One thing is clear. Cosmetic surgery stems from low self esteem and non-acceptance of ourselves. If we truly liked and loved ourselves we wouldn’t feel the need to change anything. Women especially, are conditioned to look good. There is so much pressure to be beautiful and thin and it causes emotional distress and immense amounts of self loathing in women all over the world.
We are bombarded with perfect images of women on a daily basis. Just look up at an advertising billboard or read a magazine and perfection stares back at you. It is easy to forget that the image you see is probably the best one of a hundred photos taken and has more than likely been airbrushed as well. Yet, these pictures of slim attractive women trigger our insecurities and self doubt and usually cause us to reach for the first doughnut we can lay our hands on…and so the self loathing continues.
The cosmetic surgery industry is booming and is likely to continue doing so. Yet it seems there is not enough being done to educate people from the inside out. We automatically assume that beauty on the outside will transform us within but this is wrong. Most women do not adore themselves overnight once surgery has taken place. Many find they are still stuck with the same old insecurities as before and they still compare themselves unfavourably to other women. Surgery can help individuals with deformities and obvious flaws but those women looking for superficial changes – such as breast enlargements, will more than likely find that they don’t miraculously change into this fictional women they always hoped to be. They still live with the same attitudes and beliefs as before.
I have given it some thought and here are the pros and cons to cosmetic surgery from a Psychologist’s viewpoint:
1) Cosmetic surgery can improve appearance and benefit a person on a superficial level
2) Confidence can be improved by altering the attitude of the person having surgery. Some people need very little to jump start their image of themselves in a positive direction and tweaking their physical appearance can be the boost they need in order to see themselves differently. It is not just about the surgery in itself though, there is a change in attitude that helps the transformation
3) Cosmetic surgery helps people to feel more accepted by others and less inferior to some degree.
1) Cosmetic surgery can make someone feel less confident as they will always be thinking that others like a ‘fake version’ of them. This is not the true reflection as nature intended and it can lead to a person feeling even less in tune with themselves. They are likely to wonder whether people would still like them if they knew them pre-surgery.
2) Cosmetic surgery deals solely with aesthetics and does nothing for the emotional and mental aspects of a person. This can leave a person feeling even more lost than before surgery.
3) Complications of surgery. There is always a risk when undergoing surgery.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong here. Cosmetic surgery is an individual choice. Some people swear that it has changed their lives for the better whilst others feel that they had unrealistic expectations of how cosmetic surgery could change their lives. It won’t make people love you anymore than they already do (and if it does then those people are incredibly shallow) and it won’t make you the most popular person at the party. Make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons – to please yourself and improve upon yourself not to fit in with others or fit the ideals of others.
Photo by madelineyoki