Free to Be Me, Only Better? Almost every person In the world will say that personality and character are much more Important than looks. Reality, however, Is often not evident by what people say but by what they do. Based on what people do it seems that society values beauty and appearance far more than personality or character.
This is confirmed by a statement made at the University of Pad by a group of cosmetic surgeons and psychiatrists (Sided & Hillman): Persons today increasingly feel an inner need for their appearance to reflect a certain esthetics model, as contemporary social customs attribute Increasing Importance to a person’s looks In his or her dally Interaction, both In the private and the professional sphere. The demand to Improve one’s features or to retain them in a youthful way in later life is constantly on the rise, as society has come to believe that improvement on nature is acceptable.
The constant images of “perfect” models, actors and actresses, and media personalities has created the belief that beauty is the solution to all problems and can fix anything that troubles a person (Shell & Hillman). For those who believe they need to fix omitting, cosmetic surgery seems to offer a great solution. Cosmetic surgery can be defined as surgery “performed to reshape normal structures of the body in order to improve the patient’s appearance and self-esteem” (ASPS). Cosmetic surgery is not surgery a person has to have; it is surgery a person elects to have. In 2007 there were 1 1. Million cosmetic procedures performed in the United States (ASPS 2007). That was a 7% increase in the number of procedures from 2006 (ASPS 2007). More shockingly, however, It was a 59% Increase from the number of cosmetic surgeries procedures in 2007 (ASPS 2007). The most common procedures performed, in decreasing order of popularity, were breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, and tummy tucks (ASPS 2007). In addition to the sheer numbers of people having cosmetic surgery, there have also been major changes in the type of people who have cosmetic surgery.
Although Caucasians still account for the majority of procedures, In 2007 22% of procedures were performed on minorities (2008 survey). Where once women had the overwhelming majority of procedures, In 2007 9% of procedures were performed on men, up 17% from the prior year (2008 Survey). Procedures are also now being performed on people of all ages. The majority of procedures, 47%, are performed on people between the ages of 35 and 50; 25% on people between the ages of 51 and 64; 21% on those between the ages of 19 and 34; 6% on those over 64 years of age; and 2% on those 18 and younger.
These procedures are not Just being performed, moreover, they are being widely and openly discussed (Gimping). There was a time when cosmetic surgery, once called “plastic surgery,” was not spoken about. People would keep the fact that they had had such surgery as secret as they possibly could (Manager; Mayer). Society at that time believed that such surgery was something people who lacked self-confidence or who were afraid to age naturally did and no one wanted to admit the fact (Manager; Mayer).
Times have since changed, however. Where once people would not reveal tenet plastic or cosmetic surgery, today It Is a status symbol (Prowlers; Clocker). In fact, about 80% of men and women state that if they had cosmetic surgery they would not be embarrassed to admit it (2008 Survey). To paraphrase Bob Dylan, the times, they have changed (Dylan). The message communicated by the media today is hat beauty equals success equals happiness equals a perfect life (Sided & Hillman).
Magazines, movies, television, and all forms of communications constantly present images of “air brushed” perfection: smooth skin; perfect eyebrows; undivided skin; glowing hair; full bodied chests above painstakingly diminutive waists; and other visions of loveliness (Sided & Hillman). Intellectually adult women and men understand that these images have been designed to appear perfect by a team of photographers, lighting professionals, hair stylists, professional dressers, make-up artists, and some very savvy technical air-brushing wizards (Sided & Hillman).
Emotionally, however, the feeling is that “we” or “l” want to look like “that” (Mayer; Sided & Hillman). If adults cannot overcome the emotional or even intellectual pull of the need to appear like the perfect vision of beauty they see portrayed in the media, there is no question that young children are entirely unprepared to face the pull and message those images send (Sided & Hillman; Influence on Children). “According to the American Academy of Pediatrics ‘Children are influenced by media-they learn by observing, imitating, and making behaviors their own,” (Influence on Children).
Girls at very young ages indicate that they need to “lose weight” or “fix” something (Influence on Children). The effect of these images on teen-aged boys and girls, however, is severe because it takes it communicates a powerful image at a time when they are trying to determine who they are and what they need to be or do in life. The result is that (Influence on Children): that media may influence the development of self-esteem in adolescents through messages about body image. Television, movies, magazines, and advertisements present images that promote unrealistic expectations of beauty and acceptable physical appearance.
And, when adolescents fall short of their own expectations based on media images, self-esteem can suffer. In addition to this, Just as the idea that they are not “right” begins to enter the mind of a child or teenager, the media again seems to show them how all can be fixed in their lives: cosmetic surgery (Sided & Hillman). The media, not content at only showing images of perfection, has now created a number of shows in which the results of cosmetic surgery or the use of cosmetic surgery is the “star” of the show (Manager).
There are several television shows that how people who feel terrible and are sad because their stomach, chest, nose, face or other body part does not look the way they wish it did (Manager). Like a flash, however, hope enters their lives in the body of a, usually attractive, cosmetic surgeon (Manager; Sided & Hillman). In television magic, although long months have passed, the viewers instantly see the new “perfect” looking person who, of course, indicates how happy they are and how good they feel about themselves (Shell & Hillman).
Indeed, cosmetic surgery will cure all problems. The solution to feeling unhappy, however, is not beauty. There are true problems that many people have (Sided & Hillman). The indication that beauty is necessary for happiness and that cosmetic surgery will grant that beauty genetics did not, is a message that the media delivers (Sided & Hillman). What the media fails to deliver, however, is the true key to Naples’s Decease, It cannot. IT ten true Key to Naples’s were Known It would have been used long ago.
For people in trouble, despair, at a low point in their lives, or at young stage in their development, this knowledge may be hidden and the sausage sent by the media is too powerful to overcome (Sided & Hillman). In extreme cases, perhaps inspired by the media images they are constantly exposed to, some people develop body dystrophy’s disorder (BAD) and believe they are horribly ugly (Appalachia). However, for these patients the problems are so deep that no matter how much cosmetic surgery they have their minds will still find something wrong (Appalachia).
The disease is similar to anorexia nervous in that the patient sees a huge problem but the rest of the world does not (Appalachia). For this reason it is often difficult for cosmetic surgeons to identify these patients, particularly in a society were even small imperfections seems to lead to cosmetic surgery corrections. Therefore, those with BAD may even end up harming themselves through cosmetic surgery before their disorder is recognized (Appalachia). American society must put a stop to the messages delivered to the American public.
The fact that a picture can cause an immeasurable number of children to believe they are ugly or not “normal” because they cannot meet a standard set by a team of image professionals is a errors threat to the developing mind of a child and even the mind of a grown adult, with enough repetition. There are many valid reasons for people to turn obtain cosmetic surgery. There is no reason why someone should not consider correcting something about their physical appearance that bothers them or makes them uncomfortable.