Latinas y mid-life crisis – bring it on!
By Diana Bejarano
Topics include aging and changing our lives. Some talk about internal changes: belief systems that are no longer working, breaking old habits, exercise and nutrition, and managing stress better. Others talk more about changes they could make on the outside: facials, Botox and plastic surgery.
We all want to hold on to our youth. As Hispanics, we are fortunate to have great genes; many Latinas I know look five to ten years younger than their age. Still, they are still women on the quest to remain youthful.
Is this what is meant by a “mid-life crisis”? Now entering my fourth decade, I was curious about the phenomenon. According to several sources, some of the characteristics of a mid-life crisis (which usually occurs between the ages of 40 and 60) is that people often perceive their lives as in drastic decline. Some other common feelings are a sense of remorse for goals not accomplished or a sense that one’s goals remain undefined. Others translate their loss of youthfulness to feeling inferior to more successful colleagues.
I believe this period can be beneficial for Latinas who often make the best of any situation. It’s a time when we can re-evaluate our lives and make changes to shift our efforts to line up with new goals. Working on our insides is often harder than working on our outward appearance.
However, some Latinas I know are opting for cosmetic surgery at mid-life. One of them, named Lily, recently underwent a dramatic change and had a “Latina Miami Makeover™.” At 41 years old, Lily decided that she wanted to change a few things about her body that nature had altered after having borne three children.
She said the surgery gave her a boost in confidence and helped her tremendously in her business interactions as a dance instructor and wedding/quinceañera planner. She was lucky, she says, to have found a board-certified plastic surgeon that speaks fluent Spanish and understands the culture. Many of the other surgeons she researched didn’t have the kind of certifications she felt comfortable with.
Lily cautions women who are thinking about plastic surgery to make sure that they feel comfortable with the rapport they have with their surgeon. “Before” and “after” photos can give you some indication of a surgeon’s ability, but they cannot guarantee the result you will achieve.
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery suggests that you look into the surgeon’s credentials and experience. Ask for referrals from friends, and find out where the surgery will be performed. Another resource is the American Society of Plastic Surgeons; to find a member surgeon, visit ASPS.org.
Each Latina’s mid-life experience is different and, though I have never undergone any type of plastic surgery, I realize that in some cases it can make a huge difference in a person’s life.
Sometimes change can be subtle and come from within; other times it comes in the form of a total body makeover.
As a Latina, I support other Latinas who choose to make changes in their lives on the inside or on the outside.
Diana Bejarano is an Arizona native and a graduate of Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or latinastillstanding.blogspot.com