Photo: Matthew Rolston
First things first. What procedures have you had?
I started with liposuction on my thighs. And breast implants.
Then I had a nose job. Twice—the first one was botched. I had my ears pinned back. My eyes done. A forehead lift. Filler in my lips. And then lip surgery to repair the damage done by the filler. I had a tummy tuck. A facelift. And I've had my teeth veneered.
Whoa—that's a massive amount of work.
Remember that line from the song in A Chorus Line? "Keep the best of you, do the rest of you"? That's my motto. I have a pretty good butt, so I haven't done anything to that. And I like my hands and feet.
How old were you when you had the first procedure, and what got you started?
I had been in a sexless marriage for several years. After I divorced, I had a relationship with a man who said callous things about my small breasts and generous thighs. I was 24. And I thought, "No one will ever love me; I'm completely undesirable." It didn't matter that I was becoming very successful as an investment banker at a big Wall Street firm—my self-esteem was zero. And it was the lack of self-esteem that sent me to the plastic surgeon's office.
You must have been happy with the results.
Not only did my romantic options explode, but my career instantly shifted into a higher gear. I was suddenly being courted by senior partners, included in meetings with the CEOs and CFOs of current and prospective clients. I thought, "Wait a minute—I'm the same person I was before the surgeries." But now I looked like a bombshell in addition to being really good at my work, and it definitely opened up more opportunities. That's when I began to think of the surgeries as an asset and an investment.
But isn't transforming your body through surgery an especially costly investment—because of the expense, and because of the time and pain involved?
Once you've fixed something with surgery, you usually don't have to think about it anymore. So for me, the procedures are a time-saver. As for the pain, after my first surgery, it wasn't that big a deal. Surgery always hurts, but, at least in my experience, it quickly stops hurting. And I figure after the procedure, I've solved a problem for good.
My recent facelift stemmed from a conversation I had with my CFO about our financial projections. He advised me that in the long run, it's critical to allocate adequate resources to asset maintenance. I can tell you that he got no argument from me.
Do you feel more self-confident now than you did before your surgeries?
Well, it's interesting. Having a killer body gave me a kind of confidence I'd never had. But the way men reacted to me after my first surgery was the way I thought people would treat me if I had suddenly become famous. It was clear the reaction had nothing to do with who I really am. I'm not as vulnerable as I was before my surgeries, and I'm more careful about who I choose to be with. I choose people who love me for me.
That's ironic, since you've spent so much time and money on changing yourself.
At the end of the day, the only thing important to me is whether I have earned my own admiration. I refuse to be judged by anyone else.
You sound passionate about that. If you really believe it, why are you insisting on anonymity?
I have no intention for this incredibly personal information to be the first thing anyone sees when they google me.
"Anonymous" concedes that anything attractive about her came from a dermatologist, a plastic surgeon, or a dentist.
More on getting older and body image
From the November 2011 issue of O, The Oprah Magazine
We Hear You!