Why does so much controversy surround cosmetic surgery?
As a plastic surgeon I often wonder why cosmetic surgery has so much controversy surrounding it. Why are some of my patients embarrassed to seek a plastic surgeon’s help? Why are some of my patients ashamed to admit they have had cosmetic procedures? In trying to answer these mysteries surrounding my profession I stumbled upon a blog post called “Cosmetic Surgery Doesn’t Have to Be Shameful” A really great read, this manifesto of sorts by Kate Fridkis brings up some interesting points. Having undergone plastic surgery herself, Fridkis has grown tired of having people shame her for her decisions, or hear them quietly whisper about their own procedures as if cosmetic surgery should be some sort of “embarrassing and shameful secret.”
From a surgeon’s perspective, I learned a lot about the social pressures my patients may be facing. Fridkis’ description of society’s ridiculous hypocricy, people’s inability to mind their own business and even some people’s determination to push plastic surgery to be viewed as superficial. Here are a few of the points she makes in her piece that I found particularly worthy of mention:
The truth is, unless you’re telling them, most people won’t even realize you’ve had a cosmetic procedure done
Plastic surgery is extremely popular in many countries worldwide, including Fridkis’ home country Australia, and the USA. With so many people going under the knife, odds are, you probably know a number of people who have had work done and you don’t even know it.
No one should feel embarrassed or ashamed for doing what they think is best for them – including having plastic surgery.
Like it or not, we live in a culture where looks absolutely matter. Fridkis description of our ‘superficial’ culture is absolutely true. We live in a world that “gossips endlessly about the way women look, and rags ceaselessly on the public women who don’t look ‘good enough”. So to put so much pressure on appearances, while at the same time knocking anyone for ‘maintaining’ themselves seems a bit hypocritical.
Cosmetic surgery can be empowering – uplifting – life altering.
Many plastic surgery patients feel empowered after their surgeries. Whatever change their procedure offers them also bring them comfort in their own skin, confidence that was once hidden, and maybe even perhaps a peace with their appearance and with themselves.
Read the full article here.