Shame, secrets, and Sonata
At Sonata, we believe that you have every right to live confidently and to use the tools we have to feel your very best. From getting rid of those frown lines that make you look angry to softening the dark under-eye circles that bother you when you look in the mirror – and everything in between – we want you to know that there are tools available to take control of your appearance.
Most of our offerings have little to no noticeable downtime – and can help you feel the way you want to feel in a naturally beautiful way.
Some of our clients proclaim to the world what they have had done, and others prefer to keep their beauty regimen a secret. We support whatever choice you make. It is your right to own your experience in any way you choose.
As someone deeply invested in this business, and as someone who truly and totally believes that our services can be used as a tool to improve your life, I like to put myself out there as someone who has had work done – and to say that with pride.
I had an interesting experience lately. One of my dearest friends came in for some services. She is my age, 39, which is a time when some of us women start to notice a few more wrinkles than we like, more hollowness in our faces, or the accumulation of sun damage. My friends is an amazing person – she is a spiritual leader in her community – and an incredibly beautiful person. In fact, when I first met her, I was too intimidated to talk to her because she is so pretty. Stunning good looks aside, she has a heart of gold – and I am lucky to know her.
She approached me about some minor things she wanted to improve about her face – the kind of things that bother her when she looks in the mirror. They were pretty easy fixes, and she had some filler done, as well as a laser and IPL treatment.
It was an easy process, and an easy recovery save a very small bruise and a little swelling – all totally normal – and honestly, something no one would really notice.
The thing was, my friends was in a new relationship, and felt a lot of shame about being so “vain” as to want to improve things about her appearance. She didn’t want her new boyfriend to know that she cared about this kind of things. She was very stressed that he would know she had something done, and hid out the day afterwards. She sent me numerous selfies – and besides looking radiant, she looked fine – but she was hyper-concerned about her tiny bruise – and so worried that her boyfriend would judge her.
She was caught up in a really stressful shame cycle. It was so hard for me to watch because she was really causing herself a lot of suffering.
When she did see her boyfriend, after a day on her own, he simply said, “Wow, you look really beautiful today!”, and couldn’t identify anything specific she had “done”, nor did he notice the small bruise she was so worried about.
Now, some of our procedures do have noticeable downtime – and people will probably know you have had something done – but most of the time, friends, family, and even husbands don’t seem to notice anything besides that you look refreshed, well-rested, and radiant.
To me, it’s less about if people will notice, and more about the shame associated with cosmetic procedures. I like to talk about a concept called Embodied Sovereignty. Sovereignty is standing in your own truth – and owning your own life. I like to add the Embodied part because we experience the world through our bodies, our faces, and our genders – and there is a relationship between how you feel about your appearance and your inner state of mind.
While it is every persons right to share or not share their truth – and to disclose or keep sacred anything they wish, I want to come out and say: You don’t have to have shame about caring about your appearance. It is ok to use the tools available to feel the way you want to feel.
I will share a really personal reveal to illustrate this idea. About 10 years ago, I was going through a really bitter divorce. My self-esteem was wrecked and I wasn’t loving who I am. I’d always wanted to get breast implants because I am very thin and didn’t have any breast volume. But, I felt ashamed to admit that to others. I felt like it made me seem superficial and silly and maybe too pre-occupied with the “male gaze”.
When I was at my lowest, I went to a meditation retreat. My roommate was a beautiful woman with an amazing soul. She spent her life helping others. And…she had breast implants. She wasn’t a sex pot or a celebrity. She was a really nice person … with breast implants. And she told me about them without shame. I got the name of her surgeon, and I went to see him.
I decided to get implants myself. I was so nervous that other’s would find out – and that other people would learn that I cared about my appearance.
For years, very few people knew – and that, again, was my right. But as I am getting older, more confident and more “in my body”, I want to put it out there and say – I have breast implants, and I am a mother, I have two masters degrees, and I care about spirituality. I am not superficial. And I am not particularly vain. I also think my implants look great and natural and make me feel more confident in my body.
Love me or hate me for this decision – it’s my truth.
And I hope my sharing can help us all start to think about the shaming we do of ourselves and of other women. Why can’t a woman (or a man) claim her body and her face? Why can’t people safely and consciously use the tools available to them to feel their best?
When we go to the gym and post pics of our workout, we aren’t ashamed to say we care about our bodies or our health. I truly believe the cosmetic surgery field is an extension of this empowered wellness place.
We will never tell you that you should share what you’ve had done, and again, most people find that people tell them that they look refreshed – without being able to pinpoint why. But, I do wish for people to choose to improve their appearance without shame.
The vast majority of people that we see in our office are doing something for themselves, and not ostensibly for other people. And we want to empower you to make the choices you want to make for yourself, without that nagging voice of shame in your ear. I think some of the shame people feel about having work done involves thinking that people are doing it to impress a man. And that that means the person getting work done isn’t in their own power.
From our own experience, we can firmly tell you that 99.9% of our clients don’t mention a man as to why they want to get something done – and we believe that feeling beautiful can be an essential part of a woman’s experience – man or no man.
Loving yourself and owning your body is an ok choice to make. In fact, we think it is incredibly empowering. And to the other women who want to throw stones at people who have had work done (like me), is it possible that you also have shame about owning your body and your face?
If we truly want to empower those around us, we have to respect the embodied sovereignty of all people. And that sovereignty involves allowing people to appear any way that they want to appear.