Half of Britain’s secondary school girls consider some form of cosmetic surgery as an option to enhance themselves.
Apparently, the number increases with students who are not doing very well in studies or are from an unprivileged background. Self respect or lack of self-respect/self-esteem seems to be the reason behind this. That and the fact that cosmetic surgery is being peddled as the one stop treatment to all issues.
We were watching a programme on Channel 4 called The White Beauty Myth. It dwelled on how people wanted to look ‘white’ as the Caucasian looks are considered by a lot of people around the world as the ultimate or supreme and how a lot of people were resorting to surgery to ‘deracialise’ themselves. Not getting into the details of the white beauty myth itself, I was appalled to see how many people felt that their success depended on how they looked.
There was a Malaysian man who was considering getting leg lengthening surgery, people wanting to change their jaw structures, noses, breasts, the list is endless. It makes one wonder what makes these people be so ready to go under the knife. In some cases, the issue was clearly self-esteem. They felt that making their looks change would change the way the world looks at them.
Cindy Jackson has been named, for the 11th year running, the most surgically enhanced woman in the world. She has had 50 or more cosmetic procedures at the cost of over £100,000. She talks about how she felt the same people treating her better after she had cosmetic surgery. While most people do not go to such lengths, a lot of people seem to feel that some sort of cosmetic surgery is definitely an option.
With celebrities coming out in the open about the surgery that they have had and television programmes on how a little nip/tuck makes a huge difference, and people weeping tears if gratitude after a successful procedure, must be changing people’s minds, especially those who already feel uncomfortable with their appearance.
The truth is that while cosmetic surgery might make a positive difference for a lot of people, for some, it might just turn too costly, some pay with their lives. After all, just like any surgery, things could go wrong even in cosmetic surgery.
Body image is fast becoming very important for a lot of young people and cosmetic surgery is one industry which appears unfazed by even the recession. One plastic surgeon apparently ‘redesigned’ his wife. The latest is a criminal who outwit the police by going under the knife. Japan’s number one fugitive, outwit the police and escaped capture fortwo and half years by altering his appearance.
To me, the most worrying aspect is that so many young girls seem to feel that cosmetic surgery is an option. The fact that they are worried enough about how they look, to even think of going under the knife to change their looks! As teenagers, with their lives ahead of them, it is sad that the lack of self-esteem is pushing them to take such measures.
Is it getting more and more difficult for people to be comfortable in their own skin? Is our media and our environment giving us signals to be ashamed of our bodies? Will opting for plastic surgery to tweak that nose or getting a slim tummy become just as common as visiting a dentist is for us today? Is the way we look starting to define how successful we are – irrespective of which field of work we are in?