 years later laser eye surgery were considered ridiculous signs of vanity – a pair of glasses is good enough for anyone, and the risks!!!

  6. DW got some porcelain veneers a few years ago. I don’t know how many, but I think she spent $6k or so. The $60k figure shocked me, too.

    My thing is my slight underbite. I had retainer, braces, retainer as a kid, and finished treatment in the 8th grade. At that point, the top teeth just slightly overlapped the bottom teeth, as they’re supposed to. Somewhere along the way, they went back to the bottom teeth slightly overlapping the top teeth. When I was a kid, the orthodontist warned us that this was a possibility, and he said surgery would be necessary in that case. And now I read this:

    In 2009, she had surgery to correct her jaw alignment, but it made the problem worse. Closing her mouth became more painful. She had a second procedure to fix the first one in 2010, but that led to further complications, including nerve damage and seven lost teeth.
    “I could only chew on one side,” she said. “I also had problems breathing. I had a lisp.”

    Right now, I personally think it looks fine. It doesn’t hurt me, the teeth aren’t meeting or grinding, it’s totally comfortable. My own dentist (a woman of Indian descent) doesn’t seem concerned.

    The last time I took my kids to their pediatric dentist, which is a joint dental/orthodontic practice, the dentist got to talking to me about my underbite (I told him this story because we were talking about what lies ahead for my kids), and he called one of the orthodontists over. That one said that a simple Invisalign could fix it.

    I just don’t know what to do, and I’ve done nothing.

  7. It scares me that we have this need to be “perfect”. I can’t recall if it was here or elsewhere talking about the huge cosmetic surgery industry in South Korea. I have issues from antibiotics as a kid as well. It is time for the veneers to be redone – first set has been there for almost 30 years and it shows. I agree with Atlanta, I didn’t wear retainers long enough and it would be nice to get my bottom teeth slightly realigned, but at this point the kids braces are more important in the tooth department. I am being quoted $150 a tooth for the veneers, unles there is any decay underneath (long story about first treatment I had when I was 7), in which case it will be about $200 per tooth.

    If something bothers you significantly (especiallyif it causes physical pain), then I agree you should do something about it. However, it seems that while on one hand our society is saying we embrace diversity, on the other hand that still comes with a “perfect __ looks like this” mentality.

  8. I’d go with the Invisalign, Milo. I know a couple of people who had jaw surgery and it seems really easy for the surgeons to screw it up. Of course if you don’t care, then don’t worry about it.

    I’ve admitted to Botox and one of these days I’m going do some laser skin stuff, when I get around to it. My derm gives me some retin-A mixed with whitening stuff to counter the weird discoloration on my neck from too much tanning as a teen.

    I think a combination of too much philosophy (what’s the fundamental difference between dying your hair and fixing your child’s appearance in utero?) and too much damn Northern California moralizing that makes me pretty open to all these interventions. I spent years getting urinary tract infections from the diaphragm because everyone 35 years ago in the Bay Area was all, “OMG, you can’t interfere with your moon cycles!! The pill will take you out of touch with your feminine rhythms!!1!” Yeah, and my cramps, and my UTIs, and my mess and inconvenience, and what exactly has the moon done for me lately? So I get pretty cranky about all this “you should just love yourself as you are” shit.

  9. I still think about the Friends episode where Ross’s teeth were glowing in the dark!

    I am all for doing things that make you feel better about yourself, and I think fixing bad teeth is probably an excellent investment. It sounds very painful, though!

    I had laser treatments done on my face about 10 years ago to get rid of a lot of my freckles (which after 35 suddenly become age spots!). I was very happy with the results. I am thinking about going back and having something similar done again – I am not sure what new treatments they have invented.

    I am a chicken, so I would like to avoid anything that involves anesthesia and cutting into my skin. I feel like dermatologists are coming up with new and better non-invasive procedures to improve your skin, and I would like to take advantage of them.

  10. This is actually a real issue for us right now. DS2, among his many late effects of treatment, has badly malformed front teeth. They look bad. We have wanted to get them fixed for several years but he refuses. His dentist referred him to an orthodontist who can do this kind of work, and DS2 finally agreed to see him last week. The orthodontist is going to propose a course of action in a big meeting in another two weeks. We will see if DS2 consents this time. He has so many issues – short, clumsy, hearing aids – that I feel like he should fix what he can.

  11. You may want to look at lingual (behind the teeth) braces as an alternative to invisalign. Our orthodontist says they’re faster, and based on my kid’s experience so far that seems to be right. Apparently lingual braces require special training that not many orthodontists undertake.

  12. I have trouble getting too worked about anyone getting cosmetic stuff done because it’s already so much a part of our culture. I mean, it’s routine to put tweens through years of expensive and extremely painful orthodontic work, often for mostly cosmetic reasons. I do think it’s disturbing as a society how much we idolize youth and shun normal aging. The quote that stood out to me in that article is “it was important to me not to age.” Um, hello, but the two alternatives in this life are getting older and dying. We can prolong the inevitable and look better in the meantime, but no one gets to look or be 20 forever. The Caitlyn Jenner magazine cover also illustrates this. She is bold enough to transition to a woman, but not to look like an actual 65 year old woman.

  13. Milo – My eldest had a severe underbite. There is a sweet spot in bone maturity about 21 years of age in which that surgery (which involves breaking the jaw) has the possibility of a decent outcome, but at almost every other age it is a disaster. However, his misalignment was grinding down his rear teeth as well as affecting his speech clarity, and his teeth were not going to last a lifetime. I offered to pay for whatever he needed, and he went for full metal braces. He finished up just this year here in Boston and they were astounded at how well it came out. But it does require a commitment to wear a nighttime retainer for the rest of one’s life. Same with Invisalign, actually. If an orthodontist, who has lost many dollars of business to cosmetic dentists using invisalign, says you can do it with that, go for it. Dollars well spent. Invisalign at 61 really improved my smile, confidence, lisp and chewing.

  14. Re Caitlyn Jenner – one of my FB friends had a long and fascinating discussion on FB about her negative feelings on that magazine cover. I said something to the effect that Caitlyn Jenner seems to be promoting a man’s idea of what a woman is rather than an actual woman. I know several people who transitioned to being women at middle age, and they look like actual frumpy middle aged women. Why not put that reality on the cover?
    Anyway, the very next day, this article appeared in the NY Times, and I have to say, I agree with much of it

  15. The Caitlyn Jenner magazine cover also illustrates this. She is bold enough to transition to a woman, but not to look like an actual 65 year old woman.

    I’ve seen a lot of people make this comment and I understand the point. At the same time, she never got to be a young woman so it’s very understandable that she would want that experience. Non-tg women (I hate the term cisgender) have gone through a lifetime of being a woman at all the different stages before reaching the “65-year-old woman” stage. I can see why she wants to experience some of the other stages of female life before reaching that point, and she has the money to do it, so more power to her.

  16. I’m 47 (48 soon), and the lines on my forehead are getting pretty deep. From time to time I have thought about Botox, but the thought of injecting something into my body that will paralyze my muscles (albeit just a few of them) freaks me out. I think I have this irrational fear because my FIL died of ALS, and it was horrifying to see him become completely paralyzed over time. I know that Botox and ALS have absolutely nothing to do with each other, but I just can’t get past my phobia. So I will continue to live with the lines on my forehead. Oh well, I’ll save a few bucks, I guess.

  17. I agreed with a lot of that article too Mooshi and thought about posting here but didn’t want to stir the pot too much.

  18. “But it does require a commitment to wear a nighttime retainer for the rest of one’s life.”

    Ugh. Not thrilled about that idea.

  19. It really has become normal – necessary even, to improve your appearance. With cosmetic procedures being so pervasive, one cannot not do it. I mean, I have naturally long, thick and curled lashes, but they can’t compete with the mascara’ed ones. And so it goes. You might look good for your age, but when you compare yourself to someone who has undergone “refreshment” you’d tend to think that you look old. So to keep up with others, one tends to also go for “refreshment” and the vicious circle continues.

