The way a woman handles herself is important, according to most Americans. Furthermore, the way a woman looks on the outside surpasses all other qualities. Most women do not realize this, but this is the way in which they place their importance. In a world filled with superficiality, it is not astonishing to think that most women are un-satisfied with their outward appearance. Unhappiness with one’s outward appearance has lead to cosmetic surgery being the only solution. Cosmetic surgery has lead to more than one problem for our country and for the lives of people involved.
Modifying one’s body from cosmetic surgery is not only harmful physically; it is also highly expensive, a “quick” fix for one’s deeper rooted issues, and may become highly addictive. The expansion on plastic surgery during World War One shined light upon different techniques and medical advances within this field. Originally, plastic surgery was only by means of reconstruction due to the horrific injuries of war. Doctors were required to facilitate soldiers back to health, and with the new advances of surgery they were able to give soldiers back their life in a new way.
Facial reconstruction began as a new practice for plastic surgeons. Particularly this is because of the modern day weapons causing soldiers to have more bodily injuries. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons stated, “Never before had physicians been required to treat so many and such extensive facial and head injuries. Shattered jaws, blown-off noses, and lips gaping skull wounds caused by modern weapons inquired innovative restorative procedures. ” (“American Society of Plastic Surgeons”)The war was completely divesting, but the surgical procedures gave hope to the soldiers.
These new advancements held a purpose, but with the knowledge of surgical procedures people began to take advantage and used it for non-practical ways. With the rising awareness of plastic surgery, people became astonished with the fact that one can change his/her looks with no effort at all. What was thought of as a procedure that benefited someone took a completely different turn in the 1980’s. During this time persons had a heightened awareness of plastic surgery, and desired to find more information about this technique.
Information was able to reach home with the help of “brochures”. (“American Society of Plastic Surgeons”) However, it was not until the 1990’s that the media and internet became involved. With the ability of having an at home computer, surgeons were able to provide a surgical conference for their potential clients. This advancement gave more light to cosmetic surgeries such as rhinoplasty. As a consequence of this heightened awareness, people began to “fix” every flaw by means of surgery.
However, this type of surgery is different due to the fact that it is not a reconstruction of the abnormity it is purely cosmetic. The growing obsession with cosmetic surgery led to unrealistic views of what beauty should be. The view of beauty has changed significantly over the past hundred years. Beauty use to be the way a lady holds herself with her morals and her attitude which reflected outwardly. In the twenty-first century, beauty is viewed only as the means of perfection.
Women have significantly lost self-esteem over the past years because of the constant pressure to always look a certain way. In particular, teenagers and young woman are affected most by the way one is viewed by other people because they place such a high importance on impressing and their appearance. These women and teenagers see one self as being un-fit for normal interactions with people. This is a contributing factor to the millions of dollars that is spent by people to change their imperfections. According to Alex Kuczynski, in America the cosmetic industry makes up to $15 billion. “Kuczynski” 4) With average pricing of laser treatments being $6,000 and liposuction being $11,000 it is very easy to see why the economy is in such turmoil today.
The media has influenced most of the billions of dollars that are placed into cosmetic surgery. Commercials, billboards, brochures, testimonies, and telemarketers are the a few of the ways in which the media drags a person into believing that one is not suited enough for their own well-being. As a culture, we have feed into these uncomforting lies about our looks which have made us more prone to see our flaws. In 2003, more than half of Americans- 51 percent- said that they were not quite comfortable to not at all comfortable with their appearance, according to Roper study. ” (“Kuczynski” 5) Perhaps, if the media was not involved so heavily in pursing surgery, people would not be willing to spend thousands of dollars on one procedure. Lastly, cosmetic surgery may become highly addictive. It has been said that once one starts pursuing surgery, it is hard to quit. The reasoning behind may be because of a disorder called body dysmorphic disorder (BDD).
This disorder perceives one’s self completely different than it actually is, and persons that are affected by this disorder become fixated with a slight “imperfection” that leads to obsessive behavior. “The obsessions can consume a person’s thoughts, harming every aspect of their life. ” (“James” Web) This obsession is also seen more frequently in adolescents. This obsession takes complete control over their life. The person no longer feels useful to the world, and feels that the only way to survive is through cosmetic surgery.
It is tragic to see one’s life be affected so deeply by their appearance, but it is seen by almost everyone in America. In order to make one feel less conscious about their appearance, we as a society need to shift our priorities in a colossal way. Not only should a teenager or young woman feel less appreciated because of their looks, but no one should feel this way. As a society we need to practice the use of inner beauty instead of outer beauty. It is our duty to make America feel united and not separate by our appearance. Therefore, our society would benefit economically, socially, and morally by changing our views on appearance.
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