I am a shallow person.

Yes, it’s true; Stephanie Herrera is a sad example of what society’s concepts of the “ideal woman” churns out day after day. I got a boob job. Not just a boob job, but a whole “Mommy Makeover” which includes a tummy tuck and liposuction. After 4 kids, I felt I needed it and I was amazed, as I began cautiously telling people what I was doing, how I was met with zero resistance. I would be first bombarded with, “But why? You look so great for having four kids?” and I’d say, “But I don’t want to look like I had four kids at all”. Then they would ask a lot of questions, tell me they think it’s great and if the person in front of me was a woman, she would end with, “You have to show me when you’re done. I’ve always wanted to do the same thing.”

My “taboo” surgery was so normalized, well, other than my husband, who is still shaking his head at the amount of money I’ve spent on something he could care less about. I may be shallow, but my husband certainly is not. He is just starting to see the approval this kind of drastic surgery as he is letting his friends know what I’ve done and has been getting off the phone with comments like, “Gee, I think he’s jealous.” Damn skippy!  I can’t be the only one that thinks this was a wise move. Even at my one-week check-up, I strolled in (bent over with a walker, mind you) and the surgeon’s waiting room was packed with new and present clients. I chatted with people who had just gone through the same procedure and some who were weeks ahead of us and we eyed them in awe of the final results (when the swelling and fluid subsides). I even met one woman who kind of wrinkled her nose at me when I mention my breast augmentation; she insisted it’s surgery, I will have to do again in 10 years. Finally! Someone I could defend myself to, this would be the debate I’ve been waiting for, but then I found out that she was getting “toe augmentation” and when I asked what in the world that was, she replied, “I’m going to have beautiful feet.” And my husband thought I was crazy!

So, “judging a book by its cover”, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, are all ideas that people like Free to Be You and Me and Shallow Hal meant to overcome, how about the Dove beauty campaign? It’s all a wonderful idealistic world, where women with a bit of weight and droopy boobs are still considered “hot”, but right now, in my profession as an actor, I see time and time again my acting competition as women with flat stomachs and perky boobs… perhaps I’m on par with them now. And what is this doing to my kids you may ask? When I showed them my squishy stomach was gone they frowned and said, “We liked your pillow”. Suddenly I wasn’t so special to them anymore. At least my kids and husband are trying to keep me grounded; I hope they will continue to rub off on me, but until then….I’m already looking into a nose job!

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy