Does Plastic Surgery Make a Beauty or a Beast?
Advanced English Composition, Group 1
Miss Hanouf Al-alawi
January 12, 2009
People are becoming more concerned about their physical appearance as a result of society’s role in changing and idealizing the beauty standards. So in recent years, plastic surgeries were vastly increasing among people. Procedures and effects of such surgeries gained an increased attention in the medical and psychological fields. This paper analyzes past studies made in relation to whether plastic surgeries make a beauty or a beast from patients according to the physical and psychological effects that take place after such surgeries. Across to what I have analyzed, such surgeries do succeed for most patients generating positive physical, psychological, and social outcomes. While unsuccessful surgeries are very possible leading to a disturbed image and negative reactions, and sometimes leading to serious health risks and deaths.
According to Rochester General Hospital (n.d.), Plastic surgery is usually a word that is perceived as “artificial” by people. But the word is actually derived from a Greek word plastikos, meaning “to mold or give form”. As the hospital illustrated, Plastic surgeries come in two forms; reconstructive which is made to improve irregular functions of the body, and Cosmetic surgery which is made to improve appearance. We can realize in today’s world, with the influence of the media, celebrities, and societies as a whole, how beauty standards are changing and how people’s perceptions of themselves are getting poorer along with what they see. Therefore, they are striving to change themselves physically, even if dramatic changes were required to cope with what’s “Ideal and accepted”. Self-image became a matter that depends on what others judge and perceive us. In order to attain the ideal beauty as defined and forced by the society, people undergo plastic surgeries as being their ultimate aid, but I would argue that results of such surgeries are not satisfactory and successful for all patients. What Are the Beauty Standards among people?
“The word beauty always refers to the female body.” (Saltzberg & Chrisler, 1995, para. 2) According to Fallon (1990), beauty varies from one culture to another with the standards constantly changing overtime (as cited in Saltzberg and Chrisler, 1995). They also indicated that Females are basically judged upon their decorative qualities by their societies, therefore they strive to attain what their culture perceive about the ideal beauty and perfect body. As Saltzberg and Chrisler (1995) have also expressed, beauty is a concept that cannot be measured in quantity which makes it difficult to define. The ideal is supposed to be very difficult to attain and an unusual feature. Of the women who strive for it, very few are able to reach, and when they reach, that ideal image changes again to make it unusual. (Saltzberg & Chrisler, 1995) Even though that ideal changes several times, women struggle to change along with it whatever the costs and consequences (physical, financial, psychological). They give in to what others want them to be in order to fit in. Although pain and risks are highly possible in attaining what’s beautiful, women still exert high efforts to reach that point while suffering at the same time. For example, physical costs may include the pain of nose and ear piercing, tight jeans, high-heeled shoes, tattooing, etc (Saltzberg & Chrisler, 1995). As Saltzberg and Chrisler (1995) have indicated, the ideal beauty has resided in being completely against what a person actually is in relation to psychological and physical aspects, such as thin bodies with large breasts, and eroticizing while being naïve. As a result, women gain a sense of insecurity, and inadequacy about their body image. Moreover, as Freedman (1988) has indicated, women get highly stressed under the pressure of...
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