the problem with plastic surgery

Mina Le
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Truth and Goodness, Mirrors and Masks: Part 2 by Anthony Synnott (1990)
The Making of the Modern Face: Cosmetic Surgery by Elizabeth Haiken (2000)
Surgery and the cultural construction of Beauty by Lorrie Blair and Maya Shalman (2005)
Women and the Knife: Cosmetic Surgery and the Colonization of Women's Bodies by Kathryn Pauly Morgan (1991)
Plastic Surgery and American Beauty at 1921 by Elizabeth Haiken (1994)



14 Eki 2021




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At 15 I went for a consult for rhinoplasty. The surgeon talked to me long and hard about recovery, money, and that I had to come back for further maintenance because I was still going through puberty and my face hasn't fully grown in yet. He did photoshop detailing what he would've done which was SO minimal and ended the consult with, "You are a beautiful girl who will become a beautiful woman. Give yourself love and time, there is nothing I need to change." It's been 9 years and now my nose is my fave feature. If only more surgeons were real like this and didn't prioritize money, they would make a huge impact especially for young girls and boys. And send a message to their parents who agreed to all this and arent helping with their kids esteem.
Marie Alayne
I hate how modern feminism has declared any and all choices "empowering" so thank you for calling out plastic surgery for what is is, which is indeed not empowering.
Sophia S
I think modern day feminism has somehow reverted us back to placing beauty above all other factors of feminism. I see so much media, especially now on TikTok, that encourage women to be the best version of themselves, which seems great, until they then drag in physical appearance? It’s like “go girl be a bad ass, intelligent, capable women while also being sexy!” Like why do I also need to be sexy? I can be ugly as fuck and still be a capable, amazing, intelligent woman. It’s infuriating
Keeley Tomlinson
I mentioned getting fillers to my Grandmother once and she said “You're going to look like me eventually, why wouldn't you want that?”
One of the worst trends to me is the whole “this is how you age when you’re unproblematic” like… I am 27 and am developing teeny wrinkles. So are lot of people my age. I have a super expressive face and dry, sensitive skin, it happens. Something about people equating youth and beauty with being morally good is so pathetic though, more pathetic than having a wrinkle or two. What are we, a Grimm fairytale?
Roshni Sharma
We don’t need to make plastic surgery unempowering, we need to make aging more empowering. In many cultures, the archetype of the “crone”, an aging woman is seen as the keeper of wisdom and in touch with nature in a very deep way, a woman we all can learn from. We need to respect the experience aging brings, because essentially the added years bring more knowledge. How is that not beautiful?
Imani Manuellah
I have come to the conclusion that I don’t like cosmetic surgery as a concept because as much as it can be for “yourself”, our ideas of conventional beauty are so skewed, seasonal and rooted in systemic issues, so objectively speaking how much of it is really for yourself.
Emma Cooper
I also hate that if someone is "aging badly", society blaces the blame on them like "oh they partied too much, they must not have taken care of themselves" etc when in reality, most of the way you age comes down to genetics.
im 16 and this past year i had a breast reduction. for me it was honestly the most empowering thing. ive always had a small frame, but my breasts were huge and covered my stomach. they didnt fit my body at all. thats all that people saw in me. i was “the girl with huge tits” and it was really dehumanizing. im so glad i had it done even though i am so young
Sally S.
I think it's interesting to see how "beauty standard" change from country to country even in the western world. In France, the "Kardashian's feature" and heavy makeup is still frown upon by many people. It's seen as trashy, a show of poor taste, associated with non-educated Mediterranean girls who don't know how to behave properly. Those stereotypes are rooted in misogyny, clacism and racism. I think it would be interesting to do a study about plastic surgery in Europeans country to see what patients want and what they imagined being the "perfect beauty".
clown snatch
Im a Native american girl, and I vividly remember wishing to Santa to make me white because I wanted to be pretty like a princess. Today I realize just how much beauty standards subconsciously affect us on a daily basis as I still feel self conscious about the Native body type I sport (wide shoulders and narrow hips) Even if I spent my youth with incredibly supportive parents who told me I was beautiful everyday. So sad some girls will never realize that their value is not calculated on how snuggly they fit into the white skinny mold! 😢
Victoria Palos
Can we also talk about the fact that these celeb women “who look great” are also quick to claim they’ve had no surgery? The audacity. The kardashians barely admit it, Ariana grande refuses to admit it, and Jlo too. Like… y’all really think we don’t know?? Haha 😂
Sapphic Flower
I think it’s so important to criticize the plastic surgery industry and how it profits of women’s and people’s insecurities. I think some people are scared of addressing it because they don’t want to come off as anti-plastic surgery and accidentally shame those who did get it or are tempted to. It’s not that we should judge the people who wound up getting it because they’re just a product of a culture that expects them conform to beauty standards. But we should try harder normalizing diverse beauty rather than conformity.
Diane Hong
This was a very smart take on the subject. I am 52. The skin on my face started dropping a few years ago. I always looked young for my age ( people told me constantly) I definitely don’t look 35 anymore. I am not going to lie, it doesn’t feel great to see your face change. However, I see getting older as an opportunity to grow, internally. Our society values the external, who you are outside, what you look like, how much money you have. I choose to focus on healthy living, healthy relationships, expanding my mind and my art. I also love clothes, so I still have fun with that. Getting older or aging actually affords you some freedom from the noise outside. I have more time to focus on my happiness.
Andrew Harris
Also I remember hearing Eugene Lee Yang talk about how he felt ugly growing up and how his mother said “why are you trying to hide your family’s face?” and that really stuck with me
A huge part of this that's often overlooked is that trends are, by definition, transient and will change. If faces and bodies are "trends" now, then people who get a plastic surgery to change a part of their body now will have an "outdated" face or body later down the line. Will they keep getting different surgeries to update their look with the trends?
cassandra t
As a girl who’s always had a big/defined Italian nose and really small breasts, it severely fucked me up hearing about plastic surgery because 99% of it was women either getting their noses done to be smaller or their breasts done to be bigger because that’s what’s seen as “sexy” and “more feminine.” I felt so disgusting and manly for years (and still do, but less frequently) because of this. Everyone wanting the exact opposite of what you have naturally can make you feel like absolute shit, so I’m really glad we’re talking about this more. Cosmetic surgery never has been and never will be empowering and all it does is profit off of women’s insecurities.
Sez Monsta
It almost sounds anti-feminist to reduce female empowerment to something which is achieved by fitting a beauty standard
Silja Maria
I was recently told that I look good for my age.
I started to get pretty insecure about early signs of ageing in my mid 20s, but the last couple years I've really gone through an emotional transformation about it and stopped caring completely. I work in a super male-dominated industry, so naturally the majority of my 'idols' growing up were men. I sat down one day and took a look at pictures of these men, most of them wrinkled, overweight, balding, and awkward-looking, and thought about how deeply respected and revered they are for what they contribute, create and express. No one would ever question their looks. Their looks aren't even remotely a part of how their value is assessed. I know society won't treat me the same way, as someone who's (roughly) female, but damnit I want that for myself. And I'm never going to get it unless I fully untie my looks from my inner sense of value. I have to fully 'live' that truth if I want it to take hold. I know I won't be treated the same as those men. It's going to be a fight, and some people will unfairly judge me for 'looking my age' or not being 'pretty' enough. But society is never going to change unless more and more of us choose to just go for it anyway and push through. In the end it's strength in numbers. You have to be the change you want to see.
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