Is a Cosmetic Procedure the Ultimate Gift or the Ultimate Insult For Valentine's Day? America Says...

12 Feb 2015 at 5:00pm


Valentine's Day

If recent stories are any indication, giving the gift of cosmetic surgery is no passing fad. From Botox to breast augmentation, aesthetic procedures continue to gain popularity during the December holiday season.

But what about Valentine’s Day? The holiday raked in more than $17 billion in 2014, with only half of that going to traditional presents like flowers, chocolate, and jewelry. For those looking to treat their honey to something less conventional, could cosmetic surgery be the ultimate in luxury gift-giving… or is it downright offensive?

RealSelf Valentine's Day GiftWhile we generally wouldn’t recommend giving this gift unless it was explicitly asked for, a 2014 RealSelf survey showed that 48% of women ages 25-44 would NOT be offended if they received the gift of an aesthetic procedure. (Only 30% reported that they WOULD be offended.) What’s more, in a poll of registered RealSelf users who had previously been gifted a procedure, 75% received it from a spouse or significant other.

We had to wonder: Do the doctors in the RealSelf community see an increase in gift-giving around Valentine’s Day? And if so, what gifts are seen as the most romantic?

Bay Area dermatologist Dr. Sonia Badreshia-Bansal says gift certificates are indeed a popular choice for Valentine’s Day, adding that she’s seen an increase in couples getting treatments together as a bonding experience.

Beverly Hills facial plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Fleming has also seen an uptick in procedures, but finds that patients visit his practice in advance of the big day. His clients tend to opt for non-invasive procedures with little to no downtown (think fillers, Botox, and chemical peels) in order to look their best on the holiday.

Dr. Fleming does recommend proceeding with caution, noting that if given as a surprise gift or in a new relationship, the gift could be taken the wrong way.

With a growing number of Americans getting both surgical and non-surgical treatments (a total increase of roughly 300% since 1997), it’s no surprise that these procedures have turned into popular presents. However, as Dr. Fleming warns, it’s important to proceed with caution if you’re considering giving this to a loved one. If given unexpectedly or in the beginning of a relationship, the present could taken the wrong way. Make sure the procedure is something the recipient wants to help enhance their confidence, not given as something to enhance the relationship.

Photo credits: Some rights reserved by Madeline Norris; RealSelf