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The use of botox and surgery to enhance physical appearance has become a cultural phenomenon in contemporary society. In the past, beauty enhancement was mainly done by women. However, men are becoming more conscious about their appearances and, as a result, embracing botox and plastic surgery. Proponents of botox and plastic surgery argue that beauty enhancement includes increased confidence, improved mental and physical health, and access to more personal and professional opportunities. On the other hand, opponents of beauty enhancement reject it because of the medical risks and high cost involved, as well as the probability of death and addiction. The media has overemphasized the importance of botox and plastic surgery by creating unrealistic beauty standards that people in society are trying to live up to. This is influencing the young people negatively by encouraging them to undergo beauty enhancement procedures even though they are unnecessary.
In contemporary society, many people are using both surgical and non-surgical methods to alter their looks in order to look more beautiful. For instance, botox is used to treat wrinkles and facial creases that are characteristic of old age in both men and women. Botox makes people look more beautiful by blocking the nerves that lead to muscles thus preventing contraction. The wrinkles and facial creases become soft and relaxed, thus giving people younger looks. In many cases, botox is used to treat forehead lines, frown lines, wrinkles, and lines around the eyes. Plastic and cosmetic surgeries are also used to enhance physical appearance. Procedures used to make people look younger and more beautiful include cosmetic dermatology, chin augmentation, liposuction, facelift (rhytidectomy), eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), forehead lift, facial implants, rhinoplasty, breast surgery, otoplasty, tummy tuck, laser hair removal, and body contouring (Brand, 2012). These surgical procedures are used to make people of both genders look younger and more beautiful.
The Rise of Plastic Surgery
According to surveys, approximately 80% of all plastic surgery procedures conducted involve women. Women are more likely to feel conscious and insecure about their looks than men, and therefore, undergo surgery to look more beautiful. The most common procedures that women use to enhance their looks include botox, liposuction, facial surgery, and breast enhancement (Brand, 2012). More men are undergoing surgery primarily because of increased attention to how they look. Cosmetic procedures conducted in men are similar to those conducted on women. However, they have slight variations so that they can fit the masculine body shape. Examples of procedures common among men include rhinoplasty, hair implants, botox, and dermal fillers (Brand, 2012).
Pros of Plastic Surgery
The main purpose of conducting cosmetic surgery is to increase one’s physical appearance (Grant & Chen, 2010). This is one of the many benefits that plastic surgery provides. Other benefits include increased self-confidence, improved physical health, enhanced mental health, access to more opportunities, and reduction of body weight (Brand, 2012). Proponents of plastic surgery argue that beauty enhancement increases self-confidence because it makes people feel good about how they look (Hamermesh, 2011). It has been established that one of the requirements for one to feel good is to look good. Feeling good empowers people to interact more socially and try new things that they avoided because of their looks (Giuseppe & Shiffman, 2015).
Discomfort about physical appearances limits many people with regard to the quality of their lives. Some plastic surgery procedures are important in improving physical health. For instance, breast reduction surgery has been shown to reduce neck and back pain because it improves body contour (Grant & Chen, 2010). Botox decreases excessive sweating and may be effective in reducing migraines. The mental benefits of plastic surgery originate from the annihilation of social anxiety due to increased self-confidence (Hamermesh, 2011). Good looks inspire self-confidence and self-esteem that allow people to change their attitudes and beliefs regarding social situations and the opinions of others. Eradication of social anxiety empowers people to develop better attitudes and take new challenges that result in positive life outcomes (Giuseppe & Shiffman, 2015).
Research has shown that attractive people have greater access to more opportunities than unattractive people (Hamermesh, 2011). Therefore, beauty enhancement through surgery increases access to personal and professional opportunities (Grant & Chen, 2010). A study published in Applied Financial Economics in 2012 created a relationship between the price of properties and the agent’s looks. The study found out that agents who were deemed attractive sold their properties for prices higher than those of agents that were perceived unattractive (Giuseppe & Shiffman, 2015). Another advantage of plastic surgery is the development of motivation to keep extra weight off and stay healthy. Procedures such as liposuction and tummy tack motivate people to keep extra weight off so that they can remain healthy and attractive after surgery. Liposuction lowers the risk of diseases associated with excess body weight (Grant & Chen, 2010). The positive results of the aforementioned procedures improve emotional wellness because they enhance physical looks that are the main source of low self-confidence in many people.
