Plastic Surgery: For Many, It’s More Than Skin Deep

The stigma around plastic surgery seems to be fading, but most cosmetic surgery patients will tell you that they still caught some flak from friends or loved ones about their procedure. There is practically always a naysayer. A co-worker with a judgmental look, a friend who just doesn’t get it, or — worst of all — a loved one who says your choice is superficial and vain.

But for millions of people each year in the U.S., cosmetic surgery has little or nothing to do with “beauty,” and more to do with feeling normal, confident, and attractive. Let’s look at some procedures designed to restore a balanced appearance and help people improve their emotional well-being, their quality of life, and even their physical health.

Mommy Makeovers

The “mommy makeover” is becoming an ever-more popular way to help mothers restore their bodies after pregnancy and childbirth. It’s a combination procedure that usually includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, and breast enhancement in a single operation, treating the areas hardest hit by pregnancy and nursing.

And for many moms, it’s about so much more than looking fantastic.

“I needed it for myself,” says Miriam, a mommy makeover patient of Dr. Sean Bidic. The plastic surgeon’s practice in South New Jersey features Miriam’s story on its website. She sought a mommy makeover after having 4 kids, including twins, and losing a lot of weight. “But even with all the working out that I did, I couldn’t get rid of the extra skin on my stomach…. Oh my god, it was horrible,” she says.

For her and many other patients, years of disliking her body had taken a major toll on her confidence. Many mommy makeover patients who have spent years devoting themselves to their families say getting the procedure is one of the most important things they’ve ever done for their confidence. Some women have even said that they felt they were setting a good example for their kids by taking care of themselves and solving a problem rather than just complaining about it.

Body Contouring After Weight Loss

When a person loses a massive amount of weight, either through lifestyle changes or a bariatric procedure, he or she is likely to be left with a major excess of loose, stretched skin on many parts of the body. This “cosmetic” concern often prevents people from enjoying the confidence they deserve after the accomplishment of weight loss and — even worse — can be uncomfortable when rashes and other skin issues develop.

Look no further than TLC’s new show Skin Tight for moving examples of men and women whose lives are hampered by an excess of skin on their midsections, arms, legs, and elsewhere. “I’ve come so far, yet still I feel like nothing’s changed,” says Megan Boeh, who had 42 pounds of bulky extra skin after she lost a massive amount of weight. “This skin is what hinders me.”

Research has shown that getting body contouring procedures to remove that leftover skin can actually help patients maintain their weight loss in the long term. This tangible health benefit has prompted many doctors and medical groups to call for insurance companies to stop labeling these procedures as “cosmetic” and provide coverage for them.

Facial Procedures

Facial procedures such as rhinoplasty (nose surgery) and otoplasty (ear surgery) are particularly popular among younger people who get them to avoid teasing, bullying, and other social problems. In most cases, these children and teens have ears or noses that are noticeably large, crooked, or otherwise outside of norm.

The story of a 15-year-old named Renata attracted attention in 2014 when she got a free nose job made possible by a New York nonprofit that helps children with facial deformities. She had been bullied to the point that she left school and opted for home-schooling — until rhinoplasty helped her feel happy and confident again, “like I don’t have to hide myself anymore.”

When it comes to the ears, scores of parents actually initiate the surgical process for children around the age of 5 to 7. Otoplasty is a relatively simple procedure that requires about a week of downtime, and that parents say can prevent their children from a possible lifetime of teasing. Adults can also get the procedure, and many who do say they wish they had gotten it when they were young.

Cipher Seeker

Cipher Seeker

The “Escape Room” rage has officially hit #HipNJ!

Located in Waldwick, Cipher Seeker offers room escape challenges for adult groups of two to eight people. The group has 60 minutes to search their room, locate clues, solve riddles and puzzles, and work together as a team to complete their objective and “escape”.

We spoke with Chris Bartlett, founder and owner of Cipher Seeker, about this #hip concept!

First thing’s first- what’s an escape room?

It’s a relatively new field that started out in Japan and is exponentially growing in the United States.  Room escapes are also known as “Mystery Rooms”, “Puzzle Rooms”, “Adventure Rooms”, and “Escape Rooms”. Originally created as online computer games, the player was stuck in a room until a level was completed, thus the need to “escape”. The thrill is in solving all the puzzles before your time is up.

How does the concept work?

