Friday, February 13, 2015

Cultural Problem or "Cosmetic Wellness"

Beauty above pain, that’s what a lot of the body modification forms seem to have in common. People have decided that looking a certain way is more important than how much pain it will take to get there. Is that acceptable? I think the answer truly depends on a given circumstance.
Tattooing and other forms of body modification can be an art form if they are used to enhance looks without a motivation for causing pain. Tattoos and piercings are accessible and the pain is well understood. Tattooists become angered if someone wants to get a tattoo for the pain, a dry tattoo (no ink used). Most tattooists won’t give these clients tattoos because it doesn't seem ethically right. Yet, cosmetic surgery is harder to discuss. It makes sense to get plastic surgery post-op or for a burn. 

However, I think much of the industry is based on wealth and looking perfect.
I feel like it is unfair to increase the pressure on women to look a certain way (and men) by making the possibilities more far-reaching and then creating higher expectations for how women should look. I also believe that since I is a practice that can be problematic for people with Body Dysmorphic Identity Disorder, there are a lot more risks to plastic surgery than one might think of.

Yet, what boggles my mind is that the pain involved in these surgeries is often more than people expect. So when people consult a physician for a breast augmentation, are the doctors leaving something out? How is it that so many people get these procedures, but many are still surprised by the amount of pain that they encountered after the operation?  I think plastic surgeons should be required to tell perspective patients about the amount of pain a procedure will cause. Even if people will still get plastic surgery, I think they have a right to know what they are getting into beforehand.

Although, I am generally opposed to plastic surgery and the idea that feeling good should extend to the point of surgery, I do ascertain that there are exceptions to this. Practically, plastic surgery when it can help a person get to a state of normalcy after a trauma (facial reconstruction) or reduce the size of a person’s breasts when they are suffering from back pain. However, beyond that I think it is just proof of how vain our culture has become.

We are living in a society where perfection is glorified. No one can be perfect, but people keep pushing the limits on how close we can get. This increases stress about appearances and the environmental risks for traits of perfectionism on an unhealthy level. I think we should focus on helping people when they have dealt with trauma and try to teach people that their bodies are unique, instead of needing surgery. With piercing and other body modification, I think there is an emphasis on individuality which is more beneficial and artsy in my opinion. However, I am open to other ideas.

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