    So long it is not drastic and you don’t end up looking like that comedian lady, it’s okay in my book. I would do laser treatment, veneers, Invisalign etc. I totally see a partial facelift in my future if I tend to get facial sag rather than wrinkles like my mom.

    Right now I need to do something for my freckles and melasma. I love being out in the sun, so I am afraid to do it, not be careful after and have it come back worse than before.

    A full head of hair is also important, so I would also do something about it if I were to have thin hair.

  20. She is bold enough to transition to a woman, but not to look like an actual 65 year old woman.

    I bet he looks like most 65 year old women in LA with a net worth north of $50 million.

  21. I dye my gray hair, shave my legs and use whitening toothpaste. The actuary who got her tooth work done probably had a high bill because there were lots of issues from previous surgeries that had to be fixed. Like Mooshi, if I had a child with challenges, I would do what I could to pay for improvement. As it is, I’ve been thinking about orthodontics bills, because both my parents had bad teeth and orthodontics treatment tends to reduce cavities over a lifetime by aligning the teeth, etc. I still have and recently put in my retainer (a bit tight) so I clearly benefited over the long term.

    During pregnancy, various twin-related issues came back, including varicose veins. One of my friends had them so bad they were painful and prone to clots, and was one reason they chose not to have another child. Mine aren’t that bad, but I’m glad they’re pretty much gone after delivery. They are still slightly noticeable, and I’m still of the age when I wear short shorts sometimes, but fixing cosmetic veins is not a priority. I’ve born 4.5 children, darn it!

  22. but didn’t want to stir the pot too much.

    With Saac out of commission for a bit someone needs to pick up the slack.

  23. But not everyone can afford to be refreshed. I think it also has to do with those you are around – work, family, church, volunteers, etc.

  24. Sorry if posting that article seems like stirring the pot! I actually had considered submitting it as an actual discussion post. The FB discussion that I was part of, which was the day before the article, was so fascinating and interesting. There are so many complexities to consider. In that discussion, no one got heated or disrespectful.

  25. All the non-invasive stuff doesn’t do it for me, because I really don’t care that much about wrinkles and age spots and such (although we’ll see about the age spots as I get older). I also haven’t had awesome luck with what I have tried — I spent quite a bit on multiple, multiple sessions of laser hair removal a few years back, and it all grew back (even though I was told that I was the “perfect” candidate because of my fair skin and dark hair); I also had Lasik, and one eye has regressed badly and still has slightly weird vision even with a contact lens. So my lesson has been that the results are always disappointing, so why spend money/time on it? I do color my hair (but I leave some grey showing), and I got Invisalign when my dentist told me I was going to need crowns and root canals because my bite had regressed so much. But I’m not running for office, and (luckily) my career isn’t dependent on being drop-dead gorgeous, so, you know, that’s good enough.

    If I were going to do it, I’d spend the money on “real” cosmetic surgery that would actually fix those problem spots that have bugged me for 40 years (not to mention the one that came on with DS’ arrival). But there’s better things to spend the money on, and I’m scared by people who die in surgery, and I have a little too much Puritan streak to feel like it’s ok to mess with what God gave me to that extent. So I just continue to dither.

  26. OK, this might suprise you, but I have been thinking of doing something with a dermatologist. I just don’t know what. In the past couple of years, I have developed wrinkles near my chin that quite frankly make me look ancient. I have that pale Celtic skin that I know will always be prone to early wrinkles. Ugh! What are my options? Is it Botox or nothing? How expensive and risky are these treatments?

  27. DH has poor teeth – so many fillings the kids call them “robot teeth” and has had to have one front tooth replaced with a fake already because the other one had something weird where the nerve tissue overgrew. I could see getting him veneers or more fake teeth in the future.

    I would like to get cosmetic stuff done for wrinkles, but DH is against it so I won’t.

    Milo – I wear a night guard that is very similar to a retainer. Once you get used to it, totally not a big deal. If you were only wearing a retainer on the bottom I think that would be even less intrusive.

  28. “It really has become normal – necessary even, to improve your appearance.”

    But it’s really only a certain subset that feels that way. I look around and think that a lot of people are looking way older than they are for whatever reason (poor nutrition, smoking, etc.) I had a few people from high school pop up on my FB feed and I couldn’t even tell it was the same people. I know it’s been twenty years but goodness.

  29. I will grant that academic types who use all their intelligence and education to craft half-baked, jargon-y arguments meant more to score political points than to enlighten are aggravating.

    Rocky – Is she fuck1ng kidding me? That’s pretty rich coming from Amanda Marcotte!

  30. L – I may look into it. So I guess no surgery that breaks my jaw, but if I get a couple opinions on the Invisalign, and they think that will work, maybe.

  31. You want to know something that bothers me. There is a guy at my gym who is very very very fit. We were waiting in line to scan our cards and I noticed he was wearing his work ID badge. He’s a resident. Even with the 80 hour/week cap that’s still a lot of work. And to have all that extra energy? Ugh.

  32. See…and I’m obviously just going to be the Designated Bitch for this entire thread, so I have my flame-proof undies on, go ahead and push back…

    But there’s better things to spend the money on, and I’m scared by people who die in surgery, and I have a little too much Puritan streak to feel like it’s ok to mess with what God gave me to that extent.

    Right, so I’ve met you, and here’s the thing — you look great. You instantly come across as both beautiful and very smart. So I just have some resistance to your saying that you don’t feel like it’s okay to mess with what God gave you, because God gave you some really great stuff. I think you’re awesome, Laura, but I experience that comment as…I dunno, missing the point? What if you looked like Honey Boo-Boo’s mother?

    And same to you, Mooshi, that’s just the kind of article that gripes my cookies. You’ve mentioned several times that you’re naturally thin, so of course bikini body stuff doesn’t bother you.

    Seriously, at the median Totebag income level, everyone here can be expected to be above-average in looks. What if you were really homely?

  33. Yeah, I get Amanda Marcotte’s arguments too. But Elinor Burkit’s article, which also got heavily shared and liked on FB among a lot of my friends, hit a real feeling of discomfort with the Caitlyn Jenner transition. Many of us didn’t even realize we had those feelings until that cover came out. That discussion on FB, which had 80 comments by the time it played out, occurred BEFORE Burkit’s article, and the participants were real women of several races and ethnicities and professions, and not an academic feminist among them. The feeling seemed to be that this is a man’s view of womanhood at 65, advertised by someone who had in fact been a man for 65 years.

    After thinking about this a bit, my feeling is that a man who transitions to being a woman after missing all the years of woman experience, is not going to be the same as someone who grew up as a woman. On the other hand, someone who grew up as a woman (or a man) does not have the experience of being transgendered either. Maybe being transgendered is a third kind of experience.

  34. Rocky Mountain, I am actually skinny and flatchested and look like total crap in a bikini. I haven’t worn one since I was 16 and realized I was never going to look any better than that in a bikini. I have a relative who has been prancing around telling all of us that she is 65 and wears a bikini, so we should all wear one too. My reaction to her- you’ve got to be kidding me.

  35. Is anyone else watching Silicon Valley this seasons? It’s really good. The first episode is a little flat but it really gets going after that.

  36. “Even with the 80 hour/week cap that’s still a lot of work. And to have all that extra energy? Ugh.” You must watch Happyish – there’s a quote “Do you know how much self loathing it takes to have a six pack?”

    I love Silicon Valley!

    Mooshi – I liked the Times article and think it was spot on. The magazine cover never sat well with me and I realized that it feels like if I were to become a French citizen and then took to wearing a beret and carrying a baguette with me everywhere or like that episode of Senifeld where Tim Whatley converts to Judaism and immediately starts telling Jewish jokes all the time.

