North American Women Continue to be the Primary Targets and Consumers of Cosmetic Surgery?
In a world in which we are judged by how we appear, the belief that we can change our appearance through cosmetic surgery is liberating to a lot of women. The growing popularity of cosmetic surgery is a testament to society’s overrated fixation with appearance. For women living in North America, their appearance is in fact an obsession. For hundreds of years, cosmetic surgery has thrived on women’s insecurities pertaining to their physical appearance, and today, million’s continue placing themselves under the knives of unscrupulous businessmen while struggling to “improve” themselves. Women’s fascination with beauty and their physical appeal to men has always been a famous trend. In the past the art of manipulating ones appearance was a practice celebrated by the wealthy and the famous, but is now so commonplace that it is feasible for women of all ages, races, and economic status to participate. Cosmetic surgery, a phenomenon so greatly overrated, has become a ‘quick-fix’ solution, to the tedious drudgery of slaving away at the gym or starving with diets. It is a means to eradicate wrinkles, and buy participants a little longer shelf life.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, over 7.4 million people in 2000 had some aesthetic defect whether real or imagined, surgically fixed. What many do not realize is that cosmetic surgery has become a cruel business venture, one often realized at the expense of the vulnerable women; Women who have been manipulated and deceived by the advertising media.
Throughout history, women have been fed the notion that beauty is all that matters in life, and cosmetic surgery is the answer to many if not all of life’s problems. Today, in the 21st century, women continue to be the primary targets and consumers of the media industry. Media manipulation of women’s perspectives related to their appearance routinely occurs, as media moguls persist to work hand in hand with the cosmetic industry, feeding society with unattainable ideals, encouraging women to mutilate themselves for the psychological reasons, often with lethal consequences usually hidden in fine print.
HISTORY AND IDEALS OF BEAUTY
The ideals of beauty and what is and is not considered attractive have changed drastically over the past centuries. The history of cosmetic surgery goes back more than one hundred years ago, when a few men began to explore some minor surgical reconstructive and functional repairs that improved appearance. Very early on in history for example, it is commonly known that women would paint their skin and color their hair with natural plant dies to enhance their beauty and the appearance of youth. Berries would often be crushed, the juice from which was applied to the lips and cheeks, thereby rendering a fuller more attractive specimen to male attendants. This historical practice of altering one’s physical appearance is commonly noted in Egyptian history, as painted pictures of hieroglyphs depict women with enlarged features and painted “tattoos.”
Initially, “cosmetic surgery” was intended and typically reserved as a repair mechanism to assist wounded and deformed soldiers in war. Soldiers returning from WWI with missing limbs and shrapnel torn faces entrusted their appearance to the hands of skilled surgeons of the time. The development of cosmetic surgery received a push for movement from the need to repair gross deformities sustained in WWI to the need to change normal and typical physical appearances. Early surgeons intended cosmetic surgery for surgical repair of congenital or acquired deformities and the restoration of contour to improve the appearance and function of tissue defects (Kazanjian, 250). Today however, cosmetic surgery takes on a whole new meaning, and the players are participating in a totally different ball game. Though many plastic surgeons are still touted and well received for their remarkable abilities to restore dignity to the deformed, cosmetic surgery has also taken on a new meaning. Cosmetic surgery has become a mechanism women have turned to in hopes of changing not just their appearance, but also their life.
In modern day times, cosmetic surgery has unfortunately become a degrading and harmful procedure, especially for women. It is an invasion and exploitation of women’s bodies, a harmful procedure that women often perceive as the solution to life’s problems. A procedure the media encourages, directly and indirectly. The problem must be voiced to the public.
