Who is responsible for the popularity of cosmetic surgery?

Everybody agrees that humans act due to the norms of society. If certains things seem approved by the society more people tend to act like that. That is why many criticise cosmetic surgery and say that people who do it set bad examples. Also advertising is supposed to set bad role models if they make print ads or big posters with photoshopped girls with well-formed breasts. Nowadays you see more naked people in the media than you see real naked people. That of course changes the ideal people have in mind of how a perfect body should look. But can you really say that the TV industry is responsible for all this development, as it is often said? It definitely doesn´t help to advertise with perfect bodies or to have shows that search for the next skinny top model, where women who do not have the right measurements are sent away. But the TV producers only produce what people watch. There are enough TV programmes that don´t show ads or shows like that, but they have lower audience ratings and are not as popular as those who do. So what does this say about society? And is only bad TV responsible for all of that?

The ideal we nowadays have is a naturally very rare body. A slim, not too skinny body with round butt and big breasts. Maybe this could to some extent be explained by reproduction intelligence, because in all times women with wide hips and round breasts were considered fertile. This, combined with the modern ideal to be slim, however creats a paradox. Normally women are formed either way, not both. They are either curvy or slim and sporty. Or they are very lucky or had surgery.

The possibility plastic surgery gives also changes the way people, who do not fit the norm, are seen in society. If you have very small breasts or a big hook nose society almost expects you to do surgery. These people are often asked why they don´t do anything about their looks. But actually if they feel comfortable in their skin and act like that to the outside, people get used to it or don´t see the otherness at all. You don´t necessarily need a perfect body to be confident with yourself. I have a friend about whom you could say she is really quite fat. But she is an outgoing person and is dressed nicely and does her hair well, she adapts perfectly in society and has many friends. Of course she is not free from jealousy sometimes, when her skinny friends eat whatever they want because of good genes or whatever reason. She could lose weight if she wanted and she could also have plastic surgery or a stomach reduction to lose weight easier but she doesn´t want to because she is comfortable enough with her body. That shows that it is maybe harder to be confident in your body if you are different to the norm, but not impossible.

People who do plastic surgery are often called shallow or superficial, but I would rather say that they just have a weak personality that they have to strengthen with a perfect body. In the media you often hear about women whose breasts sag after they breastfed their children and they are therefore even ashamed to show themselves to their own husbands. I really pity those women, not because of their looks, but because of their low self-esteem. They have the feeling their husbands wouldn´t like them anymore with hanging breasts as if they couldn´t find anything else that is worth being liked in their bodies or their personality. That is very sad if you think about it. Also they have no trust in other people, or their husbands, to think so badly about them. Maybe there should be more documentaries about these women or others where they don´t have the operation in the end but find something else to help them be confident about themselves again. It is not always easy but there has to be another way than to have a dangerous operation if you are not totally self-confident.

2 Responses to Who is responsible for the popularity of cosmetic surgery?

  1. Codex says:

    I agree with you that the most people who do plastic surgery have a problem with their low self-esteem and not just their appearance. They feel the need to boost their ego by changing their body into something perfect, so that other people will look at them and think “wow, you are pretty” and that boosts their low self-esteem.
    I think people should work on their self-esteem instead of going for a plastic surgery to drastically change their looks. I’m pretty sure that some people will still have a lower self-esteem than others although they went for surgery.
    In my opinion people should learn to accept theirselves the way they are. Why is a big hook nose such a big deal? Or why should be a woman considered ugly just because she isn’t as thin as a top model? In your post you mention your friend who is fat and still enjoys her life, wears nice clothes and has a cool hairstyle. And you write that she also has many friends. This means that people see the person she is and not how she looks like. They care about her personality. And I’m sure that she is a really cool person with great self-esteem who doesn’t care about stereotypical beauty standards.
    I really think more people should be like your friend because it has absolutely no sense to strive for abstract and in many cases non-sensical beauty ideals (like you write: being slender and have big curves is rather impossible without surgery). Desiring such beauty ideals will only lower the self-esteem of those who already have a low self-esteem because while they will look at their desired ideals they will only search for more flaws in themselves. Instead of searching for what is “wrong” with one’s appearance, one should look for those things that make her or him unique and special: their personality. No one has to be drop-dead gorgeous to be an amazing person.

  2. feyruze says:

    I agree that people should accept themselves the way they are, however, I doubt that it is always that easy to do so. I don’t think that all people who do plastic surgery have a low self-esteem, I think that sometimes this is the only possibility for them to accept themselves. I mean, what about those people who can’t lose weight because of medical reasons? Of course they have a low self-esteem, but they don’t want to do plastic surgery in order to let others know “hey, look at me, I’m pretty!!” I think they do that for the only reason because they could otherwise never be happy with the way they look. I know a few people who did plastic surgery and I would say that everyone of them had their own reason for doing it.

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