Q: A friend clearly had plastic surgery, but isn't mentioning it. How do you bring it up without seeming intrusive?
A: Instead of asking how to bring it up, I'd ask why you want to raise the subject at all. Surgery is a personal and private matter, period. We're all curious beings, but you shouldn't be trying to learn more about something that's not your business.
Don't ask. Ever. As one woman who had a face-lift told me, "It's incredibly rude to come out and ask about it. Wait for the person to tell you."
Think before you speak: If someone's still scarred or bruised, don't say what's on your mind, which is likely to be, "What the heck happened to you?"
Avoid gossip. And certainly don't be the one to start rumors or ask, "Don't you think he's had work done?"
When it comes to "bad" plastic surgery, it's best to pretend not to notice. Sometimes it can take up to a year for a procedure to fully heal.
- Steven Petrow, civility and manners expert
A: When you meet someone who's had plastic surgery, know that it's a personal decision he or she made. I don't think it's right to bring up the topic. As a plastic surgeon, I don't bring up anything unless the patient points it out, so that definitely should go for people you meet socially.
If you've had some work done and someone makes an offensive comment, be forthright and say, "If I did, it's my business and not yours."
If someone does ask, "What did you have done?" and is genuinely curious and not ill-spirited, have some excuse ready. If a woman had her whole face done, she could say, "You caught me. I had my eyes done." She's being truthful but not disclosing everything.
A true friend might feel a responsibility to point out something glaring, like your lips being overdone. It might not be totally inappropriate for the friend to say, "Wow, your lips look really full," for you to realize, "Oh, I may have gone overboard."
- Dr. Brent Moelleken, plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills, Calif.
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