Plastic Surgery After Divorce: Revenge or Confidence Boost?

Many women are seeking cosmetic surgery for a confidence boost post-divorce.

ByABC News
May 10, 2011, 3:09 PM

May 13, 2011 -- In the past three years 43 year old Alicia Hunter, a single mother of two, lost 60 pounds, got a new set of boobs and underwent a few tweaks of Botox to boot.


She got a divorce.

"If I hadn't lost weight and done some tweaking, I don't think I would ever set foot outside the house," Hunter told ABC News. "I don't think I would have the guts to go out and be in the dating scene."

After seven years of marriage, Hunter, the operator of an eyelash extension business in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., split up with her husband. But since undergoing her plastic surgery procedures, she says her ex compliments her now more than ever before.

"It is very liberating to feel good within your own skin," she said. "I never knew what it would feel like. I always thought it would be a little bit life-changing, and it has been."

She says men get a break from the damage that pregnancy does to a woman's body.

"I don't think we get back the original body we had after pregnancy," she said. "It's maybe a little softer, a little wider, and sometime a lot droopier. And it really does a number on us. Women are not allowed to look like moms. They really are not."

In today's era of Botox and not so happily-ever-after, the path more and more newly single women like Hunter are taking is one straight from the courtroom to the plastic surgeon's office.

A recent study by the Transform Cosmetic Group in Great Britain revealed that more than a quarter of the patients who visit plastic surgeons' offices are newly divorced women.

And so the debate is on: Should divorced women try to recapture their youth through surgery, and are their cosmetic surgery extremes more a confidence-boosting fresh start, or revenge against their former husbands?

Dr. Marina Peredo knows the issue from both sides, as both a woman who underwent the knife after her own divorce, and as a dermatologist who treats woman like herself on a daily basis at her practice in Smithtown, N.Y.

"Break-up is hard, they feel like they failed at something," she said. "It's very hard to start after many years of marriage, and I think they take time and are doing something for themselves for a change."

Hunter, for one, would agree, saying, for her, the issue was more about feeling comfortable in her own skin post-pregnancy and post-divorce than directing a surgical slap in the face at her ex-husband.

"For me, fortunately it was not [revenge surgery]," Hunter said. "I'm not a bitter person."