It seems society has always valued beauty more so than any other quality. We are convinced of this very persuasively through media platforms. For example, The very well known page 3 girls. We are brain washed into constantly wanting to improve ourselves. But how? Diet’s? Makeup? Hair styles?. But we are never fully satisfied, so what’s the next step? Cosmetic surgery.
What’s it all about?
Cosmetic surgery alters the appearance of a body part surgically or non-surgically to improve it aesthetically. Simply put, it makes you look better.
Surgical procedures are usually carried out by those who want a more permanent and dramatic change in their appearance. This includes breast augmentation, tummy tucks and nose jobs.
Non- surgical procedures are referred to non-invasive procedures and don’t require surgical incisions or general anaesthesia. This includes procedures such as botox, fillers and laser hair removal.
Surgery is so common that it has essentially lost some of the stigma attached to it with the help of people posting pictures and blogging about their successful results. Especially with the growing disposable income of those in western society, getting the perfect features you want is quick, easy and relatively cheap.
Statistics show that 15.9 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the US, let alone globally. 1.7 million of them being surgical procedures and 14.2 million being minimally invasive.
So, why do people go under the knife?
Gender Expectations. We are constantly reminded of what the perfect female or male looks like and feel pressured to look like that as well. There are multiple occasions of people being shunned on social medias for being too fat or not pretty enough and so this could be why people turn to surgery.
Insecurities. Closely stemming from gender expectations. Genes are passed down at birth and largely determines how you look for the rest of your life. You may not always be 100% happy with you features and how you look, this stems from gender expectations. Were often pressured to look a certain way (eg. a slim nose or an hourglass figure) and that’s where cosmetic surgery can help people. However sometimes surgeons suggest seeing a psychologist because fixing insecurities can easily turn into a surgery addiction.
Sun damaged and aging skin. Wrinkled, leathery, sagging and pigmented skin can be helped with procedures such as facelifts, botox and chemical peels to make them look a significant amount of years younger.
Scarring. The most common occurrence of this is from acne. Its treated with skin resurfacing, fillers and microdermabrasion. Not all scars can be completely treated however surgeons are able to hide them extremely well.
Physical problems. Sometimes surgery is necessary to restore the proper functioning of a body part. (eg. eyelid surgery to enhance peripheral vision and nasal surgery to help breathing) It can also help with physical deformities from injuries or illnesses.
The obscene. Believe it or not but people undergo permanent surgery to look like celebrities, animals and all sorts. This is often don’t with the help of fillers and botox. If you don’t believe this is actually a thing, stop what you’re doing and google “The cat man”. Now.
Well as you know, surgery can go one of two ways. Programs such as ‘Botched Bodies’ show us how terrible surgery can go and the lasting effects it can have. It also shows us how addicted people can get to surgery just to look a certain way. Pete Burns is a prime example of how you are able to become obsessed with surgery.
However the majority of occasions are successful, which we can see from the results of multiple celebrities who have actually had surgery done. For example, Kylie Jenner has seem to become an icon, with her plumped lips she has set trends globally with everyone over lining their lips in the hopes to have similar looking lips like hers. However, this trend has now become the gender expectation, all women want plumped lips, essentially putting them at danger with the lengths people will go to get them.
Its important to know, you shouldn’t feel pressured to undergo such extreme levels to achieve expected beauty. The expectations on social media are more damaging than true. Most people will look and think those people 100 times better before they’ve had fillers and botox. The unrealistic standards of beauty pushes people to these obsessions, which are more harmful than helpful and need to stop.