Modern Day Cosmetic Surgery as a “Panacea,” the Cure All for Life’s Problems
Cosmetic surgery has become the answer for many modern women, who hope that surgery will help them feel better about themselves, become a part of societal ideals or disguise and perhaps even eliminate the signs of aging. What happened to the idea that ‘beauty is only skin-deep?’ Is one’s character and personality less important than one’s looks? According to the media, perhaps the answer to these questions is yes. In a news report in Arlington Heights, Ill. The following was said of women and plastic surgery, “Women reign supreme when it comes to cosmetic plastic surgery.” (plasticsurgery, org., 2002). According to the same article released in April of 2002, women performing elective cosmetic procedures comprised 87% of the entire plastic surgery population. That is a lot of people choosing “elective” procedures, and relatively few truly “needing” plastic surgery.
Every year, millions of people hurt themselves and mutilate their bodies by trying to alter their natural characteristics and uniqueness in an effort to produce carbon copies of what society considers beautiful and sexy. Of course, this varies from country to country, however in North America statistically and historically the trend has moved to pencil thin women with skinny noses, pouty lips and enormous breasts. Modern day images in magazines that TV media hail women who have achieved this picture of perfection, causing the majority of women, who do not look like these media “ideals” to feel less than beautiful.
According to 2000 ASPS reports, the number of people having cosmetic plastic surgery has consistently increased, in fact tripled since 1992. “Certain levels of attractiveness can open doors. It can make a difference in a teen’s social life and later on, in a career,” (Bloch 60). However, the question remains, shouldn’t people accept themselves for who they are? The reported rise in cosmetic procedures should raise eyebrows, and point out that more and more patients, primarily women, are falling victim to their insecurities and the need to match up to unrealistic media images of ideal. In a society filled with naturally beautiful women, it is shameful to think that many women live their lives feeling mediocre.
Why the proliferation of women flocking to plastic surgery? One of the reasons is beauty has become a business, a socially constructed scheme with a clear message that a pretty face will get you far in life. As George Brennen, M.D., in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery claims, “A big part of self-esteem is feeling that you look good. We can cure an insecurity in 30 minutes, that a psychiatrist can’t cure in 30 years.” With a message like this, who can resist an innocent tuck, lift or boost? What this statement does not point out is that insecurity is often deeply rooted, and the idea that altering ones physical appearance alone will cure such a deeply rooted problem is preposterous. Most individuals that have high self-esteem have confidence and security whether or not they fit into societies ideals of beauty. The question doctors should be truly asking is what makes these women feel so bad to begin with?
BEAUTY AND UNNATTAINABLE IDEALS
The value of natural beauty has been replaced by fake and artificial models of what is acceptable and ultimately considered beautiful. Politics have taken over the idea of beauty and transformed it into a vicious cycle by developing unattainable ideals and forcing women to strive to reach those goals. All of the pictures that women and men see each day of models in the media reflect not the true appearance of the women photographed, but a fantasy. People whether adults or teenagers, do not care that the models they see in magazines are airbrushed to eliminate any imperfections. The public also does not take into consideration the fact that these “models” often work out three times a day because they are getting paid for it. What they see are perfect people on their television sets, people that are hailed and honored, adored by their fans. They are people hat the public will go to any lengths to emulate. Hollywood is responsible for making people feel inadequate about their bodies. To often women fall into the trap of comparing their bodies to their favorite movie stars. “Stars have personal trainers, stylists, make-up artists and people to airbrush the wrinkles and cellulite out of their magazine covers – all of whom create an image that is meant to be frozen in a photograph or presented in a two-hour snippet” (Brew I). If every working mother or single parent had a personal trainer, a personal chef, a motivator and a make-up or stylist working with them every day, they would look great too.
Many people want to feel good about how they look,” says Dr. Erhardt. “People spend a lot of time through exercise, diet and skin care to attain a certain look, and plastic surgery has taken its place in the continuum of care people use, to maintain or enhance their appearance.” Many women are the victims of these superficial plots and one can only hope that more women would ask themselves the question, “Why am I going through with these procedures?” before the surgery, and not after the damage has been done. Trouble occurs when women are looking for a quick fix to a problem that did not occur overnight. For example, a woman that enters a plastic surgeons office for whole body liposuctions addresses temporarily the “problem” of carrying around what she thinks is too much fat. However, if her added weight is the result of a lifetime of diet abuse and malnutrition, a simple procedure will not solve the mental distortion within the woman’s thinking patterns. It is likely that over time she will gain the weight back.
