Liposuction used to be a big secret, but the more people are honest about what it takes to achieve their ideal bodies, the less stigmatized it becomes. 

Why is Liposuction Taboo?

In the early days of liposuction, patients (mostly women) would hide the fact that they’d had work done. Liposuction and other cosmetic procedures were considered… well, somehow bad. But if you asked ten different people why liposuction was so taboo, you might get ten different answers. Some people felt that getting lipo was cheating, lying about who you were, or excessively vain. As a result, having liposuction for a long time was stigmatized – if you admitted publicly to “having work done,” you risked gaining a bit of a bad reputation.

This stigma has faded dramatically over the years, but whether liposuction is still treated like the boogeyman for you will depend on a lot of variables, including your geographic location, cultural background, and gender. While we think that it’s best not to stigmatize liposuction at all, if you don’t want to get it – then don’t get it! We’re not here to change your mind. However, the stigma around liposuction just isn’t deserved. 

At their core, stigmas are about fear of the unknown. The more people are open and honest about having liposuction, and the more people understand what lipo is and is not, the more the stigma will fade.

Let’s explore some of the most common reasons people have for stigmatizing liposuction.

Myth One: Lipo is Cheating!

Both patients and naysayers often have this misconception about liposuction. Unfortunately, this way of thinking is based on one of the biggest myths – that lipo is a replacement for diet and exercise. Just to be clear: liposuction is not and will never be a substitute for diet and exercise. 

  • Lipo can’t address visceral fat – which is key for achieving the slimmest waistlines
  • Even the best BBL is not going to give you the kind of butt that comes from consistent exercise
  • Lipo doesn’t grow muscles – if you want a six-pack, exercise is required

Lipo can improve upon results from diet and exercise, but if the foundation of healthy living is not there, then you should not expect to step out of the operating room looking like a fitness influencer. If someone looks drop-dead gorgeous, there’s a lot of hard work (years, probably) that they’ve put in. Lipo isn’t magic! That’s not to say the results can’t be dramatic, even life-changing – they often are – but it’s only part of the equation. There are no short-cuts, only improvements. 

It is a lot easier to say, “Oh, so-and-so had lipo, that explains why she looks so good,” than it is to wake up early, put on your running shoes and go for a run before work every day – but these days most people understand that there’s a lot more to looking good than just finding the right surgeon. The more people investigate lipo and educate themselves about what it can realistically achieve, the more this stigma has faded. 

Lipo can produce amazing results, but it will only improve on the body you start with –  it’s not magic, and it’s not cheating either. Real Houston Lipo Center lipo patients, Houston TX. 

Myth Two: Lipo is Lying About Who You Are!

This applies more to (extensive) plastic surgery than it does to liposuction, but it’s still a fairly common way of thinking. The problem with this way of thinking is that it assumes the “you” after liposuction is somehow not the real you. Isn’t it up to you to decide what the “real you” is? 

At least with lipo, the body underneath those clothes is exactly “as-advertised.”

Tattoos, makeup, piercings, shaving and waxing, haircuts, extensions, even exercise – these are all examples of changing your body to look how you want it to look. Some are more permanent, some are more obvious, and some require more work, but in the end, lipo is just one more way to alter your appearance to obtain the body you want. When you think about it, liposuction is less “misleading” than shapewear like Spanx or a man sucking in his gut on a first date.

Changing ideas about beauty standards in recent years have actually helped to reduce this stigma and allowed both men and women to do what they like with their own body – it’s your body, after all, and you should decide what you want it to look like. 

Myth Three: People Who Get Liposuction Have Unhealthy Beauty Standards

Even before social media, traditional media’s depictions of women’s (and men’s) bodies have often created a negative self-image or what’s commonly called body image issues. We always talk with our patients during consultations to make sure patients who get liposuction here at the Houston Lipo Center are doing it for themselves and not because they think it’s going to make them happy or solve their problems. But while the reasons behind this stigma have held some truth in the past, they’re changing now for the better.

We all know it’s true, but it’s worth remembering that no one is “perfect.”

For the past several years, social media models and celebrities have started breaking down their “perfect” façades, explaining “tricks” for different photo poses and angles, proudly displaying stretch marks, posting no-makeup photos and admitting to having liposuction. The carefully crafted photos, videos, and digitally retouched movies we’re exposed to every day may give the impression that some people look perfect all the time, but breaking down that wall has been freeing for both celebrities and their fans.

What does that mean for liposuction? The body acceptance movement doesn’t mean the end of lipo or the stigmatization of people who choose to get lipo – at least, it shouldn’t. Most people would agree there’s nothing wrong with having body goals – losing weight, getting toned abs, or running a 10k for example. Body acceptance should mean accepting people regardless of how they look – which ultimately makes lipo a personal decision rather than a misguided quest to live up to a certain beauty standard. 

Myth Four: Liposuction is for Women!

This mindset is often more common among men, who may also have the idea that lipo is excessively vain, or something effeminate – that men shouldn’t care about looks “the way women do.”

As a man, this is just silly. Men care about how we look, and there’s nothing wrong or effeminate about looking your best. Shaving, haircuts, diet and lots of exercise – in some ways we care more about how we look than women (and yes, in some ways we care less). But we have plenty of men here that come into the office for lipo here in Houston – they’re just less likely to talk about it. 

Like other reasons for the stigma around lipo, the more we talk openly about it, the more acceptable it becomes. So, you had lipo. So what? Wanna fight about it? 

Lipo for men in Houston TX. Real Houston Lipo Center Patients. 

Eliminating the Stigma Around Liposuction

The stigma around liposuction doesn’t stop people from getting liposuction – it never has. But it is harmful, and we’re glad that in recent years it’s faded. 

Stigma makes people who’ve had lipo feel they have to keep it a secret. When those who’ve had cosmetic procedures don’t feel free to admit to them, they unintentionally create a false impression about what’s possible without surgery and perpetuate the idea that what they’ve done is somehow bad. 

Seeing celebrities admit to having work done (like Chrissy Teigen admitting to having her armpits suctioned, or Cardi B admitting to stomach lipo) has broken down walls for a lot of people, who have become more open about their own procedures. Stigma is about fear of the unknown – but knowledge is power.

The more people are open and honest about getting lipo, the more the stigma fades.  

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