Modern Etiquette for Discussing Cosmetic Surgery

cosmetic surgery etiquetteCosmetic surgery is more accepted than ever before, but that doesn’t necessarily make it polite to ask someone if they’ve have work done.

Mary M. Mitchell, who has written several etiquette books, recently wrote a Reuters story about what she views as proper etiquette regarding cosmetic surgery.

For instance, if you run into a friend or acquaintance who looks different and you think they’ve had cosmetic surgery Mitchell says, “Don’t blurt out a comment.”

Many people may be sensitive about speculation on their appearance.

If you do ask a question, she recommends keeping it simple and keeping your reaction low-key.

Here are some other tips from Mitchell:

Don’t ask.

Don’t ever ask a person if they’ve had a specific procedure, such as a “nose job” or “implants.” It’s bad manners, according to Mitchell. Instead, tell them they look great, and it’s their decision to volunteer specifics.

Don’t criticize.

If a friend is considering cosmetic surgery, respect their choice. Don’t try and talk them out of it, says Mitchell. However, “it is equally important not to agree that the person does, indeed, need the work done,” she says. It is their decision to make.

Don’t judge.

When someone tells you they have had a procedure, she says the safest reply is to ask if they are happy with the results.

Don’t gossip.

When discussing cosmetic surgery, don’t ever share the names of other people you know that have had a procedure.

Be solicitous.

If someone reveals they have had cosmetic surgery, Mitchell says to ask how they’re feeling.

If you’re the one who has had a procedure and you don’t mind sharing, Mitchell says that “you can make it easier on those around you by opening the conversational door.”

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