  37. I watched a couple of episodes of SIlicon Valley on a plane a year or two ago, and found it horrifyingly realistic. I would probably enjoy seeing some episodes, if only to remind me why I would never work in Silicon Valley. I wonder if I could download some episodes to my Android tablet for my upcoming work trip to Portland. Speaking of which, I also think Portlandia is pretty funny and am eager to see if Portland is really like that

  38. If being female is a social construct, then we’re all in drag all the time, right? Some of us choose to wear tasteful Lands End ponté dresses and comfortable sandals, and some, like Jenner, choose to be glamor-pusses. So does Suzanne Somers. She’s Jenner’s age, roughly.

    Is that better than Jenner? Why?

  39. I have just gotten rosacea, and since I’m not interested in taking antibiotics it looks like I may have to go with laser treatment (haven’t seen the dermatologist yet, though).

    Normally I would just live with it, but I’ve had relatives whose skin was badly damaged by it. Has anyone tried it?

    Milo, they are not kidding about retainers. I had my permanent retainer removed and within 24 hours one of my teeth had popped out of place. Now my only choice is $5k for Invisalign, and we have three kids who will need braces more than I do. (Unless I’m widowed, in which case i plan to go first ;) .)

  40. Seriously, on topic, the only cosmetic things I’ve had done are: highlights and laser hair removal. Highlights keep my blond-turning-brown hair looking good (not mousey) and cover the grays (or blend them if you will). Laser hair removal didn’t make my problem area hair disappear, but it sure made it thinner/finer and easier to deal with on my own.

    I’m lucky. I don’t look my age at all – much younger, in fact. The women in my family seem to age gracefully. Hopefully I’ll follow suit. If I don’t, I can see myself doing some teeth whitening, and that’s about it… right now. Give me 10 years.

    The botox is interesting… my son is getting some during his surgery because the surgeon finds (with support from medical journals) that botox helps the scars diminish and promotes healing. 5 months old and having botox. Move over Caitlyn.

  41. Mooshi – you might want to ask about fillers instead of Botox.

    I am not against cosmetic changes. Probably the 2 best things that have improved my appearance are braces (thanks Mom and Dad!) and straight hair. And my hatred of the sun. I won’t rule anything out but I also wouldn’t do anything that required general anesthetic while my kids are so young. If I could have some things done risk-free, I would jump all over them.

  42. Milo – even for people who had braces/retainers as tweens and teens, docs recommend continually wearing the retainer at night for the rest of the patient’s life. Of course, I find this out ~15 years later… anyway, developmental wise, now may be a good time for you to see what you can do. All your teeth are in and where nature is putting them. Unlike me, who has some overlap in my bottom front teeth thanks to wisdom teeth growth 5 years after I finished orthodontia. It doesn’t phase me, so I don’t do anything about it.

  43. The only thing I do is dye my hair to cover the grey. I can’t see paying a ton of money for this stuff (but if you have the money, it is yours to do what you want, everyone has different priorities). there are some procedures I’d be interested in but would worry about risk over a cosmetic procedure that is unnecessary

  44. “but I also wouldn’t do anything that required general anesthetic while my kids are so young”

    That’s interesting, and I feel like you’ve said this before and I shared this before in response, but I had plastic surgery under general anesthesia as a father of a young child (and maybe one on the way? Can’t remember). It was a bump on my temple, and since the biopsy was clear, I guess it was merely a cosmetic procedure. Maybe bumps are more like something being “wrong” vs. something that could merely be improved.

  45. I think the difference is that no one is gushing over Suzanne Somer’s courage.

  46. “Unlike me, who has some overlap in my bottom front teeth thanks to wisdom teeth growth 5 years after I finished orthodontia.”

    Oh, I wonder if that did it. I was a senior in college when I had my wisdom teeth extracted.

  47. Sky – My husband had rosacea right after we graduated from college. I think he’s gotten prescriptions for creams in the past and thought about laser treatment but put it off and then it just eventually went away on it’s own. Not sure if it was diet or what (he still drinks a decent amount of wine and beer).

  48. “Here’s an idea: Why don’t we call a truce and let ordinary people express themselves without lighting their asses on fire for not sounding like they’re reading out of a doctoral thesis?”

    This was the most on-point sentence I’ve read on that whole issue. I get the point of the Times article, I really do. But the first half especially came across as completely tone-deaf and exclusionary, because it didn’t fit *her* view of what a 65-year-old-woman should look like, and because of her own overreading of the “brain” comment. The whole theme of “we know what it’s like to be excluded,” while at the same time basically invalidating the experience of trans people who don’t fit her own notion of what a woman is and should be — I dunno, the whole thing just triggered the same reaction I get when I hear white guys going on and on about reverse discrimination. Because in the world of women-vs.-trans, the women are the majority and the powerful. Lord knows I’m never going to be a heels-and-bustier person; but ya know, there are a lot of women who are — even ones who were born with vaginas. And if we’re all so upset about 65-year-old women looking sexy instead of suitably frumpy, why all the headlines about how *awesome* Helen Mirren looks in a bikini? It all reads to me as she’s not “woman enough” to qualify, that she’s trying too hard, etc. — all of which I suspect hits directly at the most vulnerable spot of the trans population. And I also suspect the author is smart enough to know that.

    @Rocky — OK, fair point. Which sort of circles back to my response to the article, too, because it’s one of those “check your privilege” moments, of being oblivious to your own advantages. The only thing I can say in my defense is that objectively I know you’re right, but that isn’t what I see when I look in the mirror. But thanks — I’m happy to go with it. :-)

  49. Milo – yeah, it isn’t so much the actual anesthesia. That is safe. It is more that anything that I would have done under general would be pretty invasive and I have some scar tissue issues. I have had to have 2 surgeries after some of my c-sections and my surgeons have both commented that I had a lot of scar tissue that they needed to remove. I am not a good healer, I guess. So, I won’t do anything that isn’t necessary at this point and increase my risks of fun things like bowel obstructions.

  50. “I think the difference is that no one is gushing over Suzanne Somer’s courage.”

    I think the ensuing response has demonstrated that Caitlyn *needed* a lot more courage to go out in public like that than Suzanne did.

  51. The one change I would have liked to make is to be a little bit taller. I worry about this with regard to my kids.
    The one thing I don’t understand is actresses with great features risking a lot just to tweak things.

  52. RMS – I agree with you. Maybe just the *degree* of drag makes us think “too much”? Suzanne Somers also looks weird to me. Trying to think of appropriate-looking 65-yo women – Charlotte Rampling?

  53. “I think the ensuing response has demonstrated that Caitlyn *needed* a lot more courage to go out in public like that than Suzanne did.”

    I’ll join Rocky in stirring the pot. In a country where the vast majority of the media and the President are going to be eager to fall all over themselves expressing their support, how much “courage” can this possibly take?

  54. did we talk on here about Renee Zellweger’s work she had done? Doesn’t even look like the same person

  55. Slight highjack – If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?

    For me, it would be to have more energy. Maybe not Sanjay Gupta triathlete/MD/author/TV personality/med school professor levels of energy. But, maybe 25% closer to that than I currently am? That would be nice.

  56. Also of note – I can’t think of a single female politician after Margaret Chase Smith with grey hair. So the degree to which the normal signs of aging *look* normal (or aspirational?) to us has also shifted.

  57. Wine – she is back to looking more like herself. Whatever she did to her eyes has been reversed (at least for now). But I agree- I saw a picture of her at some point and had no idea who she was.

  58. Physical – get my pre-kids stomach back. My scar is atrocious and according to my ob, unless I have surgery, this is as good as it is going to get.

    General – I wish I had more patience.

  59. Maria Klawe is one of my CS heroes! Not just for being the Harvey Mudd president, or doing so much to encourage women to go into CS, She also did some great research back in the day, before becoming an administrator type.

  60. I work with a middle aged man who transitioned to being a woman about 2 years ago. She isn’t at my school,, but I work with her closely on some projects. Anyway, she was a middle aged hobbit as a man, and she is now a middle aged hobbit as a woman. I kind of like that.

  61. “America’s obsession with perfecting its teeth.”

    This article includes some of the points made in this discussion.

    Wow, although it does seem that every middle schooler has braces, I didn’t know it was 80%.