BEAUTY AS A Business INDUSTRY
Cosmetic surgery is propaganda, which promotes sex symbols to sell their practice while avoiding the risks that these practices often lead to. As Plastic Surgery Today reports, “7.4 million Americans choose to look as good as they feel!” On a daily basis, women fall prey to society’s superficiality and the devious moneymaking business of cosmetic surgery. Whether at work, school, or other social environments, it is impossible to escape society’s constant beauty reminders. Advertised products lead women to believe that if they use these items they will attain and improve their appearances thus conforming to society’s ideals of beauty. For example, how often throughout the last decade has the use of diet pills been encouraged to assist in quick weight loss? How many people have damaged their bodies using dangerous drugs containing stimulants that can lead to cardiac arrest, in search of instant gratification? Nothing will replace the need to actually eat well and exercise, this is what the media should be touting.
The cosmetic surgery industry continues to grow, feeding off of women’s insecurities, as stated in the American Society of Plastic Surgeons report in 2001, “Cosmetic surgery procedures increased 198% between 1992 and 2000.” Women must realize that the commercial goal of these advertisers and plastic surgeons is to make the viewers feel vulnerable and depressed, in order to earn more money, not because they care for them.
Ultimately, cosmetic surgery is a business. Like any other business, a practitioner wants to make money. In order to make money, the surgeon has to sell a product. What cosmetic surgeons are selling, is an unattainable ideal. They are selling appearance.
MEDIA AND MANIPULATION
Women are constantly abused by the media creators, who force an idealized image on passers by ever day. It should come as no surprise that women feel different about themselves and their attractiveness after being constantly presented with sexually explicit images of women’s bodies in the media every day. Whether on TV or in magazines, in advertisements or newspapers, the media ideal is inescapable. What is most disturbing is that these messages start at an early age when children are brought up watching television or playing with perfect toys, such as extremely thin Barbie dolls with body measurements such as 39,18 and 38. Young girls grow up thinking that Barbie is a beautiful image, when realistically a woman with those measurements couldn’t even walk correctly.
An article by Petra M. “Is that supposed to be sexy?” suggests how media manipulates women’s decisions for choosing to undergo cosmetic surgery. After reading a magazine or watching commercials filled with subliminal massages of gorgeous women, feelings of ugliness and abnormalities often arose as women compared themselves to the models viewed, and such feelings were a trigger for most cosmetic decisions.
WRONG REASONS FOR UNDERGOING PLASTIC SURGERY
The motivation for cosmetic surgery most often cited by women in Petra’s argument is that they want to feel good about themselves. Depression, low self-esteem, and self-hatred have become major reasons for women’s decisions to undergo cosmetic surgery. Although these women have no deformities or imperfections, rather a subconscious idea of being someone better and beautiful, that is all that ruminates in their minds.
Self-identity is an important issue, which seems to have been totally ignored by women when considering cosmetic surgery. The way a woman looks physically sometimes may not fit the body image they have perceived as ideal, and their image may not feel suitable for the personality they exude in life. What patients must realize is they may not even be comfortable with the results of how they look after surgery. A person considering cosmetic surgery might want to consider this fact before taking the huge leap under the knife.
Although technological developments have a lot to offer, women should take their time and think about all the risks involved in the process of altering and satisfying society’s desired images. Women must realize that through cosmetic enhancement they are not only inviting potentially more hazardous health problems to their bodies but possibly also losing their sense of true identity and self-worth. Women who feel that undergoing cosmetic surgery will change their life, make them rich or make someone love them more should be prevented from receiving surgery, until their internal insecurities are addressed by qualified physicians. Too often women turn to cosmetic surgery as a quick fix for deeply rooted problems and insecurities, problems that will exist with or without physical enhancements.
