Prior to this course, I had never really thought of plastic surgery as body modification. I cannot exactly explain why, but it never struck me as a severe alteration to the human body. That being said, I was so very wrong. It is now obvious to me that plastic surgery is some of the most extreme body modification there is. I guess, what it came down to was the fact that plastic surgery has become incredibly common across the world, especially in females. In class lecture, Professor Peace noted that 90% of plastic surgery is done on women. I personally feel that this has a lot to do with body image and the issues the media has presented in present day society.
Over the course of this class, we have learned about many different types of body modification. Although different, they all seem to have one common goal. They are not so much rooted in insecurities and the desire for acceptance, but instead in the desire to feel comfortable and whole in one’s skin. Many times (although I must clarify, not all times is this the case), men and women undergo plastic surgery due to their insecurities. They want so badly to fit in that stereotypical image that the media has created that determines what is and is not beautiful. Looking back in history, this trend has remained the same. Although what was determined as beautiful may have been different in the 1920s, women still took extreme measures to fit into that perfect little stereotypical box.
It is also very commonly seen, and well publicized, that people develop “addictions” to plastic surgery. Individuals are brought into the spotlight for having plastic surgery on almost every part of their bodies, rendering them as unrecognizable to their original selves. Because of the way plastic surgery is publicized, it has been put in a very negative light. Many don’t recognize that plastic surgery is like any other form of body modification. It exists to make people more comfortable in their own skin, for whatever their reasons may be. I suppose I am still torn on what aspects of plastic surgery I find right and wrong. In the end, I have no control over what others do to their own bodies and am not one to judge or begrudge them for it.
In conclusion, I wanted to touch on the one underlying issue in this whole discussion. I don’t think of my self overwhelmingly as a feminist, but I do stand up for women and the rights and privileges they deserve in a world so overpowered by men. I have no problem with individuals modifying and altering their bodies in ways that make them feel more secure and comfortable. What I am not okay with is the fact that such a high percentage of these individuals are women. I feel as though our society is plagued by something that cannot simply be shaken. Females are overly concerned with their body image pushing them to these extreme measures. Unfortunately, this has been happening for ages, and I do not foresee the world changing any time soon.