    “Over the past two decades, the number of North American teenagers in orthodontic treatment has nearly doubled, so that 80 percent are currently in an orthodontist’s care, with the recommended average age of a first visit now 7. “

  62. If I could change anything physical – to ahem, have my pre-nursing three kids bra size back. Ugh, I’m not willing to go under the knife to fix it, but clothes would fit so much better if I wasn’t so much smaller up top than I used to be.

  63. More energy! That’s what I’d change, too. It’d probably help my looks because I’d exercise more.

  64. I think it was Meme who pointed out a while back that nice teeth is a subtle class indicator. I (and all of my siblings) had braces. Middle class family from middle America. If my family was doing it 25-30 years ago, it doesn’t surprises that so many kids do it now.

  65. Does any woman truly embrace their grays? Even us younger women on the blog admit to covering grays… Men seem to do it all time – media claims it makes them look distinguished. Women – old and frumpy.

    Renee Zellweger – what was wrong with her “old” self? It’s not like she need to lose a ton of weight for health reasons.

    I never really thought about Caitlyn Jenner’s look. She debuted on the cover of Glamour, of course she had to look stellar. And photoshopped. Now, please show me a pic of her going to the local market on a Saturday morning. I figured once she figures out the type of woman she wants to be, she’ll be that. Kind of like a teen experimenting with different looks/groups (jocks, goths, grunge, preppy, etc…).

  66. At one level, I understand what people are saying about what an “appropriate” 65 year old looks like. I am UMC, educated, and I understand the taste standards of my race, class, age, and sex. But my libertarian streak really rebels against this business of how you’re supposed to conform to being asexual when you pass 50.

  67. “Does any woman truly embrace their grays?”

    My mother and MIL do not color their hair. Neither of them have worked in a very long time. However, *everyone* else I know does.

  68. Does any woman truly embrace their grays?

    I’m okay with mine. I colored my hair for years, but even with an expert colorist, I thought it was looking increasingly fake. I know I look older now but at least I don’t have to peer at my roots every morning.

  69. I really wish that I kept my retainer, and wore it as an adult. I looked into getting invisalign earlier this year, and my dentist thinks it might be a little risky for me. I’ve had a lot of dental work done because I have an enamel deficiency. She thinks it might create havoc with some of the dental work that relies on bone grafts etc. I am still thinking about getting another opinion. DD definitely needs braces, but that is because we let her suck her thumb for too many years. I find the 80% number to be really high for MS kids, but it is just my observation around here.

    I had laser hair removal on my arms about five years ago, and I loved the results. My only regret is that I waited, but the technology has improved so the results do seem permanent.

    I have those wrinkles on my forehead too, and I am starting to get a line between my eyebrows. My derm gave me topical retin A, but I have been lazy about doing it each night. I should really get with the program because I don’t want botox. Many of my friends and neighbors use botox, but I just don’t want to try it yet.

    We watch Silicon Valley. It is one of the few shows that we watch together…it is really funny. I also watch Veep, and I think that is very smart/funny. My husband has no interest in Veep.

    I just finished watching two seasons of Masters of Sex at the gym. It took a few months, and I liked the show…it just made me really wish that Mad Men was coming back for another season.

  70. Short hair as you get older ?
    I’ve wondered about this as I see very few older women with long hair. I wonder what women my age who have had their hair long for a while are going to do as they age.

  71. Is some of the pressure to be “asexual” because we haven’t accepted that there are many ways to be male or female? Or because people aren’t sure how to handle some aspects of (especially female) sexuality? I was in Mr WCE’s cube yesterday with Baby WCE. She got hungry/fussy and I went outside to nurse her on a bench. One of his colleagues passed by and the colleague normally probably would have said Hi but since I was nursing, he politely ignored me, probably because he didn’t want to make me feel awkward. If I were a younger/less self confident woman, would the ambiguity about what to do with a hungry baby make me want to use a bottle? I think bottles are fine, but I haven’t used one yet with this baby and teaching a baby to use one is a separate task.

  72. Louise, I cut my hair very short because it got thinner and rattier as I got older. I really loathe long, straggly, thinning gray hair. If you have lovely thick silky gray hair, like Emmylou Harris, that looks awesome.

  73. For me, it would be to have more energy. Maybe not Sanjay Gupta triathlete/MD/author/TV personality/med school professor levels of energy. But, maybe 25% closer to that than I currently am? That would be nice.

    I’d go for this as well.

  74. Why is it asexual to look one’s age? Maybe that is the problem – the media feeds us this one ideal of being sexual (wear a bikini! pose in a corset! get lip injections!) which isn’t a realistic possibility for 95% of women over say 55. Maybe that is a part of my discomfort with the Caitlin Jenner cover, although I will still say (flame retardents at the ready), that a big part of my discomfort is this nagging feeling that this is still a man telling me what we should be like.

    I did not have that same feeling of discomfort when my colleague transitioned, because she stuck with her essential hobbitness. Once a hobbit, always a hobbit.

  75. I think anytime you look at someone and see a disconnect, it ages them. What I mean is seeing a fit woman in something from Forever 21 from the back and you don’t notice, but when she turns around and her face is clearly 41 or 51, that disconnect makes her look even older IMO. Whether it is clothes, hair colors (purple hair is not for seniors), hair styles, make up, etc., those disconnects usually tend to make you think that person is older trying to look younger.

  76. “), that a big part of my discomfort is this nagging feeling that this is still a man telling me what we should be like.”

    The thing that sticks with me, and we talked about Wellesley and this issue already, is that, despite all the pointless debates about pronouns and other semantics, the so-called women’s college allows people who were born female and transitioned to male, but does NOT allow the opposite. So they bend over backwawrds to be PC and inclusive, but they clearly don’t actually believe that the transition is a legitimate change.

  77. Paul McHugh (retired Johns Hopkins psychiatrist) had a WSJ editorial last year on why Johns Hopkins quit doing gender reassignment surgery. On a public policy level, my concerns about such surgery align with my generally libertarian views (government should leave you free to make decisions I would not make) and frugality (but as a taxpayer, I shouldn’t have to pay for them)

    It isn’t a topic that interests me so I have little knowledge except my observations from the limits of silicone in plastic surgery. If you have, say, a cancerous breast or a burned ear, silicone can provide you with a much more aesthetic substitute than nothing, but it won’t be a functional substitute. Surgery still can’t provide you with the functionality of being the opposite sex (childbirth, lactation, spontaneous erection) only the aesthetics. Because of that limitation, maybe only people who are interested in the aesthetic aspects of being the opposite sex choose to pursue surgery.

  78. “that a big part of my discomfort is this nagging feeling that this is still a man telling me what we should be like.”

    I find this very interesting. Mostly because hasn’t it always been men who tell women what they should be like? OK, so most men didn’t transition, but the majority of designers of women’s fashion are men. The majority of plastic surgeons are men (guessing on this one). Up until recently, men ran fashion magazines. Aren’t there even more male directors in Hollywood?

    So are you comfortable with a non-trans man telling a woman what she should be like?

    *the above post is meant as a friendly question. any appearances to an antagonizing question is merely coincidental*

  79. I would like to get Botox but not on my face – I’ve heard that it can help reduce excessive sweating in your armpits. I plan to talk to my doc about this at my next annual checkup. Has anyone tried it?

    I took good care of my skin in my teens-20’s, so at 41 my face can still pass for early 30’s. This is my revenge on all the mean girls who used to bake themselves in baby oil & smoke cigarettes while I was working at the pool in the highest SPF available plus hat & clothes over my swimsuit. However, I have not taken good care of my belly. Sometimes I just wish I could get liposuction and use that to kickstart all-over weight loss.

  80. that a big part of my discomfort is this nagging feeling that this is still a man telling me what we should be like.

    Hey, at least she was willing to cut off her own […] to make her point. Most guys just tell us what we should look like and then go about their day.

  81. I am not sure Caitlin is telling us how to look/be a woman. I think it is more akin to how many women are when they are younger and just figuring out their style. Eventually you figure it out and tone down some of the more exaggerated effects. Also, I would go all out on the cover of a magazine, too. If not there, then where?

