A cosmetic love connection on Valentine’s Day

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In celebration of Valentine’s Day, one Michigan-based couple has decided to give their old love a new look by undergoing cosmetic surgery — together.

Eric and Tandra Williams exchanged wedding vows 27 years ago. This year, they are planning to spice things up by taking the plunge to receive non-invasive beauty enhancements.

More than three decades ago, Tandra stepped into Eric’s record shop to buy an album, but walked away with a romance that would last a lifetime. “It was love at first site, it just felt right,” she said.

On Valentine’s Day the couple is planning to put a new spin on their love. Tandra will receive botox and anti-aging dermal fillers, and undergo laser hair and vein removal, as well as breast augmentation surgery. Eric will receive permanent laser hair removal and a microderm peel.

Tandra said Eric was very skeptical at first, but she urged him to join her in receiving “refreshing” services; eventually he agreed.

The Williams reside in Ypsilanti, Mich., and for the past 25 years they have worked side-by-side as retailers and owners of Puffer Red’s clothing store.

“We eat breakfast together, we work out together, we work together, we do everything together,” said Tandra.

Together they have raised three children, all of whom are currently enrolled in college. Surprisingly, the empty-nesters have not mentioned a word to friends and family about their plans to undergo beauty enhancements.

Although the husband and wife team admits that their love is still going strong; Tandra mentioned it wouldn’t hurt to freshen things up a bit. “We want to always stay appealing to one another,” she said.

“This serves as a way to keep our relationship interesting,” Eric said. Tandra says that their choice does not reflect a lack of love between them. Rather, it’s a fun and safe way to enter into the next chapter of their lives.

“As long as it’s [cosmetic enhancement] based on mutual respect and communication, and neither party is not doing it for the wrong reason… more power to them,” said relationship expert Lauren Lake.

She wouldn’t be surprised to find this becoming a trend among couples because, “We live in such an age where appearance comes before character, it comes before respect,” Lake stated.

“We are excited! Trying to narrow our procedures down is the hard part,” Tandra shared.

According to Leisa Traylor, image consultant and owner of Ordained Beauty Medical Spa, where the Williams will receive their treatments, more African-Americans are electing to receive cosmetic medical enhancements.
“With the explosion of Housewives of Atlanta and NBA Housewives we’re being exposed to all forms of facial and body enhancements through the media,” Traylor added.

“Usually it’s not them [couples] wanting to do it [cosmetic treatments] together,” said Dr. Murphy-Knight. “Usually, it’s the woman who initiates it. Sometimes, when she feels comfortable, then she gives the permission to the man to feel comfortable.”

“It was my idea. I am 50-something, so I’m in that category [who wants to combat] anti-age,” Tandra said.

In a recent study, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery reported a 16 percent increase of patients opting for non-surgical procedures.

“A lot of African-Americans are receiving laser hair removal. It is mostly common among men, who suffer from reoccurring hair bumps,” Traylor mentioned.

According to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery; in 2009, more than 17 million cosmetic surgery procedures were performed in the United States. In a separate study, AACS reported that society has become more accepting of cosmetic surgery.

This doesn’t mean that we’ve grown tired of each other’s looks. “After so many years together… it’s more about what’s in his [Eric] heart,” Tandra said.

“African-Americans want to be able to participate in those same [healthy and beauty] things. A lot of patients tell me you’re African-American, you’re a woman, you probably know my needs a little more than other populations,” stated Dr. Laurrie Murphy-Knight, medical director of Ordained Beauty Medical Spa and board certified internist of Detroit Medical Center.

What helped us maintain a long lasting marriage, “We’ve learned to never take anything for granted, and always keep it fresh,” Eric shared.

“He’s the boss at work, I let him; I never wanted to wear the pants at work, I let him be the boss,” Traylor.

When it comes to additional ways the emptynesters spice up their love life, Tandra said, “after so many years, it’s about the little things. He could fix my plate and it just means the world to me. He could take out the garbage, and I am happy.”