Since the beginning of time, humans have always had an appreciation of beautiful things. Over the past one hundred years, our once innocent fascination with beauty has become an obsession. With fads such as thigh-gaps, contouring, the “Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge”, and the unrealistic expectations we put upon ourselves to achieve the perfect body, society should be receiving a major wake up call as to how our lifestyles and ideals are impacting our mental health. Aesthetic enhancements have been a common practice for millions of years, ancient Egyptians even practiced nose jobs(BBC).
Plastic surgery is a common practice worldwide but especially in South Korea, due to its overly competitive culture. Parents are forcing their children to get plastic surgery, often constantly telling them to change their looks if they want to succeed in life(Standen). Some children even receive plastic surgery as a graduation gift to enhance their appearance with double eyelid surgery and nose jobs to give them a more “western” appearance(Standen).
In society, the prettier you are, the more opportunities come your way. People gravitate toward those they find aesthetically pleasing when they decide who gets the job or who they want to associate with(Standen). Society has concluded that this behavior is normal and necessary which has pushed people to feel the need to appear a certain way to conform to society’s present ideas regardless of the extremity(Standen). Many claim that plastic surgery has many physical benefits and restorative properties(Duzan). Those claims may be true if one has gotten into an accident and requires reconstructive surgery or for things such as a cleft lip or any other physical deformity but what about those with emotional flaws? Although plastic surgery may give patients a higher self-esteem, the patient will still have their emotional struggles.
Plastic surgery will not give them a flawless body or a picture-perfect life, it only corrects the aesthetic flaws(Duzan). In this day and age, young girls are looking to Instagram and television and seeing these models and insta-famous celebrities, thinking that this what they have to look like to feel needed and loved. In the past year, the interest in lip injections has risen 19 percent due to young girls wanting the “Kylie Jenner Pout”(Hubbard).
Coolsculpting, the freezing of fat, has increased by 29% over the past year(Hubbard). Young people see these social media celebrities and trust them. They trust what the insta-stars are doing and see it as the right thing to do to acquire their desired aesthetic. Some even travel long distances to achieve the aesthetics a certain celebrity has(Hubbard). Many scientists base their career on one simple question. The question is, what defines beauty? Scientists say, that beauty ultimately comes down to two elements. Beauty is defined by what whether or not your face is aesthetically pleasing and symmetric(Lennon). In America, beauty standards have come to the point where you can virtually design and purchase your face just as you purchase cosmetics(Lennon). What does the notion of being able to physically buy a new face do to one’s mind? For example, referring back to South Korea, women say that they feel the horrible need to look the same as every other South Korean woman due to the women they see frowning on subway ads and the highly plastic image of surrounding K-Pop stars(Hu).
One woman says that she worries about the welfare of young girls when they see these ads and that seeing fewer ads would help everyone’s well-being(Hu). Although America is becoming more accustom to bodies of various sizes, plastic surgery is still on the rise. Both incursive and non-incursive procedures have increased by 25% post- 2012(Mackenzie). When will society reach the point where we don’t have to look at others with envy? When will we look at each other, not for our physical attributes but our intelligence? Our ability to make each other laugh? Why are we living in a society where preteens to young adults feel so bad about themselves that they turn to a knife? More than half the population considers plastic surgery(BBC). What does that say? In society, we put on our fake fronts and best faces because that’s what we think we should conform to feel. As many as 160,000 teens have had non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the U.S as of 2014 while 63,000 had surgical procedures(Schaefer). Yes, plastic surgery may enhance your life physically but will it change you inside? Will it change the way you feel about yourself?
Will it change your view of the world? Will you become who you think you should be? By all means, do what feels right for you and your body but think about your motive, are you doing this to improve yourself or because you feel you need others approval? Consider the pros and cons of the surgery as it can be life-altering and you may regret it. When pondering your decision decide whether your thoughts are temporary or permanent. Go through the potential complications and financial situations and make sure your choice is right for you. Acknowledge the fact that as long as you are truly happy with you, nothing else matters. You will get a job, you will be needed and wanted. Most importantly, you will be happy with yourself which beats the “satisfaction” of an aesthetic appearance.
In a world obsessed with beauty and aesthetic appeal which does not seem to be changing anytime soon, let go of all the unrealistic expectations we place upon ourselves and our bodies. Step back and think about the mental toll it is taking on you and those around you. Is a temporary thought worth changing your life and appearance? If the answer was yes, then go ahead. If you were unsure of your answer, rethink your decision before you spend your money and permanently change your appearance. Although plastic surgery may give you a higher self-esteem, you will still have your emotional struggles. Plastic surgery will not give them a flawless body or a picture-perfect life, it will only correct the aesthetic flaws(Duzan). In this day and age, young girls are looking to Instagram and television and seeing these models and insta-famous celebrities, thinking that this what they have to look like to feel needed and loved when they should be looking within themselves.