All jokes aside, he says he turns down his fair share of low-weight cases, and stresses the importance of choosing a doctor with hospital privileges who is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery. “If you are already thin and don’t have an appreciable amount of fat, it’s possible to remove that layer that we all need to have natural-looking skin. In that case, I’ll say, ‘Look, this is Miami, if you go around, you’ll find a doctor to take your money and do the surgery. But it’s not going to be me.’”

Marco Borges, the South Beach-based celebrity trainer and author of Power Moves, is not a fan of surgical shortcuts. He says choosing liposuction over diet and fitness is “treating the symptoms, not the disease,” which leads to “going back for a little more and a little more—a systemic problem that never cures the real issue.” Borges brings up the notions of needless risk and surgeries gone wrong (such as the death of Kanye West’s mother), and insists he can’t imagine a size 0 or 2 having liposuction for reasons other than insecurity or a bigger societal problem. “We’re living in the era of instant gratification, where everyone wants everything right now, this second,” he explains. “But that’s why so many people are going bankrupt and losing their homes these days—they didn’t think things out carefully and wound up in a jam.”

I knew I was neither looking for a quick fix (I work out religiously six or seven days a week) nor body-dysmorphic (my perceived imperfections never interfered with my ability to function—only my ability to accept myself in liquid leggings). Dr. Eva Ritvo, who coauthored The Beauty Prescription and serves as vice chair of the University of Miami’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, understands. She herself is a size 4 who has had liposuction, and sees the phenomenon for what it is: “Plastic surgery can be helpful and wonderful and enhance your quality of life. But even when a doctor tells you it’s nothing and it’s the smallest case he’s ever done, you don’t want this to be your way of feeling better in the world. Because it’s far more traumatic than you think. It really, really hurts! Oh, does it hurt.”

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