Did you see this recent New York Times article? Is the Mom Job Really Necessary? Well, of course it isn't necessary. But does that mean we shouldn't do it?
The NYT article is not about a part-time job, as Sarah, a character on Brothers and Sisters innocently asked of a playground mother contemplating the Mom Job. It's plastic surgery: Boob job, tummy tuck, and lipsuction. Implants are optional. I actually reviewed that episode of Brothers and Sisters and laughed about that scene. Here it is, popping up again. So to speak.
Sure, plastic surgery is something that most of us probably think of as reserved for women in Hollywood whose livelihoods depend on their appearances. But if you believe Penelope Trunk's most recent blog post, your job depends on your appearance too.
I am a medical editor. I work from home. For the most part, nobody sees me. But I do have a website http://www.editrx.com with my picture on it. I had just gotten a super-short haircut and I am overweight. I have worried at times that I have lost potential business because that picture of me is on there. However, smart money seems to dictate that if you want people to hire you when they won't meet you, you should include a picture of yourself. I just wish the picture of myself looked more like the me in this picture rather than this picture. I have no evidence that I would get hired more if my professional picture were of me as my slimmer, younger, longer-haired, blonder self. But I can't help but wonder-- especially when I read posts like Penelope's.
But for me, it's not really about my professional image. Like I said, I am a medical editor. I work from home. So, why would I even contemplate plastic surgery? Well... it's more just for *me.* I have always said that when I am 43, I will get my boobs lifted. Doctors in the NYT article are concerned that women who show up for one thing (a tummy tuck) will go for the trifecta because it's part of a package. I sheepishly admitted to myself that I had had the same thoughts: Wouldn't it be nice to get a tummy tuck while they're in there? I have had three pregnancies, three c-sections, and breastfed three children, each for more than a year. Don't you think I deserve a Mommy Job?
I am aware, yes, that Mommy Jobs are risky. It does seem like a stupid way to die: In the interest of being more beautiful. Shouldn't I just accept aging gracefully? Sure. I'll stop plucking my brows, shaving my legs, wearing lipstick, and highlighting my hair too. But those things aren't as extreme as plastic surgery! I can hear you thinking it because I have bionic paranoia. They may not be as extreme, no. But we, as women, still do a lot of things to try to look younger, fresher, firmer. Am I forbidden from getting elective surgery, then, because there is a 1 in 5,000 to 1 in 50,000 chance that I will die from complications? I mean, the risk is really up to me. It's risky to get into my car and to step onto airplanes too, but I still do it. I am so sick of people talking about how I can't do things because something *might* go wrong. That's no way to live your life. So, hang on, 43. Mama's saving up for a Mommy Job.