The Case against Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures

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"The Case against Cosmetic Surgery and Procedures"
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If Americans think that American celebrities are the most modified, plastic-surgery wise, think again. In Argentina, I've read that the government will pay for any Argentine woman to have plastic surgery done. And just from glancing at many "Telenovelas," it's quite obvious that a plethora of Latin celebrities are also addicted to plastic surgery, as are other "ethnic" groups like Middle-Eastern and Mediterranean women.

Some criticise this as women wanting to look more "European" and to emulate European features. This includes skin bleaching, which ethnic celebrities have done, as well as wearing blue or green-coloured eye contacts. I've heard quite a few angry rants against Aishwarya Rai (from what I deem to be Indian women), about her "coloured" contact lenses.

But why so much anger?

First and foremost, I think women feel that they are being "cheated" by plastic surgery endowed stars. Like I said in a previous entry, women can be vain, and women are always competing to be more beautiful than the next. Some have claimed that this is due to competition for men, but if you think about it, our society, and all societies, worship beauty, and even male beauty. You can't lie to yourself about this - do you think Brad Pitt would be famous if he looked like the average guy next door? (To be honest, I never really found him appealing, but most average women like him, just as most average men like the same average female celebrities).

I for one understand completely why a celebrity needs to hide their supposed imperfections. If they didn't, all we'd do is criticise them and poke fun at them. On a second thought, why not ask ourselves what it is that compels people to make fun of others for their appearance, as well as why we all want to be famous in the first place? And why do we emulate those who practise this egotism?

On a further, slightly positive note, in some ways, celebrities fill in not only an existential void, but also offer a sort of "archetypal symbol" for many of us. It's not always a bad thing per se, to like a certain celebrity, and some celebrities do work for good causes, which is nice. In the end though, the celebrity obsession is just a little too much.

But back to the issue of celebrity plastic surgery. I guess I am both fascinated and repulsed about it. On one hand, I find the subject of completely changing one's entire face very interesting. One middle-eastern celebrity I read about supposedly had an eye lift and wears blue eye contacts, has had rhinoplasty, cheek implants, chin and jaw sculpting/contouring, skin bleaching, hair extensions and colouring, and God knows what else, and she's hated very much by some in her native Lebanon for this; I, on the other hand, like her music and don't really care that much. She's merely a symbolic image of sorts, and the image sells.

Funny thing is, I've noticed that most men don't care. Not really.

This can bring us to a very important point. Women tend to care more about genuineness, as a whole, versus men. This is why women will lie so vehemently about not having had plastic surgery done. They know that this will offend women. I also think that men have an easier time looking at women as inhuman, and more as objects, which is why they don't have as much of a problem with plastic surgery, not even major plastic surgery. I know that many women, including myself, would not be able to look at a man the same way if ever he had plastic surgery. There is something about it that dehumanises a person. But this does not seem to bother men all that much.

In the end, we have to ask ourselves what it is we value most. While I will not hold a grudge against famous people for plastic surgery, I hope they will eventually realise that they are a very large part of the problem. Until they stop, society will continue to dehumanise them, and this leads us to dehumanise our own selves too.

More about this author: Carol Shaw-Sutton

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