Plastic Surgery: Dying to Be Beautiful

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Dying to be Beautiful: In Pursuit of Perfection 

For as long as time and lives have been recorded, depending on the culture, surgeries have been performed to “better” the recipients; although, it may have been needed in some cases. For example, in India the noses of criminals and adulterers were cut off for permanent public shame. Sushruta (an Indian Doctor) took it upon himself to fix the faces of the ex-criminals and adulterers in hopes he could encourage forgiveness and reduce public shame. His procedure required removing skin from the person’s cheeks or forehead, which was then applied to the nose. As the years passed and societies changed, the reasons to undergo plastic surgery changed too. Plastic surgery went from being used for repairing the noses of those that lost them in India, to fixing fallen soldiers and covering brands of ex-slaves in Ancient Rome, to what it is today. A society with a growing percentage of those suffering with body dysmorphic disorder (a mental disorder characterized by a distorted body image and obsessions about perceived physical shortcomings), and unattainable ideals of thinness and big breasts. All the while, the main recurring role model for these so-called ideals is a 12-inch plastic doll with an impossible and unattainable figure and features; Barbie. A standard Barbie doll is 11.5 inches tall, giving a height of 5 feet 9 inches at 1/6 scale. Barbie's figure has been estimated at 36 inch chest, 18 inch waist and 33 inch hips. At 5'9" tall and weighing 110 lbs, Barbie would have a BMI of 16.24 and fit the weight criteria for anorexia. According to research by the University Central Hospital in Helsinki, Finland, she would lack the 17 to 22 percent body fat required for a woman to menstruate. I personally don’t know anyone that would want to live like that. Barbie may only have existed since March 9, 1959, but it’s amazing to see the kind of internal damage and influence one doll can have on the entire...
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