In the tummy tuck forum, a mother shared that she used to sit on the sidelines during family activities, too self-conscious to wear a bathing suit and join in the fun. After her tummy tuck, “I’m now that mum who runs, swims, plays with her kids—no longer thinking about what others are thinking. My confidence is through the roof!”

Meanwhile, a 20 year-old male who had the same procedure to remove sagging skin after losing 160 pounds said, “I swam shirtless for the first time since I was eight years old last week, and have not been so proud of myself in a long time.”

Some argue that intelligent and emotionally secure people shouldn’t feel this way. As someone who covers beauty, all kinds of people routinely confess and ask me cosmetic surgery questions privately. And I can’t tell you how many of them are whip-smart, successful women and men, typically over the age of 55, who now feel self-conscious about what they perceive as “turkey neck.” The brilliant writer Nora Ephron even explored the phenomenon in her book, “I Feel Bad about My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman.” No one is immune from having these types of feelings, and I think to pretend otherwise is inevitably hypocritical.

Whether you think the above reasons for choosing cosmetic surgery are “right” or “wrong,” the fact remains that they’re human.