Several big names in the publishing world—the New York Times, Jezebel, Teen Ink, and Vanity Fair, to name a few—have recently published opinion pieces on cosmetic surgery. These essays all have one thing in common: they’re reactions against the undisputable rise in popularity of cosmetic surgery in the United States.
Plastic Surgery Is More Popular Than Ever
So why is so much attention being given to plastic surgery these days? It’s clearly because cosmetic enhancement is becoming even more popular with each passing year as it becomes safer, less invasive, and more affordable. In 2013, more than 11 million procedures were performed in the United States alone! Factor in extreme makeover TV shows and it’s no wonder there’s been plenty of buzz around cosmetic enhancement. As it gains greater acceptance, demand will continue to grow.
Cosmetic Enhancement: Good or Bad?
As plastic surgery becomes more popular, the question becomes, is it a good thing or a bad thing? Unfortunately, media coverage emphasizes a tired and outdated viewpoint that cosmetic enhancement is a new procedure that makes people shallow and is concerned only with outward appearance. Most articles seem more interested in passing judgment on those who getting cosmetic enhancement than presenting an honest discussion about its benefits. Actually, the only thing that’s shallow is these articles.
For one, cosmetic enhancement isn’t new at all. In fact, these procedures date back as far as 3,000 BC. With the addition of modern medical advances, however, it should not be surprising that the plastic surgery has become much more popular 5,000 years later.
Plastic Surgery and the Right to Choose
More importantly, opponents of cosmetic surgery make arguments that are all-too-often anti-democratic and anti-choice. Most of these authors would agree that individuals have the right to make choices about their body. Yet when it comes to plastic surgery, they conveniently forget this idea and get caught up in shaming people for the choices that they make about their bodies.
According to RealSelf.com’s ratings, most patients who undergo cosmetic enhancement report being satisfied with the results. If these people are making informed choices about their bodies, and are pleased with the results, who has the right to claim their decision was wrong?