“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery” a quote by Joan Rivers taken from www. allgreatquotes. com (2008). Today’s society puts so much emphasis on what the media considers beauty that even Hollywood stars are unfortunately going to extremes to keep their appearances to what is considered beautiful. Even though forms of cosmetic surgery are medically necessary such as reconstructive surgery, cosmetic surgery has become a large issue in today’s society because some believe it is a solution to larger issues.
In this essay I am going to tell how the progression of cosmetic surgery has impacted society; from the first impact to current impacts, I am going to tell how cosmetic surgery has changed the world. From the Greek word plastikos, meaning to give shape, the term “plastic surgery” in fact, is an ancient specialty – with proof of procedures being performed by the Egyptians as far back as 3,000 years ago. In 1827, Dr. John Peter Mettauer, the U. S. ‘s first plastic surgeon, performed the first cleft palate operation using equipment and instruments designed by him.
Dr. Mettauer’s knowledge and skills of anatomy paved the way for many modern procedures used today. Plastic surgery can be divided into two main categories: cosmetic surgery and reconstructive surgery. During cosmetic surgery, one takes a body part that is of normal appearance, and tries to improve it. (Deneberg 2006) For example, a 20-year-old female may have a particular body part that is average for a 20-year-old woman. When she gets breast augmentations, she is trying to improve the look of something that was average to begin with; this is cosmetic surgery.
Reconstructive surgery, on the other hand, occurs when one takes a particular part that does not have a normal appearance, and tries to make it appear more normal. The repair of a cleft lip or the straightening of a nose that has been broken is usually considered reconstructive surgery, not cosmetic surgery, because the part of the body that is being improved did not start out with a normal appearance; rather, it is being brought back to a normal appearance. (Deneberg 2006) Basically, cosmetic surgery is a subset of plastic surgery. A cosmetic procedure is a technique that can change, restore, or enhance one’s appearance.
There are multiple reasons for changing or enhancing one’s look. Suffering from burns or other trauma, being born with a birth defect, or wanting to “improve” parts of the body are all inspirations for having cosmetic procedures. The goals of reconstructive surgery are different from those of cosmetic surgery. Reconstructive surgery is performed on abnormal structures of the body, caused by birth defects, developmental abnormalities, trauma or injury, infection, tumors, or disease. Generally it is performed to improve function, but may also be done to help a patient to have a normal appearance.
Some of the more frequently requested procedures include: rhinoplasty (nose job), face lift, liposuction, breast augmentation and tummy tuck. All these procedures are viewed as normal in today’s society. They are no longer disgraceful, as they are considered to be perfectly valid methods of beautification. This is connected to the fact that physical appearance is very important in today’s society. Unfortunately, people do judge a book by its cover, which is why cosmetic surgery is becoming an increasingly attractive option to improve one’s appearance.
The media constantly offer and advertise the latest ‘body’ as a delicate and conquerable quality, this has ultimately lead to the major expansion of the cosmetic surgery industry. Television programs, magazine articles, the film industry and other forms of media continually emphasize the notion of the ‘ideal’ body; a body which is slim, fit and beautiful. Society places a great deal of pressure on women to conform to this culturally constructed body type. As a result, many women fell they must undergo cosmetic surgery to accomplish the ideal.
Despite the high cost that comes with it, there are still more and more people seeking cosmetic surgery because they want to have that self-confidence and feeling of fitting into their society. They want to feel adequate and beautiful not only in their eyes but also, to other people’s eyes. They care about people’s opinions that is why cosmetic surgery is one of the in style fashions of modern time. Some say cosmetic surgery let individuals live a life in which they will feel adequate, confident, and beautiful as they continue to exist in this competitive world.
Even though this is the feeling of most in today’s society, I for one am unsure of my opinions toward this touchy topic. We do live in a world that revolves around society and shamefully we look toward those who are in the media daily to seek answers. With the media placing “Hollywood” in the minds of young adults how much is too much? This day and age young and old a like need to look inside them and discover that beauty is only skin deep. Society needs to stop emphasizing the need to be picture perfect and realize that everyone is beautiful in his or her own way. References.
• Denenberg, M. D. , S, M (2006) What is the difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery? from: http://www. facialsurgery. com/ppagqfaq_plastic_vs_cosmetic. html • Allgreatquotes. com: Topic: Plastic Surgery Quotes – Famous Plastic Surgery Quotes, Quotations, Sayings about Cosmetic Surgery (2008) from: http://www. allgreatquotes. com/plastic_surgery_quotes. shtml • Yestheyrefake. net: Researching Culture: The Social and Cultural Significance of Women’s Involvement in Cosmetic Surgery (2002) from: http://www. yestheyrefake. net/media/Cosmetic_Surgery_Project. htm [pic].