Jane Fonda says she's not proud of her plastic surgery — here's why that's common

Jane Fonda expresses regret about getting plastic surgery in her HBO documentary, saying she wishes she were “braver.” (Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Jane Fonda expresses regret about getting plastic surgery in her HBO documentary, saying she wishes she were “braver.” (Photo: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

In an upcoming HBO documentary about her life, Jane Fonda opens up about the fact that her good looks are due to more than the genetic lottery. “I’m glad I look good for my age, but I’ve had plastic surgery,” the 80-year-old says in Jane Fonda in Five Acts. “I’m not going to lie about that.”

Fonda’s plastic surgery was a big topic last year, when Today host Megyn Kelly asked the actress about it unexpectedly. Fonda later told Variety that she was “stunned” by the question.

Fonda says she’s had work done on her eyes and jawline, adding, “I got tired of looking tired when I wasn’t.” However, she adds, she’s not proud of her surgery. “On one level, I hate the fact that I’ve had the need to alter myself physically to feel that I’m OK,” she says. “I wish I wasn’t like that. I love older faces. I love lived-in faces. I loved Vanessa Redgrave’s face.”

“I wish I was braver. But I am what I am,” she adds.

Fonda is hardly the first celebrity to say that she’s not happy about getting plastic surgery. Former The Hills star Heidi Montag famously underwent 10 procedures in one day in 2010 but later said she regretted it. “Surgery ruined my career and my personal life and just brought a lot of negativity into my world,” she told Life & Style. “I wish I could jump into a time machine and take it all back.” Kylie Jenner also told Allure that she made her lips “a little too big at one point.” She said: “I got excited and felt like I needed to do a lot. And then [my sisters] were like, ‘Kylie, you need to chill.’ And then I had to go back and have it fixed, and it was a crazy process. Thank God I didn’t end up on Botched.”

It’s hard to find reliable information on how many people are actually dissatisfied with the results of their plastic surgery, but one poll conducted by the forum TreatmentAdviser.com, which polled 2,500 people who visited its site, found that up to 20 percent of people who get facelifts, tummy tucks, breast implants, and liposuction have experiences that “disappoint expectations,” per the Daily Mail.

Age seems to play a role. One study published in the journal Psychological Medicine found that teenage girls who struggled with issues such as depression, anxiety, and disordered eating had even more symptoms following the surgery than they did before it. But another study published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that older patients (meaning, not teenagers) are typically happy with their results and feel better about their appearance for at least five years after the procedure.

Mental health also may be a factor. Patients with a history of anxiety or depression are less likely to be happy with the results of their surgery than others, according to a review published in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

And finally, if people have body dysmorphic disorder, a mental illness in which they have an obsessive focus on a perceived flaw in their appearance, they’re also less likely to be satisfied with the outcome, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology.

As a whole though, most people are satisfied with their plastic surgery results, Jacob D. Steiger, MD, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Boca Raton, Fla., tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “The most important factor in satisfaction after surgery is patient expectations,” he says. “We carefully manage our patient’s expectations and give them an honest, achievable idea of what to expect. When the patient and doctor are on the same page, patient satisfaction is close to 100 percent.”

Plastic surgeon Michael Niccole, MD, founder and medical director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center & MedSpa, agrees. He tells Yahoo Lifestyle that about 5 percent of patients are “initially concerned” about their results “but, after allowing time to heal, very few remain dissatisfied.”

The healing component is important, Steiger says. “Today, people are anxious to show pictures one or two weeks after surgery. However, these are not real results,” he says. “Any ‘after picture’ should really be at least three months after surgery, if not longer. This is when most swelling has subsided and true results are seen.” If a patient still isn’t satisfied after that time, doctors will typically work with a patient to find out why they’re unhappy and how to achieve the result they want, Steiger notes.

If you’re interested in having plastic surgery, Steiger says it’s crucial to do your homework. “My tip for patients is to do their research before committing to any procedure and to request a natural appearance,” he says. “Book a consultation with your doctor to take photos and determine the best procedure for your desired results. Make sure that you use a physician who specializes in the procedures you are looking for and performs them frequently. Also, be sure to view plenty of before-and-after photos of your physician’s patients and results.”

It’s important to have an honest conversation with your doctor in advance about what you’re hoping to get out of the procedure and what they think your results will be. “The best strategy to obtain high satisfaction rates is a thorough preoperative interview in order to understand the patient’s expectations better,” Daria Hamrah, MD, of Nova Surgicare, tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Usually when a patient is disappointed or has regret, it is due to false expectations or misunderstanding between patient and doctor during the consultation.”

And, of course, make sure that what you think you’ll get out of the procedure lines up with what your doctor thinks. “Managing expectations is everything,” Niccole says.

Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for nonstop inspiration delivered fresh to your feed, every day.