Cosmetic Surgery – the pros and cons
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
Millions of people, both male and female, undergo cosmetic surgery, also called plastic surgery, every year. Modern plastic surgeons can alter almost any aspect of physical appearance, from facial features to body shape. While some cosmetic surgery is done for medical reasons, such as reconstructing facial features after an accident, many other procedures are voluntary. Weighting the pros and cons before having cosmetic surgery can help individuals make a decision whether it is the right choice for them.
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For some, having cosmetic surgery can be vital to confidence levels and self-image. If you have a physical feature that you've spent years wishing were different or that has a recognizable impact on your daily life or health, this is usually an indication that it is something you truly desire to change, as opposed to a sudden dislike for something about yourself that recently became an issue. However, obsession over a specific facial or body feature can indicate mental health issues, and therapy might be a better option than surgery.
One of the big benefits of plastic surgery comes to those who have health issues related to the appearance issues that bother them. Some women with very large breasts experience excruciating back pain that a breast reduction can eliminate or reduce significantly. A nose job can potentially reduce sinus infections, and the removal of breast tissue in men can lower the risk of cancer in that tissue. These are just a few of the health problems that can be alleviated through cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgery is still surgery and shouldn't be taken lightly. The potential for complications exists, just as for any other operation. Pain is a significant drawback to plastic surgery, and recovery times can be as long as six months in some cases. Some patients may be at risk for severe reactions to anesthesia or may develop health problems such as hemorrhaging as a result of their surgery.
Sometimes cosmetic surgery doesn't produce the results the patient desires. This is often a problem with expectations, not with the skill of the surgeon. Expecting unrealistic results, such as that surgery will make you look like a movie star or automatically solve all of your dating problems, can be a significant drawback to having cosmetic procedures. People who consult with a doctor before their procedure and develop a realistic idea of what the end result will look like often have better experiences.
Cosmetic surgery can be expensive and is usually not covered by medical insurance. There may also be a financial loss due to time taken off work for recovery. However, in some cases, if there is a medical condition related to the surgery, there may be some form of insurance compensation available. This sometimes occurs when cosmetic surgery is used to repair birth defects, reconstructive surgery after an accident or in cases such as severe recurrent sinus infections that can be fixed via rhinoplasty, which is plastic surgery of the nose.
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