An Focal · Features · Opinion

Plastic Surgery: Vanity vs Insanity

Cosmetic surgery is a type of plastic surgery and is used for the “enhancement” of appearance through surgical and medical techniques. It is specifically concerned with enhancing normal appearance beyond the average level toward some aesthetic ideal.

According to figures release by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) the number of people opting for cosmetic surgery rose by 6% last year. A total of 43,069 people went under the knife in the UK in 2011.

Ninety per cent of all cosmetic surgery procedures performed by BAAPS members were on women, the most popular being breast enlargement, followed by face and neck lifts, breast reduction, nose alterations (rhinoplasty) and tummy tucks (abdominoplasty).

BAAPS are now calling out for cosmetic surgery advertising campaigns to be banned. This action comes after the PIP (Poly Implant Prothèse) breast implant scandal which affected up to 1,500 women in Ireland and up to 400,000 women across 65 countries.

Of course this scandal has sparked heated debates across the world on whether sympathy should be given to people who opt for plastic surgery. Many people think that it is pure vanity that drives people to change their bodies in this drastic way. Those that have had cosmetic procedures have found themselves justifying their actions to complete strangers who have targeted them as some sort of social outcast.

The debate is at most futile and useless, those that have cosmetic surgery have it for personal reasons that others cannot understand.

However it was still shocking to read what one child in the UK got for Christmas this year.

The UK’s self-proclaimed “Human Barbie”, 51-year-old Sarah Burge, gave her 7-year-old daughter a £7,000 voucher for liposuction. The holiday gift was a follow-up to Poppy’s most recent birthday present from her mum: A £6,000 voucher for breast augmentation.

When mothers are so obviously instilling low self eesteem in their children is there any wonder that cosmetic surgery is on the rise. At the age of seven children should be worried about playing outside not about being too fat and needing a boob job.

Young people are constantly bombarded with plastic perfection throughout their lives but the feeling of not looking good enough should not be brought into the home. It is disheartening to think that those of the younger generation are so quick to turn to the knife and undergo the risks of surgery.

Text published in An Focal on 21 Feb 2012

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