  82. Mostly because hasn’t it always been men who tell women what they should be like?

    I’ve always thought it was mostly other women enforcing the norms.

  83. I have a cousin who transitioned to a woman and did it in a low-key way. She chose a name that was popular in her birth year and started with the same letter as her birth name. She also doesn’t act or dress in a stereotypical, over-the-top feminine way, as if being a woman is about playing Barbie. I think what rubs some of us the wrong way about Jenner is that she seems very caught up in all the glamor and external trappings of being a woman, but did not have the usual growing up female experience- and instead always had an enormous amount of privilege both as a world-class athlete and being rich and famous. This would be called cultural appropriation if it concerned race instead of gender. Yet the media is falling all over itself to celebrate it.

    To stir the pot even further, this is an interesting perspective from a black woman.

  84. Rhett – the resident was probably in Emergency Medicine – a bunch of slacker who rarely top out above 60h/wk, even before the hours restrictions.

    I highlight my hair – just like Rhode I have very blond hair that has turned to mousy blond in my 30s. I have become convinced that there is no a woman in her 30’s with great, naturally blond hair. (Thanks to MMM, I did do the highlights at home last week, which was surprisingly easy.)

    I have a lot of extra skin on my abdomen despite very modest weight gains with pregnancy. I simply do not have stretchy skin. I could probably smuggle illegal material into the country underneath it. I would love to have it taken off, but I am also irrationally squeamish about general anesthesia – even though it is likely safer than driving on the Interstate at 2am. I would hate to die in surgery and be remembered by my kids as dying during plastic surgery — so, there is a kind of vanity in that, I suppose. (For the person who mentioned upthread about concerns about scar tissue – there really isn’t a risk of intrabdominal adhesions with the procedure – they don’t enter the abdominal cavity)

  85. “So are you comfortable with a non-trans man telling a woman what she should be like?”

    No! That is the whole point. We spend our whole lives being told by men what we should look like. And then we get Caitlyn Jenner, who is supposedly a women showing off this look, except that it is almost a carciature of what men prefer to see in women, coming from someone who is now labelled as a woman but who has 65 years of male, not female, experience.

  86. Ada – interesting. My issue isn’t really excess skin (I think mine is elastic and bounced back fine and with no stretch marks). It is more the unevenness from my c-sections (like right above/below the incision line). I think I need a tummy tuck to correct it, which I understand is pretty invasive?

  87. Agree with Rio at 1:33 pm. After all these years, to me what seems to have pushed Bruce over to Caitlyn, is the constant presence of Kim and her ilk. He just wanted to be one of those girls. I am not at all surprised if she dresses like she did not cover. And with Kim as her stylist, it can only get worse.

    All this discussion reminded me of the dialogue from Twilight- I just don’t feel like my true self as a human. I need to be a vampire!-

  88. Taking Caitlin at her word, she didn’t have a male experience (even though we think she did).

  89. I embraced my gray hair ten or more years ago, and I still get “hi, red” flak from several men my age who knew me as a “hot” redhead, clearly found me attractive then, and when I went gray and become “old” overnight were disconcerted by the fact that their feelings immediately changed. They are annoyed with me for rejecting my female duty to stay as hot as possible as long as possible. That is a real life example that underlies the academic feminist irritation with the choice that Bruce/Caitlyn made for the unveiling.

    I have noticed the year long NYT emphasis on transgender issues and had an Aha! moment a few weeks ago. (I worked closely many years ago with a person who had gender reassignment surgery and stayed in the same job, so it was not entirely foreign to me.) But I have always, in my head if not out loud, referred to TG individuals by their original pronoun. I am old enough to remember the process for me personally and the wider society of gaining familiarity with and comfort around gay people. Nothing to do with their civil rights, which I have always supported, but social comfort and lack of surprise. The Vanity Fair cover is a big early step in the process of bringing into the mainstream the TG community in the way that time and exposure and cultural shifts have done for the gay community.

  90. I have been involved (as a student) with treatment for hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating). From what I understand, it works quite well. Botox is really quite low risk, as it wears off over time (compared to surgery). I scrubbed in on a case where someone was having a thorocotomy (chest cracked open) in order to get to the nerve that controls hand sweating and have it cut. Their excessive hand sweatiness was affecting their life enough to consider that procedure.

    On Maria Klawe – I saw her speak last year and was really impressed by how smart and passionate she is. She has done amazing things to increase women in Computer Science – her college is graduating a CS class that is 50% women (doesn’t hurt that they have really good raw material to work with). They also have an online intro CS course that they are making available for high school students (I think to prepare them for the AP test) – to try to fill the pipeline. When I saw her, she was speaking exactly on the CS curriculum and women. She talked about not dumbing down the curriculum, but making accessible to people who do not already program (as an intro class should be). If I knew more about CS, I could tell you more details.

    On a related note, DH went to Frye’s with the two girls this weekend and came home with a pink computer case and all the stuff you need to build a computer tower. He has not ever really been into projects with the kids, but I think they are reaching an age where he can meet them at their level. I did give me the opportunity to say, “It’s called the motherboard because it is charge of everything.” He has engineer in his job title, but he mostly types into tiny windows, and I kind of forget that he knows how to build things.

  91. I think for abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) – they can do epidural, but not local. If I understand correctly, you run into toxicity with local anesthetics when you have to numb up such a big area.

    In terms of invasiveness, I would consider it less so than a tendon repair surgery I had last year. With the tendon repair, they worked with moving parts of my body. Probably about as invasive as elective hernia repair? – just cutting and sewing soft tissue. Certainly less invasive than anything involving an organ.

  92. “We spend our whole lives being told by men what we should look like.”

    I’m with Rhett on this one. What men have told you how to look? I’ve never told DW to wear uncomfortable shoes that give her blisters, or to tweeze eyebrow hairs. Rhode says it’s because designers are men, but they can only design what people want to buy. And they design sweatpants and jeans, also.

    Women are the ones who enforce the appearance standards among themselves.

  93. Oh, Milo, when I was young I used to get shouted at whenever I went out for my walk or run. If I looked good, I got cat-called; if I looked grungy, I got barked at and called a dog. Men absolutely tell you how to look. In high school one of the football players called me Rocky Dog one day, which would make more sense to you if you knew my actual last name. One boyfriend told me my ankles were too thick. A fellow grad student told me I’d look so much better if I lost 10 pounds. Another boyfriend told me I looked ridiculous in lipstick. The fact that you never told your wife how to look is pretty much irrelevant to the truth of the universe, though of course it’s good that you’re nice to her.

  94. Speaking of brows – notice how thicker, more natural looking brows are in ?
    Aesthetians I went to in the past have tried to pull out my brows wanting to make them look thinner. Now, it helps that my preferred look matches what’s in.

  95. I agree that it’s all an continuum. I’m willing to dedicate certain amount of time, energy, money, and suffering to my appearance – for person pride reasons, for professional reasons, to stay attractive enough for my husband – whatever. Right now, that includes wearing makeup, putting a certain level of effort into my style, wearing spanx/push up bras/uncomfortable shoes sometimes, highlighting my hair, exerting effort to at least not get any fatter, etc. Right now, I am not willing to put the $$/pain in to do anything that involves injections or scalpels. But I won’t rule it out – I’m almost 40 and starting to get a little freaked out at how quickly the wrinkles are deepening on my forehead and around the eyes. And it’s only going to get worse.

  96. It is a stretch for some of us to see how having the opportunity to be “the world’s greatest athlete” and win an Olympic gold medal and set a world record in the men’s decathlon can be anything but a male experience, given that it is not possible for anyone born a typical XX female to accomplish that.

  97. Cat / Rocky – I am often surprised by some of these experiences shared on here.

  98. I agree with Milo about the uncomfortable clothes thing. My mother was the first person to say “you have to suffer to be beautiful”. I don’t dress for my husband when we go out. If I am truthful, I am dressing for other women.

