Bringing Out The Bitch

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We all have limits on what we are willing to put up with before feelings of irritation and anger begin to bubble under the surface and threaten to spill over. Recently I have dealt with more individuals and customer service reps who apparently never learned manners from their parents, and who don’t seem to care when they get on my last nerve. Though I have manners and can be a study in calmness and patience, I can go from zero to bitch in a flash when someone rubs me the wrong way.

I honestly think that there are many people who will assume that women are pushovers, so they are shocked when a confident and assertive woman stands her ground. The problem with a woman asserting herself is that she suddenly comes across as a bitch, even if she is in a position of authority which should afford her the right to speak with conviction. Though I have always been a pretty strong personality, I developed a thicker outer shell over the years because I was railroaded by so many people who took advantage of my generosity. It is a challenge to be a physician, because I automatically am placed in a position in which I have to deal with people’s maladies and complaints. Basically, this means that people come to me only because they have problems which need to be fixed, and because they are usually in pain or experiencing some type of discomfort, they may not be in the best of moods. Though I am empathetic and receptive to the needs of others, this doesn’t mean that I am some sort of pushover in other areas of my life.

Let’s face it: assertive equals bitchy for a lot of people, especially for women. God forbid if you disagree with someone and you are a woman, because all of a sudden you are a bitch. This seems to be the case in all scenarios, including personal relationships. You may be filled with resentment over something, but you also run the risk of appearing confrontational and bitchy if you decide to unload your thoughts and feelings about the situation to the person who is upsetting you. So much for the emancipation of women, because the social climate still reels in horror over an assertive woman.

I will always stand up for myself. If that makes me a bitch, then so be it.

Not Camera Shy!

Me at 17 and at 47

Me at 17 and at 47

From as far back as I can remember both my parents had a tendency to CONSTANTLY put me in front of the camera lens. This included instant cameras, portrait sittings, catalog shoots, and commercials. I even had a product signing at the age of 13 in New York City! Consequently, I became very accustomed to being in front of the camera, so much so that by the time I reached my teen years, I desperately wanted to do high fashion modeling. This played perfectly into my then waifish frame and my love of fashion. Alas, my 5’5″ frame was too short for high fashion. I was still able to do some print modeling which I enjoyed immensely.

My mid-20’s were punctuated with a foray into pageants after I won the queen title at a Japanese-American festival in my area. I then went through three months of pageant prep for a larger competition. It was quite an experience to perform for three hours in front of 1,000 people, dancing, sporting a kimono and an evening gown, and giving a speech. It was terrifying, mostly because I was performing for an audience and not for a camera lens. Then we had visitations for an entire week, and wherever we went, we would be attacked by literally 15 to 20 photographers trying to take our pictures. It was a complete immersion in my Japanese culture and an intense exposure to celebrity status. Little did I know then that in another two decades, being in front of a camera would once again become a VERY regular thing.

There were only two occasions in my life when I shied away from the camera. One was when I was 19 years old and battling anorexia. At one point, I got down to 85 pounds. I was ashamed, sick, miserable. I avoided the camera until my weight crept back up to triple digits. Another period during which I avoided the camera was when I went through my medical training. I was on lockdown for seven years, and because I was also married during that time, I had no real interest in pursuing any type of modeling or acting endeavors.

The tide once again shifted dramatically when I began competing in 2009. I have become very accustomed once again to being in front of the camera on a regular basis, especially in the era of camera phones and the ever so popular “selfie”. I have photo shoots throughout the year and truly look forward to creating new looks and moods with different photographers. It is a creative process, a wild ride, and a chance to play dress up and not take myself so seriously. I have come a long way from that terrified young lady who graced the stage in her 20’s, and feel comfortable strutting onstage in a bikini. I am not threatened by the lineup of photographers at the front of the stage. That would never have been the case for me two decades ago, because I found the stage a bit daunting.

I sometimes take my ease with being in front of the camera for granted, and am reminded of this when I see people who are camera shy. I understand that it can be pretty rattling to bare one’s moods and soul to a camera lens, but I also know that you can let that camera lens represent anything you want it to be. If you are secure in who you are, your essence will come through in a photo capture. If you have an interest in modeling but are grappling with camera shyness, it might be a good idea to just dive in and have fun with it!

When Your Age Doesn’t Match Who You Are

Jane Fonda 2013I never really believed that age discrimination existed until I was edged out of certain opportunities simply by virtue of how many years I have been on the planet. Is our society so shallow and youth obsessed that a chronological marker will be be so easily and quickly used to omit people from the mix? This seems so off-kilter in our aging population.