Cons of Plastic Surgery
Despite its numerous benefits, plastic surgery has cons too that are primarily based on the risks associated with various procedures. Regardless of whether plastic surgery is conducted to regain a normal appearance after an accident or correct physical flaws, its dangers are reasons enough to find alternative ways to look more attractive. Opponents of plastic surgery argue that it should be discouraged because of the medical risks, cost, addiction, and complications involved (Grant & Chen, 2010). One of the main medical risks of plastic surgery is death, which can result from infection, severe bleeding, necrosis, and nerve damage (Giuseppe & Shiffman, 2015). Other medical risks associated with plastic surgery include the collection of fluid and bruising around the area of operation, blood clots, and deep vein thrombosis. It is advisable to seek the services of highly qualified physicians to lower the risk of developing these complications.
In certain cases, plastic surgery does not improve the physical appearance of individuals because of the development of hypertrophic scars (Grant & Chen, 2010). These scars are thick and red and do not fade. Physical appearance can also be compromised by drooping or sagging in the surgical area, which might not fulfill the purpose of the surgery. It is presumed that all plastic surgery procedures improve physical appearance. However, there is a possibility to look less attractive after undergoing a plastic surgery procedure. One of the arguments against plastic surgery is based on the high costs of procedures. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, plastic surgery procedures are very expensive and mainly available to the elite class in society (Lukash, 2013). For instance, a lower body lift procedure can cost as much as $8,000. The costs of procedures usually increase after factoring in surgeon fees, medication costs, hospital expenses, aftercare expenses, and anesthesia fees.
Finally, some people become addicted to plastic surgery owing to the influence of the assumption that it is the only way to look attractive, feel good, and boost self-confidence. Moreover, the ease of access to plastic surgeons and the presence of physical flaws are the main causes of addiction (Grant & Chen, 2010). Addicts are always willing to correct even minor and negligible flaws in their physical appearance. This addiction has severe emotional and financial consequences because the more it is done the more money is spent and the more is needed to make other body areas look similar to those that were surgically corrected. Opponents of plastic surgery argue that it is risky because of the achievement of imperfect results that necessitate additional procedures to reverse surgeries. In present times, the achievement of imperfect results has become common because of the prevalence of quack surgeons that operate on people for the money (Lukash, 2013). Revision of surgeries to get back the original look is a common phenomenon in cases where the desired results are not achieved.
The Bad Impact on Society and the Younger Generation
In the last ten years, the number of teenagers conducting plastic surgery has increased rapidly. For instance, in 2015, more than 226,000 procedures were conducted on teenagers below the age of 19. Surgical procedures to improve the physical appearances of teenagers can be beneficial because they help them avoid the ridicule and criticism associated with unattractive bodily features (Vennemeyer, 2010). However, the development of a cultural phenomenon that emphasizes the importance of beauty is influencing young people into conducting plastic surgery even though not necessary. There are numerous shows on television and the internet that focus on the importance of surgical makeover and enhancement f physical appearance (Lukash, 2013). These shows put pressure on people to conform to unrealistic beauty standards that compel them to embrace cosmetic procedures. A major concern about plastic surgery in young people is its necessity because their bodies are still developing and changing (Vennemeyer, 2010). Therefore, certain body features change in appearance and eradicate the need for corrective surgery. Many people who undergo plastic surgery do not understand the potential risks of certain procedures.
Cosmetic surgery has been described as a disaster waiting to happen because of the influence of the media and an unregulated industry that is accessible to everyone (Lukash, 2013). For example, the majority of people who are uncomfortable with their physical appearance are opting for plastic surgery rather than therapy. Before the emergence of plastic surgery, people addressed physical flaws through therapy, which help them to change their attitudes, thoughts, and beliefs about their physical appearance (Vennemeyer, 2010). Plastic surgery offers a quick and more appealing solution to unsatisfactory physical appearance.
The use of plastic surgery to enhance beauty has become a cultural phenomenon in contemporary society. Corrective surgery has become the solution that men and women seek to enhance their looks by correcting body features that they presume to be unattractive. This phenomenon has been augmented by the media, which has created unrealistic standards regarding the ideal body type. People are conducting plastic surgery regardless of the numerous risks involved. Risks include addiction, imperfect results, death, and high costs. Despite the risks involved, plastic surgery is beneficial too because it improves self-confidence, enhances physical and mental health, and helps keep extra weight off. It is important for the government to regulate the plastic surgery industry to ensure that t is not misused especially by young people.
Brand, P. Z. (2012). Beauty unlimited. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Giuseppe, A. D., & Shiffman, M. A. (2015). New frontiers in plastic and cosmetic surgery. New York, NY: JP Medical Ltd.
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Grant, R., & Chen, C. (2010). Cosmetic surgery. New York, NY: McGraw Hill Professional.
Hamermesh, D. S. (2011). Beauty pays: why attractive people are more successful. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Lukash, F. (2013). The safe and sane guide to teenage plastic surgery. New York, NY: BenBella Books Inc.
Vennemeyer, M. D. (2010). Plastic surgery myths dispelled. New York, NY: Xlibris Corporation.