  99. As far as what I’d change with my own appearance, I want naturally smooth, straight, easy-to-manage hair.

  100. I am just going to reiterate that I think there is a transgendered woman experience, which is a different thing from a woman-from-the-start or man-from-the-start experience (isn’t there some term I am supposed to be using now? can’t keep track of it). And of course there is a transgendered man experience too. I am happy to accept transgendered men and women as such and to listen to their experience, but they need to respect that women-from-the-start have a different experience.

    And why does it seem there are far more men transitioning to women than vice versa? Is that just an illusion? Are there statistics?

  101. Milo, I think that’s because you’re in the 80-90% of men who are decent, self confident and capable enough not to need to put other people down to build yourself up. The 10-20% of men who are rude and obnoxious to women who don’t conform to the local norm (lesbians, those of us who just don’t care, etc.) cause women to change their behavior in the same way the few men who throw acid on women attempting to get educations in Muslim countries change their behavior.

    In contrast to RMS, my response to rude, usually sexual comments was something like, “Few men have your talent for making lifelong celibacy look so appealing.”

  102. “If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?”

    I would be an optimist.

    I totally don’t have the same reaction to the Glamour cover. Which is funny, because I’m the one who to this day refuses to poke holes in her body for purposes of fashion and sees sexism lurking around every tree. :-) Part of it is just the preacher’s daughter syndrome — she has new toys, she wants to show them off; right now, it’s all about the freedom, but with no sense of what this new “normal” really is on a day-to-day basis. I mean, the guy on the floor above me came out Sophomore year, and I got to spend six solid months listening to “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” and insanely happy dancing, but I’m fairly confident the 25+ years since then have regressed to the more normal everyday. It’s just hard to take that first splash as a permanent statement of who-she-is-and-forever-more-shall-be.

    Plus, you know, compared to the rest of the (ex) household, Caitlyn looks normal.

    And then the other part of it is it’s a fashion magazine cover, which means it’s hard to see *any* part of that as “real” or trying to be “representative.” I am basically around the same age as Cindy Crawford and Carol Alt and all of those supermodels of my generation. You could put them in a housecoat and fuzzy slippers and mud mask and they’d look better than I ever did, despite their “advanced” age. But no one would think twice about them getting glammed up for a magazine cover — that’s their job. And if they did, I find it hard to imagine that we’d be having such an intense conversation about what 50 is “supposed” to look like.

    Now, personally, these covers are more like a lesson in what *not* to do. But it’s a fluff mag — it’s their job to make people look hot, period.

  103. One boyfriend told me my ankles were too thick. A fellow grad student told me I’d look so much better if I lost 10 pounds.”

    One boyfriend told me that I have lovely blue eyes — too bad they’re wasted on brown hair.

    Yeah. That got him a new title (“ex”), and me a newfound resolve never to go blonde. :-)

  104. I also wish I had more energy/needed less sleep!

    My stomach shape is certainly worse for the wear; I am very grateful to my body for working so hard to create my lovely DD and for kindly dropping the baby weight quickly, but I wish I didn’t look 4 months pregnant! Anyone have good recommendations for tummy-focused shapewear (especially for summer)?

  105. Good Totebagger that I am, I suppose I’d be open to any exercises that would help, too…mustn’t just take the easy road out!

  106. MidA, didn’t you just have your baby? My stomach recovered nicely from everything except the twins (stretch marks), and “everything” includes 2 singletons and a 23 week delivery as well as the twins. It takes a year to recover completely, according to my nurse practitioner, and I’m currently in the stage of finding a couple new clothing items I fit into every week. I refrain from throwing clothes out for a year after delivery.

    I grew a couple inches around the chest and waist from the twins compared to pre-children and don’t have a good post-DS1 measurement. I did no particular exercises but had a recommendation for Jillian Michaels. I’m hoping to go back to post-twin size after Baby WCE. My feet grew half a size during the twin pregnancy but not during any other pregnancy.

    I think the big challenge, health-wise, is losing the baby weight.

  107. Milo – men can say some terrible things. I have been cat-called, insulted, and propositioned. I once worked on a deal that spanned 9 months, hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees, hundreds of millions of dollars for the client and so many weekends and nights, I could have given up my apartment during that time. I handled about 75% of it and our client had a really good result. At the closing dinner, the client got up to say a few words. Praise for the partner, praise for the bankers. For me – “I really enjoyed working with Cat. She is easy on the eyes.” Rage. WTAF?! The partner I worked for (who is a stand-up Milo-esque guy) was mortified and didn’t know what to do. I would say this is not an atypical scenario for youngish female professionals.

  108. “I want naturally smooth, straight, easy-to-manage hair.”
    I’ve been told many times to just bite the bullet and pay the $$$ to have the brazilian blowout, but I can’t justify the cost and upkeep of it.
    I would also like to do without the bunions that prevent me from wearing super cute shoes.

  109. I loved the results of the couple of Brazilian blowouts I had, but not quite enough to keep them up. For the first week or so I have the hair of my dreams. After a several washes it is still easy to manage, but does require a bit of blowdrying and straightening. Some positive effects last as long as 6 months. But the combination of the cost and chemical exposure concerns has kept me away the last few years. If it was cheaper or safer I would probably get them quarterly. Part of the frustrating thing is the longer and thicker your hair, the more it costs. But it’s those of us with super thick hair who benefit the most. But it’s not fun having to pay an extra $300 on top of an already very expensive treatment because you require so much extra product.

  110. Rio, we must meet someday and we can sulk together in high humidity! The good news is that when we are older and all our friends have thinning hair we’ll still be blessed with our think luscious locks.

  111. WCE–It’s been 3 months…not sure what normal time is for the tummy to subside? It hasn’t really changed over the past 4-6 weeks, so I am losing my optimism that it will naturally resolve to be closer to my non-flat (but non-pregnant looking) abdomen of yore.

  112. Am down with a cold but I am with Mooshi and RMS on the Jenner business. Frankly I think she would sell the paint of her mother’s walls if someone would buy it. Its funny because if you think about it Jenner hasn’t really done anything since winning the Olympics with the exception of helping to create the scourge that is the Kardashian Klan. I mean no real philanthropy that I have heard of, no business ventures of note.

    Following up on Cat S’s comments. I think decent men don’t really get how horrible men can be to women. Which makes it hard for them to believe what we share. In fact I think it is this same dynamic that makes it hard for white people to understand the stories they hear from black people about things that happen to them. It is just unthinkable. While you may not tell your wife what to wear or how to look, I’m sure that you and your friends don’t turn away when Kate Upton is on the tv.

    As for the invasive stuff, I think about the message I am sending my daughter. I never want her to look in the mirror and think that she needs to cut on her body to make it better. I think she is perfect the way she is and always will be. I also agree with the poster who worries about dying. Ugh how pathetic to be at college and have to tell people “yeah my mom is dead. She died getting liposuction.”

  113. MidA – if you’re still nursing, the tummy will stay until you stop. Even when I was below pre-pregnancy weight I still had that little bit of tummy until I weaned.

  114. MidA – it took my tummy 10-12 months each time. At 3 months I was still 3-4 sizes bigger than normal! Really does take time. :)

    I will jump on the more energy bandwagon as well. If I needed less sleep I would have an easier time getting up in the am to exercise. :)

  115. I’ll just add that the tummy is not about weight loss (which may or may not be related to nursing), but the return of the abdominal wall (the fascia, muscles, etc) to it’s normal shape. Think about a pot-bellied toddler — they don’t look that way because they are overweight (well, not all of them!) – it is because they have relatively weak abdominal muscles. I think you have another 9 months of remodeling in front of you, so don’t despair.

  116. For the person who was interested in the botox for sweating. Just listened to a This American Life bit about a woman with excessive blushing who was considering getting a sympathectomy which is the surgery that cuts the nerve that causes blushing but it also causes sweating – funny name. Anyway, one side effect is that while the underarm sweating is gone, you make up for it by sweating elsewhere – just like how that fat has to come out the top of the spanx. Regardless, check to make sure you don’t solve one problem and create another like a sweaty butt or something!