Recently Jane Fonda was recently seen on the red carpet looking absolutely dazzling at the ripe old age of 75. Yet all the haters had to comment on how she had work done. Honestly, who CARES if she had work done? She looks incredible. What people choose to have in the way of surgical intervention is their business and if it boosts their self-confidence, then I am all for it. It certainly does not look like Jane Fonda cares one bit about being a so-called senior citizen.

Ask me how old I feel on a daily basis and I will tell you that I honestly feel like I am about 31 or 32. I do NOT feel my age at all. Thanks to decent genetics, clean food, and regular exercise, I also don’t look anywhere close to my age. So please do not judge me on the basis of what shows on my driver’s license. That is just plain shallow.

Thinking of Having Breast Augmentation Surgery? – Part 1

breast augmentation part 1Breast augmentation surgery has steadily increased in popularity over the last decade and has become the most common cosmetic surgery procedure performed in the United States, with over 300,000 women undergoing the procedure annually.  However, despite its popularity, breast augmentation surgery does carry some risks and maintenance issues which must be taken into consideration when trying to decide on whether to go under the knife.  In order to ensure that you make an informed decision, here are the factors you should consider.

COST: Though costs vary depending on what region you reside in, which surgeon you select and what type of implant you choose, you can expect to spend anywhere from $4,5o0 to $10,000.  Saline implant surgeries are less costly due to the fact that the incision site is smaller, the surgery is somewhat less involved, and the implant material uses less silicone.  Just as a side note, ALL implants have silicone since the capsule in which the implant material sits is composed of silicone.

IMPLANT TYPE:  Two different substances are used to fill an implant shell: saline and silicone.  Some women opt for saline because they fear rupture and leakage of silicone.  Others will turn to silicone because it has a more natural look and feel.  There is a newer cohesive gel silicone implant that if ruptured will not leak, thus providing an additional option for women.  There are also different shapes of implants such as round, round high profile, and teardrop.  Discuss options with your surgeon to determine the best type for you.

WHAT TO EXPECT:  Surgery for breast augmentation takes between one to two hours and is performed under general anesthesia.  The vast majority of women go home a few hours after the procedure with prescription pain medication and aftercare instructions.  Incisions can be made around your nipples, at the fold of the breasts, in the underarms or at your navel.  The implant is inserted into a soft tissue pocket either above or beneath your chest muscle, then the area is closed up with sutures.

After the surgery you may have drainage tubes, an elastic bandage and/or a bra to wear for several days.  You should also expect to take it easy for several weeks following surgery so that you can heal optimally.  Swelling and tenderness are to be expected for up to two weeks following surgery.

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS:  As with any surgery, breast augmentation surgery is not without risks.  Some of those risks include:  pain, changes in nipple sensation, bleeding, infection, scarring, capsular contracture, asymmetry.  Over time, implants may also leak or rupture.

MAINTENANCE:  Breast implants tend to have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years and should be replaced as the risk of leakage increases over time.

WHAT SIZE TO CHOOSE?: When choosing a size of implant, make sure you choose one that will look proportionate to your frame.  In most cases the surgeon will be able to determine what size is most appropriate for you.  Whatever you do, please do not give into peer pressure or get a size that your significant other wants you to get when you do not feel comfortable with that size.  Remember that you are the one who has to live with your decision 24 hours a day, so you should be happy with the end result.

FIGURE OUT WHY YOU WANT THEM:  I have heard women say that they want to get their breasts done because they believe the procedure will somehow change their lives.  I have heard other women say they want to please their men more and have been pressured by their men to have the procedure done.  If you are considering breast augmentation surgery, make sure you are doing it because YOU WANT IT.  Don’t do it to please your man or to “fit in” more with societal pressures.

When I decided to have breast augmentation surgery in 2003, I truly did it for myself.  I was going through a divorce and felt it was a great time to do something I had always wanted to do.  I chose the date of my surgery, the size I wanted, and the incision site.  I was tired of not being able to wear certain styles of clothing and figured that having the surgery would give me the fashion accessories I had always wanted.  I had a very positive attitude about the whole thing and never had any doubt or fear about the procedure.  In other words, I had a very healthy attitude about having breast augmentation surgery.

It is VERY important for a woman to have a healthy mental attitude about having cosmetic surgery of ANY kind, whether it be breast augmentation, a neck lift, lid lift, nose job, tummy tuck, etc.  Make sure to gather information, make informed decisions, and undergo procedures only if you understand that while they may boost your self-confidence, you must already be secure within yourself.