Learn to love the body you’re in!
It’s all too easy in this day and age to be self-critical, to believe by changing how you look you will make your life happier, more rewarding. Surgery is permanent, make up is not, so think very carefully before proceeding.
When it comes to the topic of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery, opinions can be quite divided. The whole area is certainly a growth industry today, but not everybody is favourably disposed towards it. Famous people eager to preserve and enhance their celebrity good looks have led the way, and last year in the US, almost 240,000 teenagers aged 13 to 19 had some kind of cosmetic surgical procedure. So what, if anything, is wrong with a 16 year-old girl going to her cosmetic surgeon for a boob-job? Well quite a lot, actually.
Healing or harming?
Plastic surgery is not new. It was first mentioned in the Edwin Smith Papyrus, a transcription of an ancient Egyptian medical text, and there is documentary evidence that reconstructive techniques were commonly used in India from 800 BC. The greatest pioneers of cosmetic surgery were a pair of New Zealanders – firstly Sir Harold Gillies, an otolaryngologist whose work helped many disfigured soldiers during Word War I, then Gillies’ cousin, Archibald McIndoe, who developed science further and assisted many more disfigured servicemen with badly burned faces, particularly World War II airline pilots.
Of all the reasons for having plastic surgery, this is one of the most obvious ones – to restore someone’s appearance after an accident or act of war. Others would be to mitigate the effects of birth defects and to carry out reconstructive work after cancer or other serious conditions. But after this, the lines become blurred. Where does self-esteem stop and vanity or narcissism start?
The answers are inside
A person who is obese at 25, for example, but still opts for nose work and liposuction? People who have been brought up to believe that they are ugly or lacking in worth sometimes turn to cosmetic surgery, expecting that this proposed improvement in their looks will also, magically, improve them as people. This kind of ‘magic silver bullet’ approach to sorting our problems, where everything can be solved by others, is, in reality, just an escape. People seek answers outside when, in fact, the solution is inside.
To this extent, it seems to me that people are increasingly living one-dimensional lives, using artificial means to get high or change their mood, instead of realising that the best way of doing this lies with themselves. We don’t achieve anything when we turn to an external fix when we should be going out beyond ourselves, exploring, pushing boundaries. And most importantly, working with what we have, and with who we really are. The real thing that attracts us to someone else is not their movie-star looks. It is their soul.
Nobody’s perfect – so let’s celebrate that fact
While we’re on the subject of movies, let’s take a look at US cinema and contrast it with European cinema. In America, people are often presented as Barbie or Ken dolls – all perfect, with no hairy bits or flabby bits. In European cinema you’re much more likely to encounter real bodies, warts and all. Isn’t it more attractive and normal to be attracted to someone who’s actually lived a bit and who is a bit ‘beaten up’? Similarly, why would any woman opt to have genital reconstruction? Us women can’t even see our own genitalia without the use of a mirror, so why should anyone believe that there is a desirable or idea shape for a vagina?
Cosmetic surgeons perform important work, but many also make money out of people’s vanity and their dissatisfaction with who they are. It’s very sad when people surrender to the idea that there is a standard of beauty against which they should be measured. And triply sad when they opt for alteration of their individual appearance to meet someone else’s expectation.
As with so much, the answer to our problems is not to be found outside, it is to be found within. The first step is to appreciate the person that we are, in all of its flabby, bony, warty, hairy glory, so that we can get on with living our lives to the full.
I wish you every joy and happiness in your beautiful uniqueness!
If you are thinking of having plastic surgery then maybe consider a little therapy first, as you may change your mind and find you love yourself just as you are. Please feel free to call me on 01438 832957.