  117. For me – “I really enjoyed working with Cat. She is easy on the eyes.”

    Oh, yeah, at Chico, one of the senior faculty assessed me and the guy they had hired: “Steve’s going to be great, and Rocky’s cute as a button.”

    *I* was the one with publications in refereed journals and presentations under my belt. Not Steve. And Steve has NOT gone on to be great, just FYfuckingI. He never even made full professor. And I’m not cute as a button. What am I, Mary Lou Retton? I’m 5’6″. Button my ass.

  118. “I’m sure that you and your friends don’t turn away when Kate Upton is on the tv.”

    Guilty. Also guilty of allowing Sports Illustrated to send me the swimsuit edition. Sometimes I even get to see that, given we’re living with teenage boys in the house.

    I know, I’m completely rotten and ruining my progeny for the women they’ll date and maybe even marry someday.

    But DW keeps putting up with me…must be my potential or she likes a lifelong challenge.

  119. Rio, that article by the African-American woman is interesting, but I think that the parallels between racial self-hate and transgender desire are weaker than she thinks. Everyone kind of tiptoes around this issue, but being transgender has a lot to do with sexuality. How you view yourself as a sexual being is different from how you view yourself as a racially-categorized being. Wanting to be a woman has something to do with what makes you feel sexually attractive, and with the individuals you want to attract, and how you want to feel in romantic/sexual relationships.

  120. “notice how thicker, more natural looking brows are in ?”

    Like Anthony Davis? If you don’t know who he is, google Anthony Davis Unibrow.

    But yeah, my kids have noticed this among the kids, boys and girls, on Disney Channel.

  121. I’ll point out that orthodontia is not necessarily cosmetic.

    Correlations have been demonstrated between dental health and other health issues. E.g., gingivitis correlates with inflammation elsewhere in the body, which correlates with things like strokes and heart attacks. Orthodontia can help maintain dental health, which correlates to better health overall.

    I think it’s also better to get braces young, rather than wait until well into adulthood. The younger you get the braces, the better your gums will grow around your teeth; if you wait until later, it’s more likely than you’ll have pockets than are difficult to keep clean, and exposed roots.

    Having teeth that look good is, in some cases, an ancillary benefit.

  122. Ladies–thank you for the reassurance! Perhaps I should also wish for greater patience. :)

  123. I confess to being amused as I age. Hey, folks, it’s a process. And I’m cranky enough, so I really don’t care what I look like. I sometimes joke that I am aging like Bill Murray, or when I was heavy (trying to emulate some of my sisters, I guess), Dan Aykroyd, That’s not true, but it’s close enough. I am walking proof of gravity. I’ll leave the speedos to Milo. I would never consider doing anything because I’ve enjoyed and learned almost every day. That is except for my mouth. I need a whole new mouth. Thankfully, my teeth look okay (just okay) from the outside, but inside, they are falling apart. My mom had the same problem.

    That is a major project for the fall and my delay slightly my Lincoln Continental.

    One of my sisters, slightly older than Ms. Jenner, has always looked great. She colors her hair, but that is it. She does it through exercise. She is really a babe, and I mean that in a nice way and she would be flattered. She really, really, really likes men (another story) and freely admits that she keeps fit to please them.

    Another sister in her 70’s has had a lot of work. Really. A lot. One won’t find the color of her hair in nature, or anywhere else, for that matter. Just on the top of her head. Her face looks like Nancy Pelosi’s, and her body looks like Chris Christie’s. Ugh. (She is a fine woman, though.)

    Others are merely bovine, but seem to love the Botox as much as I love the Coors Light.

    But I do find getting older amusing, and I’m going to milk it for all it’s worth.

  124. I, too, am starting to care less and less about how I look. I keep it together because of…I don’t know…habit…expectations…I can’t figure it out. I do color my hair and go for walks regularly. The walks help me sleep well. My diet is crap and I could stand to lose a few pounds.

    Living in a humid climate means that I have great skin (and frizzy hair). I am *so* the Land’s End matron in sensible shoes. Another way to put it, I’m 47 going on 67.

  125. Cat S, I wonder if your client was friends with the partner who kept patting me on the head and calling me “sweetie” and “kiddo.” When I was 30.

    I really wanted to turn around and pat him on the head right back, but that would have required a stepladder….

  126. When I was interviewed for my job at Big Boston Co in the late 90s (I was a senior manager at Big 6 firm and in my 40s – but still a redhead), I had to meet the elderly CFO (old school Boston guy – Triple Eagle for locals). He had me sit right up close to his desk (not on it, thank heavens), told me all about his grandchildren, and took me into the board room to show me how all the shades and white boards went up and down at the push of a button. And he was not ga-ga. The reason I left public accounting was that at a management meeting of my group, the partners kept referring to a well built attorney in a related group whose last name was Hoover by the name of of a well know restaurant chain. In the same meeting, to show it is not all sexism, they asked me when my new employee was starting, I said Sept, and they replied, oh, after the rice harvest. There was a watermelon joke too at some point.

  127. Mémé, that is appalling. I worked for three Fortune 500 companies in the mid to late 90’s and no one at any of those companies would have made such a comment. No one even said anything about the manager at John Deere who had a sex change to become female and John Deere is about as conservative as a company can be. The only personal characteristic that some people find annoying is the refusal to frequent restaurants that serve alcohol. Mr. WCE has worked with a few Muslims who hold that belief and all their group celebrations wind up somewhere like Dairy Queen. Fortunately, given the local demographics, most LDS engineers will frequent restaurants that serve alcohol, because LDS engineers are common here. No one cares whether any individual drinks alcohol or not- people at my employer are very live-and-let-live.

  128. Tee, hee. I remember as a young partner in the early ’80s having to go to Atlanta repeatedly to deal with the lawyers at “The Only Real Law Firm in the South.” You all know what it is. Anyway, my fabulous associate, was a tough as nails, orthodox Jewish woman from New York. Both she and I could not believe that when she would walk into the conference room, all the Southern men would stand up!

    She was not amused, and it was disruptive. Every time she came and went, the meeting was interrupted while the men (not the male New Yorkers) stood up. I thought it was funny, but she was not amused and certainly showed them her mettle over the weeks.

    I did like that cocktail hour started in the partner’s offices around 5 or 5:30.

  129. Meme – that is terrible. My workplaces have progressively become more and more diverse and whether someone is liked and respected is based on their personality and work rather than race, national origin, sex, age etc.

  130. They could see me about to bust a gut, so I think they were piling on in good fun, in their minds. I was supposed to be honored to be treated as just one of the guys. However when it comes to that environment, as Jeremy irons drawled as both Claus von Bulow and Uncle Scar, you have no idea.

  131. I had to attend several meetings in Chicago for a major bank merger in 2004. I took one of the guys that managed a team in NY out for one of the meetings. He is American and he was born in the US. We had several conference calls a day about the merger so they spoke to him multiple times a day. The first questions they asked him were about when he arrived in the US. He was clueless, and told them he wasn’t on vacation. They clarified – and said from China. He finally realized what they were saying, and he explained that his family has been in NY for two generations. He still jokes about this experience, and when the ABC series Fresh Off the Boat was on last year – he texted that his show was on the air.

  132. orthodox Jewish woman from New York

    Did they pray before meetings? We join hands and pray for the Lord’s guidance as our client Maiden Lane 432a LLC enters into binding arbitration with UBS Holdings?

  133. “He was clueless, and told them he wasn’t on vacation. ”

    Your coworker was not the one who was clueless.

    I used to get asked a lot, “When did you come to the states?” If I wanted to embarrass the questioner, I’d tell him/her that I grew up in a grass hut, and we used coconuts or seashells for money.

  134. I admit there was a time when I thought most Asians were immigrants. Iowa was 97% white when I was 5, and was only 96% white by the time I was 15. Most nonwhites lived in larger cities. My Dad (born in 1946) saw his second African American person when he was 21, after he joined the army.

  135. Lauren was working with people from Chicago and NY, not Iowa, and those cities were far less than 96% or 97% white in 2004. And you would think that people who work for major banks wouldn’t be so sheltered or ignorant.

