I think it's fair to say that many of us, male or female, suffer with a lack of it at some point in our lives and it's something that may affect some people more than others.
I myself have always struggled with low self esteem, and I find that my self confidence is never lower than in the months after giving birth.
Perhaps that comes from the changes my body goes through during the pregnancy or the birth itself - all of my babies were delivered by csection which left me not only with scarring but also with that "c section overhang" tummy - it seems to have gotten worse with each delivery, and at this point it's something that makes me very uncomfortable.
My breasts are another area of my body that experience significant changes during pregnancy, and afterwards - My last baby was the only one of my children that I have breastfed and I was quite surprised to find that my already ample sized boobs have gone up 3 sizes since his arrival!
With all of these changes coming about at a time when our hormones are wreaking havoc on our bodies, emotions are running high and sleepless nights are a-plenty - it's not really surprising that this is the time when so many of us women start to really struggle to feel comfortable in our own skin. It can take time to get used to your new post-baby shape, but for some of us the problems linger...after Tyne's birth I found myself at an all time low for many months after, at points I was even afraid to leave the house as I felt so ashamed of my appearance.
A recent survey shows that I'm not alone in experiencing this sort of extreme reaction to low body confidence, as a third of women in Britain state that they have been prevented from applying for a potential promotion or pay rise due to their body confidence issues - believing that somebody with a better body would be successful over them.
A further 26% of respondents stated that their general body self consciousness had a negative effect on their social life - something which is certainly true for me too.
The survey also found that 15% of people would advise family and friends who are suffering with low body confidence to look into cosmetic surgery as an option - and I won't lie, this is something I have seriously considered myself.
But should cosmetic surgery be something that's suggested so lightly as a solution to these problems?
Dr Foued Hamza, cosmetic surgeon consulting at Queen Anne Street Medical Centre, off Harley Street in London, says:
"People are particularly body conscious whether they are in the office, with their friends or colleagues or sharing intimate moments. Body shaming is a growing phenomenon because people are judgemental when they look at a person's physique and this is clearly leading to higher stress levels in both the workplace and in people's general everyday lives. Over the past few years, I have noticed a significant increase in people coming to see me as they have been looking at cosmetic procedures as an option to retrieve their body confidence. I would recommend fully researching the procedure before taking the plunge to ensure it is exactly what you want to do. Even though this is my profession procedures such as liposuction are life-changing decisions and will essentially change the way you look."
So what happens if, like me, you are considering cosmetic surgery as an option? How can you be sure that you're making the right decision?
Dr Foued Hamza is a cosmetic sculptor with an international reputation. He has been practising cosmetic surgery for over 20 years and is ranked as one of the best practitioners in his field. He believes that multiple meetings should be held with each patient before and after a procedure is carried out to ensure that they fully understand what they are undertaking and that they are completely satisfied with the results. He also states that selecting the right surgeon for you is key.
From the first point of contact, Dr Hamza maintains a close individual relationship with each of his patients to offer them bespoke, direct and honest advice, without judgment, while listening to their issues and desires to understand fully and take into consideration their requirements.
He says "When a potential patient gets in touch with me, I always ensure that I have at least two meetings with them prior to the operation, including on the day before the surgery to confirm that they have understood everything in full, that I have taken all of their expectations into consideration and warned them of the potential risks. It’s imperative that consultants give the patient time to think about the procedure so that if he/she decides to go ahead with it, they are completely convinced that it is what they want to do. After all, some treatments are life changing.
I would advise having frequent meetings with the client in the weeks and months that follow the operation until both myself and the patient are fully satisfied with the final results. I want my customers to know that I am available to address any concerns or queries and to assure and take care of them on a regular basis."
There is no such thing as universal compatibility and the best surgeon for one person isn’t necessarily going to work for another. The most important thing to take into consideration is to ensure that you can build a rapport of trust with the consultant so that you know that he/she is caring and sensitive to your needs and listens to your requirements and the results that you are trying to achieve. It is also important to know that the surgeon is affiliated with different societies and organisations for example I am on the French Board of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, registered to practice in the UK and I am a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)."
If cosmetic surgery is something that you or a loved one are considering, be sure to research your chosen surgeon and their background fully and ensure you have discussed all risks and implications before reaching your final decision.
To find out more about Dr Hamza's work, please visit his website at www.drhamza.co.uk or alternatively on social media:
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