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The Empowerment Behind Cosmetic Surgery: Is It About More Than Looks?

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Aug 20, 2018
by Laura Kovall

In my post “My 40th Birthday month: Who’s That Girl? It Could Be You Too.”, I discuss the balance between the acceptance of oneself yet the desire to enhance- or change- parts of us that we may love a little less. How can in one breathe I say “I am going to accept all of my perceived flaws” yet then take steps to change “what I don’t like?”. Isn’t there an inherent contradiction here?

For me, at age 40, I have more or less accepted my looks. While I may naturally have nice eyes and a good facial bone structure, I do work hard to keep myself in shape by working out and eating right. Just like most of us, there are days I feel confident in how I look; and there are days where I don’t.

For better or for worse, we are in a society that values appearance. In my four hour session with Myka Meier, she reminded me that it takes seven seconds to make a first impression. If this is the case, in a city as hectic and fast paced as New York, I best be on my A game at all times.

No pressure.


I have grown up- more or less- with an “all-natural” approach to beauty. I wear make-up, when appropriate, and I absolutely care about what I look like. I pride myself in the ability to get myself showered, make-up applied and dressed in as little as 15 minutes if need be. It is somewhat surprising to me that Sophia, since the age of 4, has noticed when I am wearing make-up or not, and at age 6 could spend an entire hour getting herself ready hair accessorising, changing her outfits, and making sure it looks good in the mirror, etc. This is when I believe in nature in the nature-nurture debate because she didn’t get it from me!

More and more recently, the terms botox, breast lifts, liposuction, eyelash and hair extensions, etc come up in my world. As time goes on, there are more and more ways to alter how we look. And, I ask, aside from sheer vanity, are there other reasons why to go through with any of this?


Enter Dr. Svetlana Danovich: Whole Body Organic Rejuvenation

A few weeks ago, I met Dr Svetlana Danovich at a party she was hosting. For those of you on my social media, you saw that my personal brand was involved, and we do have an announcement at a later point in time. 

A few days after the party, I arrived at Dr. Svetlanta’s office for an interview; when I walked into the immaculately prestine yet warm and inviting offices in midtown, I immediately felt calm. Dr. Svetlana herself greeted me, and although she is extremely busy and only in her New York offices twice a week, she did not want to keep me waiting, showing true respect for my time.

“Pretend that I was here for your services,” I asked. “How would you proceed?”

“Well, let’s go through this exercise,” she said. “How do you feel about your physical appearance?”

Since we were in a cosmetic surgery office, I started rattling off all of my imperfections; with specific attention to my fear of neck wrinkles, stressing that I love my “smile” lines around my eyes but could go without the dark circles, and my overall dissatisfaction with my inner thighs yet my realization that, when I lose weight, I lose it in the neck and chest area first, where I don’t need to and start to look more emaciated and older which is not my desired look.

“So none of those things bother me about you,” Dr. Svetlana said. “But to you they are real; here, I would start to speak to you about your lifestyle- your health and wellness regiment, and your inner confidence. From there, we decide what would be the right treatments.”

In essence, it comes from within.


Similar Philosophies: Focus on Empowerment

For those of you who have worked with me, you know I never mention the scale. I never discuss weight loss. In fact, I have probably told you to throw your scale out the window and to stop thinking in terms of skinny and pounds. 

I do understand weight loss is a goal for some; while I like to stress the importance of health, toning, strength, and being in shape, I do appreciate that some will only feel better if they lose inches. And that, of course, contributes to confidence in all aspects of life. And confidence leads to empowerment.

Like my hair extentions?

Like a tummy tuck?

“When someone comes in for my services, I get to know him or her,” Dr. Svetlana told me. “They may come in thinking they want a tummy tuck; or breast reduction. But when we really speak, and I take time to get to know them, that may not be the right direction. It may be something entirely different.”


Again, it comes back to their confidence; what they need to be the best version of themself; to shine.

So, To Answer The Question….

Yes; cosmetic surgery is a lot more than just looks. To be the best version of ourselves for us, our loved ones and society, we need to feel good. Feel empowered. Feel confident. From the fitness angle and my programming, I do my best to convey this message. Through my partnerships, community and writing, I look to bring other professionals who, through their brands and practices, convey the same messages. While Dr. Svetlana and my first meeting was about an hour, I know we have just begun. You will be hearing a lot more about her in the near future.


From Dr. Svetlana Danovich’s website: Whole Body Organic Rejuvenation is a method that seeks to debunk the myth surrounding the aging process. The key to this approach is understanding that aging is not targeted or isolated within one single feature, but instead, affects the entirety of our bodies both inside and out. Through the manipulation of natural material extracted from the body, we can address various signs of aging by counteracting them with materials that are compatible and non-threatening. The goal is to treat our imperfections with resources and practices that are easily accepted by our bodies as opposed to using harsh alternatives that will jeopardize the natural look and function of our physicality.


Author: Laura Kovall