"Vengeance Surgery" Is The Hot New Craze

"Asks" the ever-concerned Daily Mail, "Thousands of divorcees are attempting to show their ex-husbands what they're missing....but can a scalpel really mend a broken heart?" Interesting question, Fail!

Reinventing yourself after a breakup is nothing new, and obviously cathartic for many. What might be more novel is the open acknowledgment that one is getting surgery out of revenge, and to "show" a former partner.

In a phenomenon that is being dubbed ‘vengeance surgery', divorcees now make up more than a quarter of business, according to figures released last month, with many admitting they are having surgery to make their ex-partners jealous.‘Many divorcees look to cosmetic surgery as a fresh start in a newly single world and want to regain the confidence they had in their appearance when they were younger,' says Shami Thomas, spokesperson for the Transform Cosmetic Surgery Group. ‘When divorcees come into money following a separation, they are financially independent and are able to invest in themselves.' This is clearly a lucrative, niche market. Stateside, some clinics are already offering divorce packages to men and women seeking surgery after a break-up.

Of course they are: marital ambulance chasers, if you will. (That said, I was unable to find any of these alleged clinics — not least because "vengeance surgery" isn't apparently how they advertise it.) On the one hand, a lot of surgery has probably always been the unacknowledged result of break-ups. On the other, courting an emotionally vulnerable market feels nakedly predatory. Although the question remains whether those who udnergo "vengeance surgery" regret it any more or less than anyone else who undergoes the potentially risky procedures.

The Mail being the Mail, it sheds no light on this question whatsoever, featuring one woman who declares that "‘having this work done was as if I were putting a metaphorical two fingers up to the man who had all but destroyed my life...It was my perfect revenge" and another who explains, "I hated my face? Fix it. I hated my breasts? Fix them....If he saw me now, he wouldn't recognise me."

Now, the piece does include one surgeon who provides a fairly obvious but necessary counter-argument to all this triumph: "In today's culture, many people equate looks with happiness but it's important to solve the issues you have with yourself first, rather than going straight for a cosmetic procedure you may regret later." Well, yeah. Not to mention that making yourself unrecognizable and having surgery for another person's benefit seem like two things that should give any responsible surgeon serious pause.

Look, people should and will do whatever they want. But these are major changes, and despite the piece's "pont-counterpoint" premise, the message is pretty unambiguous. This, after all, is the last line: "Revenge is definitely the best medicine after you have been so very badly hurt." It's also a dish best served cold.