Plastic surgery has been a controversial topic for a long time and now is no better time to discuss this trilemma.
by Sindu Vipparthy
Plastic surgery has been a controversial topic since the beginning of time and as it comes into the spotlight, it shines a light on the experiences of the individuals who consider or have considered undergoing the procedure to get a “new body” or “new face”. It shines a light on the fact that these people often have to face the immense downsides, from backlash from others to being referred to as “fake” after undergoing the procedure.
On the other hand, plastic surgery is an individual choice and people should only undergo the process for the right reasons: themselves. Doing it for the wrong reasons can lead to detrimental effects from causing someone to feel a loss of identity to influencing others into doing for the wrong reasons as well.
So, how should we acknowledge this controversy? Should going under the knife be considered as acceptable, or even supported? Or should we focus on the subtle (or not very subtle) stigmas that plastic surgery enforces onto other individuals?
Well, you likely fall on one of these two sides of this controversy: you either support people getting plastic surgery or would rather have individuals not do it. But, how should we address it? And that’s where the trilemma is presented: is plastic surgery acceptable or does it have more significant negative effects? Or is there a neutral stance?
Why some accept Plastic Surgery:
Plastic surgery is a big choice that individuals need to put a lot of thought into before finally undergoing the process. And this process is not easy at all. These people must undergo intense physical pain while essentially restructuring a part of their body. It’s no easy feat.
But everyone has their reasons, and here are a few benefits that going under the knife can offer:
Even though getting plastic surgery is improving physical appearance, it can do a lot for how individuals view themselves. It can often help with self-esteem, helping someone feel more confident and accepted within society while also kickstarting a positive alteration within their attitude.
Okay, let’s conjure up a hypothetical scenario. Say we have Sandra, a woman who has always felt insecure about her nose and decides to get a rhinoplasty (a nose job). She goes under the knife and it’s worth it because she absolutely loves her “new nose”. It helps her feel more confident and is, overall, very happy with it. Keep in mind that she did it for herself, and not to please anyone else. This is completely acceptable, and Sandra should be supported through the process.
And though not often discussed, plastic surgery can also be used to correct physical birth defects that can happen on an individual’s face or body. For example, children born with a cleft palate often undergo plastic surgery to correct it, and they shouldn’t be reprimanded for it. Plastic surgery is also used to help amputees so they don’t develop problems from wearing their prosthetics.
Why some are against Plastic Surgery:
While being an individual choice, plastic surgery inevitably has negative effects on the mindsets of the individual and others around them.
While it is okay to change yourself, plastic surgery often subtly enforces the stigma that one needs to change themselves to be able to like themselves. It enforces the myth that plastic surgery will fix all your problems and make you happier.
Though it has the power to boost an individual’s confidence, it also has the power to do the opposite. It can force an individual to question their identity, their relationships with the people around them, and their place in society. It might leave someone thinking about how their friends only like the “fake” version of them. It can cause self-doubt. It can cause a person to completely lose themselves.
The belief that plastic surgery will make you happier is a common lie that people are faced with and often are coerced into believing because of its prevalence in the media. It can have detrimental effects when these individuals are faced with the cold, hard truth.
Aside from mental effects, plastic surgery is often very expensive as well. Lip injections can cost up to $2,000 while also needing to be replaced every six to nine months, while breast augmentations can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000. Sheesh. Individuals also have a higher infection rate after surgery, increasing their chances of illness. Additionally, apart from cost, it can also become a bad addiction, like smoking cigarettes.
I’ll admit, I was always more about loving yourself instead of relying on physical changes to make yourself feel better. After all, if you love yourself for who you are rather than because of the alteration of your appearance, you have a higher chance of being happier and for longer.
But because of the backlash that individuals face through social media for undergoing plastic surgery, often being labeled as “fake”, I see why I could be wrong. I see that plastic surgery can be a good thing if done for the right reasons and why I should support anyone who decides to undergo the immensely painful process, as long as they aren’t negatively affecting the mindsets of those around them.
So, let’s save the “Beware of The Plastics” for Regina George’s clique only.