You get together with friends, family or coworkers, go into a room of your choice, look for clues and solve the puzzle needed to escape! Some facilities lock you in, and some don’t. We do depending on which room you go into and what your objective is.

How did you become interested in this concept?

I actually saw an episode of “The Big Bang Theory” that did one and I thought to myself, “Hey, that looks cool!” So I Googled it and found that there were already some in New Jersey. I tried a couple in the area and realized how much fun they were. Since I had recently lost my job, I figured my best option was to start working for myself instead of someone else and open an escape room myself.

What are the room setups?

Room one of them is called DEFCON 1 and involves an old missile silo where the computer system has gone rogue and is trying to launch its battery of missiles. The objective is for your team to try and disable the launch system before its too late.

The second room is called Graveyard Inlet where you and your friends are on a tour at an old lighthouse and decide to start exploring on your own. In doing so, you get yourself locked in the keepers quarters and have to get out before the tour guide catches you.

Are actors involved?

We do not have any actors in place because of the not-so-positive feedback we’ve heard. Usually the actors stand to give hints and help groups through the puzzle, but we find them to be distracting to the groups. Therefore, in place of actors, we have a T.V. screen in the room where we watch the groups from a control room. If we see them struggling and they’re stuck, we send hints that appear on the screen.

Are the rooms “creepy?”

Not yet, but we have a third room opening next month that’s a murder mystery! The story is that you got accused of a crime and you have to figure out who actually committed the crime and what their murder weapon and motive was.

Who is this activity ideal for?

A lot of people do it as either a family or friend thing. It’s more interactive and thought-provoking than doing something like going to the movies.  I have yet to meet someone who didn’t have fun during this activity.

It also works for company team building.  The managers usually stay in our control room where they can watch the group solve the puzzle and see who the leaders are, who the real problem solvers are, and who their idea people are. It’s a good and fun way for them to really see how the team works together.

How can people find you?

Visit us on our website at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we occasionally run promotions!


Cheldin Barlatt Rumer’s Roadmap to Revenue

Cheldin Barlatt Rumer, CEO and Executive Producer of I-g Creative, wants to help #Hippers successfully launch their businesses with her Roadmap to Revenue series!

Recently she hosted a webinar called “Tell…Not Sell” and lucky for you, #HipNJ was there to get the inside scoop!

Here are some tips we learned on how to turn your concepts into reality without the need for a boring PowerPoint presentation.

1) Figure out who’s in your huddle, in the stands, and who’s your opponent.

It’s important to communicate in your most authentic voice, which is found when you are comfortable. In order to feel comfortable, these are the types of people that you need to learn about:

  • Huddle – Your huddle is the people you sweat with. They understand your business and are willing to put in the work so things make sense. They are objective and always constructive.
  • Season Ticket Holder – These are the people who love you regardless of what you do. They want to hear you’re doing well, but won’t be upset if you tell them otherwise.
  • The Fair Weather Fan – The fair weather fan will wear your jersey when you win, but tell you everything you did wrong when you lose. These people don’t need the details of what’s going on in the huddle.
  • Opponent – Your opponent may be someone who is close to you. They are the people who are first to criticize and make you not want to tell your story.Figure out who belongs where!

2) Tell your story

Be comfortable in your skin and be able to relay your products and service to people. This is easily done using the connect-share-promote approach, otherwise known as an “elevator speech”. An elevator speech is typically three minutes or less and can be broken down into five parts:

  • The Intro – Tell them your name! The more unique your name is the better, so don’t be intimidated. Unique names allow for a special and longer interaction. If they want to work with you they’ll know how to pronounce your name correctly.
  • The What – This is the time to scream your dream. Be specific and be clear on the facts of your business. Confidence is important because if you don’t know what you do, how will anyone else?
  • The Three – Determine 3 things that allow people to be confident in your business. You should know these three things so well they roll off your tongue. These are the things that matter about your business! They are your benefits and your customers return on investment.
  • The Exit – How you leave is just as important as how you enter. Promote yourself! Where can people find/connect with you? Give them your card even if they don’t ask. Lastly, ask for their feedback as it promotes additional conversation.
  • Follow up – If they don’t get back to you, email them. Behave as if you need them because as a small business entrepreneur you DO.  This way of communicating is solely driven by the passion you have about your business so act like you care.

Cheldin offers one-on-one sessions, group sessions, & independent study online courses.

To learn more about the Roadmap to Revenue Series and I-g Creative, visit

Live Hard, Work Hard, Play Hard.