Plastic Surgery or Positive Body Image?

Plastic Surgery or Positive Body Image?
Over 1.5 million people received plastic surgery in the United States in 2012, spending over $1.4 billion on all the procedures combined.  What is the reasoning behind this?  Apparently, men and women are trying to ‘improve their image’ and ‘reduce the effects of aging’, but is it working?  What would happen if people gained a more positive body image instead of spending money on plastic surgery, could this be more effective?

Those who have undergone plastic surgery and then been rated for a study on youthfulness and attractiveness were found to appear more youthful, but not less attractive for their ‘perceived age.’  “Most patients were given attractiveness scores between four and six, with no difference between the attractiveness scores before and after the surgery.

Those with a positive body image and high self-esteem can be easily recognized as young and attractive late into their lives, why is that?  People with a strong-self image are said to ‘radiate beauty from within’ so much that it matters very little of their physical appearance.  Have you ever met someone who you might not consider ‘young’ or ‘attractive’ by normal standards, yet they appear beautiful and youthful nonetheless?

Plastic surgery works on merely the physical level of ones being, though beauty is not just skin deep, as the saying goes.  If you don’t feel self-love or self-acceptance, the negative emotions you feel for yourself automatically extend themselves outward to be seen by all.  If you notice, positive self-talk starts to change the way you feel about yourself which results in a perceptibly more beautiful you – even to others.  Repeating thoughts of self-doubt, self-hatred and judgment only work against you in the way you both feel and perceive yourself.  When encouraging words replace thoughts that tear down, the results are phenomenal.

It seems that those who receive plastic surgery hoping for a better body image often end up with just a big fat bill and some regrets.  That’s not to say that many people aren’t happy with the plastic surgery they have had, as obviously many continue to invest in such treatments.  However, studies report that the desired results of plastic surgery do not always reap wanted rewards, such as increased attractiveness to peers.

If we look at the way dollars are spent in this country on elective surgeries such as image enhancements, we must ask the question if such a thing is really necessary and important in the face of so many other needs and human concerns?  Plastic surgery seems to have arisen as a reaction to our ‘image based’ society emphasizing a certain look as being most acceptable and ‘beautiful.’  When examined with wisdom and complete inclusivity we can see how limiting this way of perceiving beauty is.

When more individuals, in the lime-light and in their own bedrooms, can embrace the natural beauty that is inherently given to every human, we will have an amazing transition in this society.  What if the billions spent on plastic surgery could instead be directed at the empowerment of every girl and every woman to a live fully unique life of expressing authentically who they are, exactly how they look? What kind of world would we then live in?  I can only hope to imagine.

(op-ed)

Written by: Stasia Bliss

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