  136. My greatgrandparents immigrated during the Great Iowa land rush of the ~1880’s. Finn, I see your point about being sheltered or ignorant, but it’s really hard not to be sheltered or ignorant when you don’t know what you don’t know. (pre-internet and all that…) My grandparents were cosmopolitan farmers- they went to visit the church missionaries in Africa via ship in the early 1960’s because they were the most adventurous of their set.

  137. More energy: recently diagnosed with severe B12 and iron deficiencies, now taking shots/supplements. Holy cow!! It’s like a fountain of youth. I didn’t realize that I didn’t have to feel so decrepit. I will turn 50 this summer, and was putting my eternal exhaustion down to work, not enough sleep and busy life. So if it’s bad, get a blood test, and make sure everything’s good. I would never have gone to the doctor for this, but am so happy they stumbled across these things.

  138. I haven’t been asked much by the way of background in recent years. In my first few jobs, there was curiosity on the part of young coworkers. Outside of work, there are rare instances where people will comment on my accent. I tell them I lived in Boston for years :-). Next year, I will have lived in the U.S. for the same number of years as the home country. That is a milestone in my mind. In this area, we have people of all races and ethnicities most of whom have migrated from other states. This area has lost its Southern accent.

  139. I remember my driver’s ed textbook talking about “Oriental” people and how you might see them when you go shopping in the big cities. I remember thinking “who the hell is this written for?” Clearly not Bay Area students. And now that I think about it, why was it in a driver’s ed textbook at all?

  140. @L — mine too! Well, the residential division that sells by a different name, but I’m still claiming it. :-) And I totally want a pastry pantry, and a butler’s pantry — along with the butler to go with it. . . .

    @Rocky — So I was thinking more about your comment overnight, and I realized my initial comment and response was only half-baked. It’s not just “don’t mess with what you were given”; it’s the feeling that I need to appreciate what I was given instead of deeming it insufficient, and that going under the knife would feel like thumbing my nose at a gift because it wasn’t good enough. So a big part of my reaction to the OT is in fact about what you noted: that what I have is way more than what many others have, and I should be saying thank you for that instead of picking nits and always wanting more and better. Which is a lesson that goes way beyond today’s topic, of course (pastry pantry, anyone?).

  141. Duggar Update. The gossip magazines have printed some photgraphs of moving trucks in front of Josh and Anna’s rented Maryland home, and reporters and photographers were shooed away by Kate Gosselin’s former bodyguard.

    There are also public records that they bought a house near his parents in Arkansas in a foreclosure sale for $55,000. (And it could be a decent looking house with some basic renovations!)

    What’s interesting is that they closed on the house in January, well before the scandal broke. Maybe it was intended as an investment property, or maybe he was planning on reestablishing Arkansas residency to run for office?

    I’m just amazed at the $55,000 price. And it last sold for $40,000 in 1982!!. The tax assessment was up to $150k, so the real (non-foreclosure) value was obviously somewhere in between. It’s encouraging to know that a family can still live comfortably and cheaply, but clearly nobody should be counting on owner-occupied real estate to make them wealthy.

  142. Banking tidbit – I discovered that I can order any foreign currency I want online, delivered either to my local bank branch of if just walking around money mailed to my house. Before you tell me that I can just use a local ATM or a no foreign transaction fee credit card or pay in Euros or Dollars, one destination is so remote that none of that applies, and if I am getting one non major currency I might as well get both.

    And in other news, Belgium applied to the EU to issue a normal 2 Euro coin commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo. France objected, so permission was not granted. But under an obscure rule to permit commemorative local issues, they were able without EU permission to issue a 2.50 Euro coin good only within Belgium. It always amazes me that the fathers of the EU were blind to the degree to which nationalism would defeat their dream of pan European (and they envisioned pan Western/Northern European only) unity.

  143. Apropos of the computer discussion, does anyone have a macbook air or pro? What screen size? I will need a screen that can fit 2 documents (word) side by side. I think 15″ might be tight. I may just have to go to the apple store and plunk myself down in front of one of the store computers for an hour to try it.

  144. Milo – did you see the property tax figures for it? $96/annually. The road does not appear to be paved, and I would guess it’s on septic and maybe propane. I personally wouldn’t want to deal with those things, but know people who don’t care.

  145. “did you see the property tax figures for it? $96/annually”

    No. Wow. I *DID* notice that its middle and high schools were 8’s.

    Septic is fine. I would prefer not to have the dirt road. Propane is much more expensive than natural gas.

  146. Thanks Ada & Moxie for the tips about botox for hyperhidrosis!

    L – I have a 15″ Macbook Pro from 2013. If you think about it, the 13″ width gives you 6.5″ each for 2 documents side-by-side. If formatted to print on 8.5″ wide paper with 1″ margins, it should be pretty close to what you’d look at on a hard copy. However, I still prefer having an extra monitor when possible, just because I don’t like having a lot of clutter on screen with multiple windows open.

  147. @L — I have the air. I can’t really do two docs side-by-side in full mode, but I can easily see one and about half of the other in the background, so I can swap back and forth easily or see specific chunks of a document that I need. But I am also older than you, and I have noticed in the past year or two that the limiting reagent is font size — you may have more ability to shrink docs to the side-by-side size and still see something other than ant tracks. Agree with going to the store and just trying.

  148. I’ve been thinking about this topic all night. What else do I have to do when I’m sick and can’t sleep? Anyway, I really must be naive because I can’t get worked up about Caitlyn Jenner or anyone else wanting to have a procedure to change their looks. I get mad at men/boys telling me how to look but that comes from years of bullying. I trace my lack of confidence to those years. And no amount of procedures will improve that.

    On the Duggars- I’m not surprised. And he probably paid cash. Reading home prices in the low COL areas makes me jealous and want to move. Then I realize it’s too far from the ocean. And I become ok with my decision.

  149. Thx SWVA. I think the 13″ air will be too small (too bad, it is so much cheaper!) But I just measured my current computer and it is not as big as I thought – only 15.5″ diagonal – so the 15″ should work fine.

  150. LfB – thanks. I use the side-by-side all the time so that is another vote for the pro. I do use the 80% font size, but when I do window-within-window for my work vpn it also shrinks the available area.

  151. L- do you use side by side on your current laptop? I have a 15″ screen and find it very difficult. I can see the documents but can’t make the words fit and be readable. I don’t like to scroll left/right when using side by side. My 18-20″ monitor at work does this much better. Then again it may just be my eyesight and comfort.

  152. Rhode – yup. I shrink the windows for the docs so they fit side by side. I can even make them fit in 100% font if I shrink the windows so that the margins are smaller.

  153. Banking tidbit –

    Meme, I’ve used them for quite a while now and it’s worked great.

  154. I have a 17 inch laptop (my Linux Leviathan) and I still use a second monitor. When I am writing, I often have 3 documents up at once, plus a browser showing results of a lit search. If I am developing course content, I usually have the development environment up fullscreen on one monitor, and the document (slides, lab instructions, etc) on another. I can’t work effectively without screen real estate. Which is why I am amazed that people try to do work on those teeny tablets, or worse yet, their phones (my students actually try to read textbooks and write papers on their little phones – it isn’t very effective)

  155. Oh, and when I was working in industry, it was common for the software developers and DBAs to have triple monitors!

  156. Oh yeah, it’s easy to shrink the documents so they fit side-by-side. I’d just need an electron microscope to read them.

    The biggest improvement at our office over the last few years has been IT’s decision to give people two monitors if they want them. Is freaking awesome. Makes my laptop look like a fruit fly in comparison. Added bonus with my treadmill desk is I can just swap which monitor is the primary depending on whether I want to stand or sit.

  157. It’s been over 20 years since I first had a setup with two monitors, back in a previous job. It was common in our office, e.g., physical designers would have one monitor for the physical design, and another for the schematic.

    My current work setup is about 6 years old, and includes 4 monitors. At home I make do with just 2.

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