A renowned plastic surgeon, one of the few women practicing in this specialty, offers a provocative and inspirational approach to cosmetic surgery with the assertion that it can also change a woman's inner life and become part of a crucial and deeply meaningful rite of passage. Dr. Eskenazi, an expert on breast reconstruction after cancer, began her medical career believing that she would become a psychiatrist. Her interest in psychology combined with a lifelong study of art, mythology, and anthropology has given her an unusual window into the interior landscape of her patients. What she has found is that the desire for external transformation through surgery is connected to internal transformation, most particularly at key moments of transition in a woman's life. Although some eight million women a year have some sort of procedure done, cosmetic surgery is still identified with excessive vanity, narcissism, lack of authenticity, and psychological weakness with the path of least resistance being to deny having had it. By framing cosmetic surgery in a more deeply spiritual and psychological way, Eskenazi takes on this culture of shame and refutes the idea that cosmetic surgery and internal change are antithetical. Whether women decide to have cosmetic surgery or not, this book will provide them with a different vision and a context for understanding their decision.