Tattoed Eyebrows! You Go, Girl!

Posted by: Kathy Harmon on 7/11/2010

Dear Kathy, 
I am a caregiver for an 88-year old woman, Marie, who still lives in her home.  She is a delight to work for.  But Marie and her son are having a dispute.  She has a thyroid condition and has lost her eyebrows.  She read that she could have her eyebrows tattooed on.  Although Marie isn't wealthy, she has been able to set aside a bit of money from her last few Social Security checks for this procedure.  She is really excited about the prospect of getting new "eyebrows." She's been very self-conscious about what she considers a disfigurement and is convinced this would really lift her spirits.  Her only son is having a fit.  He thinks it is a terrible waste of money and cannot imagine "what difference it makes at her age."  She doesn't want to upset her son but she was really hoping to get her eyebrows back.  What would you advise?
Katie from Kansas
Dear Katie,  
The cost of the procedure can vary, but will likely run a few hundred dollars. The results can range from good to hideous and the potential for infection is great.  I advise being very careful when choosing the "Artist" as well as the facility.  But I'd definitely tell Marie to "go for it!"   Loss of self-confidence can lead to social withdrawal, depression, and exacerbate other health issues.  Whatever money she has is hers -- not her son's -- and from what you've told me about her, Marie seems to be of sound mind.  Perhaps you and she can raise the subject with her son and help him understand the importance of this cosmetic procedure.  If he usually sends her flowers or candy on Mother's Day, you might take him aside and suggest he give her what she really wants this year.  He has the opportunity to give his mom something she dearly wants and something she'll always be grateful for.  How nice it is to tell your mom how much you love her and that her happiness is what really matters.  Maybe the rest of us should share this with our moms and ask if they would like to suggest something a little less traditional for Mother's Day or a birthday this year.

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