Getting back at your ex -- by getting surgery

Plastic surgery can be used as a post-divorce weapon to make the ex-spouse jealous, Dr. Anthony Youn says.

Story highlights

  • A survey by a UK plastic surgery group showed 26% of patients were newly divorced women
  • The women fall into three categories, plastic surgeon says
  • One of them seeks plastic surgery solely to make the ex-spouse jealous
"Dr. Youn, I want the works."
Carol, an attractive Caucasian woman in her mid-40s, sat across from me in the consultation room. Her eyes stared into mine, unwavering.
"What do you mean by 'the works?' " I asked.
"I want to enlarge my breasts, flatten my tummy, lift my neck and skinny my thighs. Oh, and I want my eyes to tilt like Megan Fox's, and I want you to plump my lips like Angelina Jolie's." She puckered and smacked her lips.
"Carol, that's a lot of plastic surgery. Are you sure you need all this? Why do you want to have so much done?"
Dr. Anthony Youn
She paused. Her face flushed a bright shade of crimson red.
"Because," she seethed, "My husband left me for a younger woman. And I want revenge."
Revenge plastic surgery is becoming more common. A 2011 survey by the Transform Plastic Surgery Group in the United Kingdom found that over a quarter (26%) of their patients were recently divorced women, while 11% were newly single men.
Even Hollywood is getting involved in revenge surgery. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Brandi Glanville recently revealed in her book, "Drinking and Tweeting and Other Brandi Blunders," that she spent $12,000 to undergo rejuvenation of her private parts after breaking up with her husband Eddie Cibrian (who is now married to country singer LeAnn Rimes). She even paid for it with his credit card.
In my metro Detroit plastic surgery practice, I estimate that 20% of my new female patients have recently undergone a divorce.
These patients usually fit into one of three categories. The largest group is recent divorcees who are back "on the market" and want to enhance their appearance to be more attractive to the opposite sex. A smaller group of newly single patients have always wanted to have plastic surgery but their ex-spouses disallowed it. The divorce frees them to finally go under the knife.
And then there are patients such as Carol, who seek plastic surgery as a way to make their ex-spouses jealous. For them, plastic surgery is a way to gain the ex's attention. It's a "look-at-me-now!" mentality.
But recent divorcees may not be in the best mindset to make major medical decisions such as whether to have cosmetic surgery. In fact, according to the Holmes and Rahe stress scale, divorce ranks as one of the most stressful events that can occur during one's life, second only to the death of a spouse.