Humankind is no stranger to self-destructive behavior. Every person, regardless of gender or culture, experiences insecurities about their appearance, which drive to dislike or even hate themselves. Some overcome self-doubt and grow confident with their face and body, but some remain unsatisfied with what stares back at them in the mirror. And some decide to do something about their appearance. Now, when it concerns your body, one can usually change that and mold it to resemble the desired physique by working out and eating healthy. However, when it comes to someone’s face or genetically inherited traits, people with the financial means to do so usually get plastic surgery. In 2017, 17.5 million plastic surgeries and cosmetic procedures were carried out in the USA alone.
Nowadays, the general consensus on plastic surgery is that it is alright to enhance your features because it is not a denial of self-love and acceptance. However, does this argument stand true? In many cases, it does not because it causes hatred not only toward oneself but also toward one’s culture and heritage. For example, women in Asia usually try to resemble Westerners. To achieve this goal, Chinese, Japanese and Korean girls receive several facial surgeries, including ones on the eyelids, cheeks, and jawlines. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery 1,137,976 Japanese went under the knife in 2016, thus contributing 4.8% of the entirety of plastic surgeries in the world. It is not healthy nor just to promote the superiority of one race’s physical features over that of another.
Furthermore, it affects a young generation when they believe that what they observe on social media is the result of natural selection of traits. Most likely, it is either the product of a long, professional photoshoot– equipped with the right makeup, lighting and poses– or that of plastic surgery. For quite a while, many believed that Kylie Jenner’s lips were natural and that she just was good at “doing her lips.” Her full lips were so attainable to her audience that they started doing challenges to enlarge their lips. She then admitted to lip injections. Setting unrealistic beauty standards by lying about plastic surgery has a very negative effect on an audience’s self-esteem.
So, if someone is honest and outspoken about receiving plastic surgery, then the public can be conscious of imperfections made into perfection. This way, unrealistic beauty standards can be avoided because it is an acknowledged fact that it was reached artificially. However, when someone presents their features as natural when in truth they are the result of plastic surgery, an influenceable audience can be driven into dislike of their own bodies and faces. Promoting such an attitude is wrong, especially when it includes characteristics of a race.
By Nadine Szabo