The process of reshaping one’s body is not only financially draining, but the procedure is also a costly experience, for ones physical and psychological well being. For example, after surgery, if you’ve had an incision, you’ll get a scar. This is a fact. Many women don’t consider the side effects of surgery such as a scar, and a scar may not help someone feel better about their self-image. A scar might even make someone think they look worse. Immediately after surgery, it is common not to be able to exercise. Surgery recipients will always have to wear sunblock on the part of the body that has been surgically altered. The skin affected in surgery will be drastically affected by exposure to hot, cold, or windy conditions.
Some people are going into the surgery thinking that it will solve their problems, so they go ahead with it. In the end, people are more depressed after the surgery because they do not like the way they look. Surgery isn’t guaranteed. What if you aren’t satisfied? It should be carefully thought out. There is pain. Recovery can be lengthy and uncomfortable. Moreover, there can be complications of anesthesia, infection, bleeding, and unfavorable scar,” says Ross Rudolph, head of plastic surgery. There have also been several disaster stories, which are seldom talked about or mentioned on any advertising ads. In 1995, Physician Insurers Association of America, which collects data on malpractice claims, was asked to check its database of over 150,000 cases involving cosmetic procedures. There were 2,600 claims from Jan. ’85- Dec. ’95. Thirty of those cases involved deaths,” (Podolsky 74). That is a high death rate. Are these death rates mentioned to the patients who are considering going through with cosmetic surgery? Occasionally in the media one hears a story about a woman who died on the table of a surgeon conducting liposuction. These stories should be more adequately covered in the media.
The most dangerous situation for women is one in which they subject themselves to surgery by an inadequately trained physician. Many women do not realize that cosmetic training is so commonplace, certain procedures can be performed in a doctors office with no more training than a seminar. A physician that does not have years of experience under his/her belt could cause long-term physical deformities and death to his/her unsuspecting victim.
Not a day goes in which women aren’t constantly reminded about feminine stereotypes and built in generalizations stressing the importance of women’s beauty. Everywhere they go and everywhere they turn women are continually exposed to the superficial and unreal images of models in the media. Originally plastic surgery was developed to correct deformities or used for medical reasons. Now surgeons have moved away from this idea, touting cosmetic surgery as a cure-all. Cosmetic Surgery is a procedure that most women consider at one time in their lives. Placing one’s self under the surgeon’s knife should not be a beauty makeover approach. It is a dangerous process with many ambiguous consequences, which many patients unfortunately get to discover subsequently on their own. All surgeries are hazardous. Doctors performing cosmetic surgery should help their patients, not promote more harm to their bodies. However, money talks. “The only way our culture will change is if we stop believing in the social attitudes which make us feel not good enough and start be! Believing in ourselves and our right to OUR individual body- even if it isn’t a body type currently worshipped as fashionable” (Zimmerman I).
Cosmetic surgery remains a predominantly feminine practice and the ideals of femininity prevalent in our society today are often harmful. Women have been misused throughout centuries by being perceived as mere sex objects and not appreciated for their natural beauty. Modern day media moguls continue to take advantage of women facing psychological insecurities and stressful schedules, and continually present the public with unrealistic images of “perfect” women. In North America especially, the media has infiltrated the minds of men and women, causing them to believe that an ordinary woman should be able to attain perfection. Perfection, as defined by the media is tall, very skinny, thin nosed, large breasted and perfect skinned. In olden times and in many foreign countries, a round, fuller figured woman with or without blemishes is considered beautiful. Ultimately, what should be considered beautiful is a woman’s personality, intellect, sense of caring and true self. Cosmetic Surgeons do not have the ability to heal what is on the inside. Only by addressing what is wrong on the inside, might women come to realize that life will go on and that she is truly beautiful. Remember, it is not what’s on the outside but on the inside, that counts.
