Dear Heidi Montag,
I feel a little weird writing you like this. I just wanted to talk. We don't know each other obviously. I'm a suburban mom. Two kids, a house, a mini-van, a dead cat buried in the backyard. The whole enchilada.
The thing is, I was in the supermarket the other day, picking up some salad things, some noshy Mediterranean bits for some friends who were coming to visit. Oh we had a good time, they just had a little baby girl who is beautiful. We went for a nice walk. It was a beautiful day. But I'll get back to the sweet little girl later. I'll get back to her and my own three year-old daughter and my eight nieces, and all my friends' daughters, and all the girls of the world. Later.
So while I was waiting in line to check out I saw you, or what used to be you on the cover of People magazine, with that giant headline, "Addicted to Plastic Surgery, 10 Procedures in 1 Day," etc. and so forth. It grabbed me the way a headline was designed to. More than Haiti even, and Haiti has grabbed me too. But I was riveted to your story. See, I'm not going to accuse you of being shallow. I come here to be brutally honest, which is why I'm writing to you today.
I didn't buy the magazine then, I wanted to, but I don't usually buy People. I'm more of an Us Weekly girl. Heavy on celebs, no human interest stories to be found. That's what I like. The funny thing is, as I slipped the magazine back into its wire cradle I looked up to see a woman paying for her groceries. She looked to be in her forties like me, I'm forty, but she was on the fifties side of the forties, not the thirties side that I cling to desperately, especially when I'm hormonal. Anyway, she had work done. She could barely blink her eyes were so pulled open, you know in that weird way where you can see white all around the iris. She also looked like she'd had her nose done, and her lips, and was wearing colored contacts. Blue of course. Peroxided hair. That woman carved all the Jew out of herself so she could look like a shiksa. But I'm not here to talk religion, though I did read that you are deeply religious. Which I find fascinating.
Okay, so I went back later that night to buy the magazine. And some ice cream that was on special. Ka-ching! Do you eat ice cream anymore? And I raced home to read all about you and your ten plastic surgery procedures and how you almost died and how your head felt like there was a jackhammer on it and how your husband Spencer was not so into you doing all this to yourself, but that God WAS into it big time, and how you don't care what people think, but the bloggers blogging about your chin really bothered you, bothered you to the point where you cut your chin off, or rather you hired that doctor to do it, since it would be stupid to try that at home. See, I'm not here to call you stupid either.
Okay, I'm going to come clean. I've considered having work done. I scrutinize in the mirror with the best of them. I've got a running list. I'm not going to tell you what's on it though because then you'd look at me, and go, oh yeah, I can see that. And then I'd feel insecure around you, and things would be awkward. But you can imagine. I've gone so far to have consultations even, where the doctor draws on you and you feel like one of those place mats you'd find in a steakhouse, the one of the cow with the dotted lines bisecting and traversing every which way. And I've always left those consultations (I've had two) feeling conflicted. Because on one hand, you have the possibility of finally not being bothered by that niggling thing that bothered you before, and you'll possibly fall head over heels in love with your new self and the world will too but they won't quite know why and it's so freeing that you want to dance topless on the tables.
But on the other hand you've got the potential for something to go, well if not really wrong, as in dying wrong, you've got the potential for weird bulges, dents and lumps that would make you even more insecure, that would throw your entire identity into this obsessive plastic universe where you're constantly strategizing your next move and suddenly you're not an interesting person anymore, you're someone with a mental disorder, plus you feel weird around your friends who thought you looked great to begin with and were crazy to mess with what nature gave you and then they start to feel insecure, thinking that you think they need to fix something.
And then there's the money. The four thousand or thirty thousand you could have saved for your kids' education, or spent traveling the world and finding out that there is so much more to you and to the world than physical attractiveness, even in Hollywood, which you implicate in your reason to do what you did, even though we all know that so many amazing talented stars did not drastically change the very shape of their face to the point where they are unrecognizable, okay well Jennifer Grey got that nose job, and it ended her career.
I have a point. And I thank you for bearing with me. The point is that I hope my eight nieces and my three year-old daughter and my friend's sweet two-month old and all my friends' daughters and every girl in the world does not learn from what you've done that they need to fix themselves. I hope they can take your choice as a warning, as a lesson. To realize that it's our individual traits that make us really cool, that having the confidence to rock a pointy chin or thin lips or a big booty or small breasts is worth more than all the finest cosmetic surgery in the world, and is exactly what inspires teenage fans of pop stars. I was one once. And I am so grateful that Madonna never did a thing to herself back then except rat her hair.
You are twenty-three years old. I cannot imagine what your mother is thinking right now. I suppose she's grieving, wondering what she did or failed to do to make you think you were so flawed you needed to risk your life and cause yourself such an enormous amount of pain. You've gone and made yourself into the poster child for self-hatred. At the very least, you were honest about the recovery and the pain. Maybe that will deter some people. It sure scared the hell out of me.
Good luck with everything staying put.