Ancheta, Rebecca and Wepsic, 2000. “Saving Face: Women’s Experiences with Cosmetic Surgery.” The Humanities and Social-Sciences, Vol. 61, (5) pp. 2043-A-2044-A
Askegaard Soren, Gertsen Martine Cardel, and Langer Roy, 2002. “The Body Consumed
Reflexivity and Cosmetic Surgery.” Psychology and Marketing, Vol. 19, Issue:10 pp. 793-812
Boynton, Petra M., 1999. “Is that supposed to be sexy? Women discuss women in ‘top
Shelf’ magazines.” Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, Vol.9, pp. 449-461
Carruthers, Jean, M.D., 2002. “What do today’s cosmetic patient’s want?” Cosmetic
Surgery Times, Vol. 5, Issue 9, p.3, 3/4p, 1c.
Cohan, John Alan, 2001. “Towards a New Paradigm in the Ethics of Women’s Advert-
Ising.” Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 33, Issue:4, October, pp. 323-337.
Davis, Kathy, 1995. “From Objectified Body to Embodied.” Comenius, Vol 15, Issue:3, pp. 290-303.
Davis, Kathy, 1997. “My Body Is My Art: Cosmetic Surgery as Feminist Utopia?”
European Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol. 4, Issue:1, pp. 23-37
Davis, Kathy, 1999. “Cosmetic Surgery In A Different Voice: The Case of Madam
Noel.” Women’s Studies International Forum, Vol.22, No.5, pp. 473-488.
Eichberg, Sarah Lucile, 2000. “Bodies of Work: Cosmetic Surgery and the Gendered
Whitening of America.” The Humanities and Social-Sciences, Vol. 60, Issue:12, pp. 4610-A.
Franckenstein, Frauke, 1997. “Making Up a Cher — A Media Analysis of the Politics of Female Body.” European Journal of Women’s Studies, Vol. 4, Issue:1, Feb, 7-22.
Gimlin, Debra, 2000. “Cosmetic Surgery: Beauty as Commodity.” Qualitative Socio-
Logy, Vol. 23, No. 1.
Hatfield, Elaine, 1986. “Self-Improvement – Is it Worth It? Mirror…The
Importance of Looks in Everyday Life, pp. 349-375.
Sullivan, Deborah A., 1993. “Cosmetic Surgery: Market Dynamics and Medicalization.”
Research in the Sociology of Health Care, Vol. 10, pp. 97-115.
2001). “Cosmetic Surgery, Facts and Statistics.” Retrieved February 6, 2003, from Electronic News:
2002). “7.6 million Americans choose to look as good as they feel!” Retrieved Feb- ruary 6, 2003, at http://trubenefits.com/Facts_Statistics.html#cosmetic.
2002). “6.5 Million Women had Cosmetic Plastic Surgery in 2001.” Retrieved Feb- ruary 7, 2003, at http://www.plasticsurgery.org/mediactr/6-5_million_women.cfm
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.
PLACE THIS ORDER OR A SIMILAR ORDER WITH US TODAY AND GET A PERFECT SCORE!!!
Delivering a high-quality product at a reasonable price is not enough anymore.
That’s why we have developed 5 beneficial guarantees that will make your experience with our service enjoyable, easy, and safe.
You have to be 100% sure of the quality of your product to give a money-back guarantee. This describes us perfectly. Make sure that this guarantee is totally transparent.Read more
Each paper is composed from scratch, according to your instructions. It is then checked by our plagiarism-detection software. There is no gap where plagiarism could squeeze in.Read more
Thanks to our free revisions, there is no way for you to be unsatisfied. We will work on your paper until you are completely happy with the result.Read more
Your email is safe, as we store it according to international data protection rules. Your bank details are secure, as we use only reliable payment systems.Read more
By sending us your money, you buy the service we provide. Check out our terms and conditions if you prefer business talks to be laid out in official language.Read more