Guest Post: Why has cosmetic surgery become so widely accepted?

Posted by Lipglossiping On February - 5 - 2011

Isabella has been beauty blogging since she was a student at University, writing for cosmeticsurgeryguru.com she now takes an interest in all cosmetic surgery procedures from surgical to non-surgical.

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Why has cosmetic surgery become so widely accepted?

Most of us can remember a time when cosmetic surgery was a pretty taboo subject, not only in the world of celebrity and entertainment, but also on Civvy Street. Women who’d gone under the knife were often subject to endless questions over what they’d done – so it’s hardly surprising that few ever stuck their heads above the parapet to admit to surgery. Meanwhile, the mere thought that a man could have had a little nip-tuck would be a source of endless ridicule that could almost derail a career.

And if you think this only occurred in Hollywood in the 1980s and 1990s, think again. You only need to think back to the media furore over Men Behaving Badly actress Leslie Ash’s botched lip implants and the ‘trout pout’ jibes that followed in 2003 to realise how recently cosmetic surgery was deemed unacceptable and ripe for ridicule.

However, as we make our way into a new decade, a sea change in attitudes toward plastic surgery has become more and more noticeable. Having a little nip-tuck is nothing to be ashamed of any more – and is often celebrated in TV shows and magazines. As with many changes in society in recent years, there’s not one central reason for this – rather a combination of factors.

For a start, celebrities are much more comfortable discussing their procedures in interviews – and the public can often identify with the reasons they give. For example, TV presenter Jenny Powell recently admitted to having breast implants after years of breastfeeding left her boobs saggy and tired-looking – a situation millions of mothers could easily identify with.

And it’s not only women who are happy to discuss their treatments. More and more male celebrities are not only having surgery such as facelifts and hair implants, but are also promoting the clinics that have carried out the work. Where once famous men who had cosmetic surgery were considered a bit odd or vain, now even respected celebrities such as Gordon Ramsey and Duncan Bannatyne are widely reported to have gone under the knife.

However, it’s not only the celebrity world where it’s become increasingly acceptable to have plastic surgery. With more and more affordable treatments available, from non-surgical Botox to CACI facial toning, many procedures are now within the reach of everyday Britons too. And just as men in the celebrity world are turning to treatments, Joe Bloggs is also getting in on the act. Recent figures released by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons showed that demand for surgery among men soared by 21 per cent in 2010 – with operations to cure the dreaded ‘moobs’ (man boobs) rising by an amazing 80 per cent.

With the effects of the recession not only affecting our wallets but also giving many of us tired complexions, wrinkles and crow’s feet, it’s clear that the nation is waking up to the fact that there’s no longer any shame in giving Mother Nature a little helping hand and winding back the clock a little. And long may it continue!

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Thanks for such an insightful and though-provoking guest post Isabella!  If you’d like to read more of Isabella’s thoughts on Cosmetic Surgery, be sure to stop by her blog: http://www.cosmeticsurgeryguru.com/

What are your thoughts on society’s acceptance of cosmetic surgery, do you believe there’s still a social stigma attached to surgical procedures?


12 Responses to “Guest Post: Why has cosmetic surgery become so widely accepted?”

  1. Joice says:

    On one hand, I think it’s great that society is more open to plastic surgery and people who go under the knife no longer suffer judgmental stares.
    On the other hand, I think people have even started to take these procedures too lightly. I see/read about celebrities who were absolutely perfect before, have lip/breast augmentation. Rhinoplasty is so common now, like you’re going to get your teeth straightened when they’re already straight.
    It’s great that people with real physical problems can now get them solved (like I’d LOVE to shave off my long crooked nose; sadly, contouring only makes your nose slimmer, not shorter). It’s sad that more and more people find things they don’t like about themselves, change features that are otherwise perfect, that so few like their face/body just the way it is and can’t resist the temptation to tweak themselves, just for the heck of it.

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  2. coco says:

    Advocating the popularization of cosmetic surgery is quite senseless and ignorant. Cosmetic surgery is ‘surgery’ with fatal risks and the recent popularization has damaged so many people -some of them teenagers-. There’s nothing wrong with old age. Sagging breasts are a normal outcome of time and gravity. A wind-tunnel face is scary that it’s devoid of any expression and a face with lines is much more beautiful if only because it is ‘real’. Because of this cosmetic surgery hype all the people of the world have started look alike, like plastic Barbies and Kens.

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    • Julianne says:

      I agree. I really don’t want to live in a world where it is considered normal to risk your life in order to change the way you look so that you fit a mainstream social standard. I can’t imagine ever doing anything more drastic to my looks than getting my filling changed to a white one, and I hope I never can.

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  3. elwingelfje says:

    I don’t think plastic surgery is “the” solution for things you don’t like about your appearance. Surgery has a lot of risks. As a med school student myself, I would never ever in my life have a surgical procedure for purely cosmetic reasons. However much I disliked my nose, breasts or whatever else. Even if you’re completely healthy, even if you take all precautions, even if you have an experienced surgeon: something can go wrong, and you can take serious harm or even die as a result. And I’m not even talking about not liking the outcome – the risk of that is omnipresent.

    If you have so much trouble with an aspect of your appearance that you feel you can’t go on like that, you may ask yourself whether the trouble really originates in the breasts or nose. Because if it doesn’t, cosmetic surgery isn’t going to fix anything.

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  4. I don’t understand why society should demonise people that undergoe plastic surgery. On one hand, there’s this pressure to look great, healthy and young, and people considered “ugly” are discriminated against. But then they expect you to attain this without makeup – every man’s mantra “I prefer the natural look” – and without fake tan, and without surgery?

    As far as I’m concerned, those having plastic surgery are doing it for their own reasons, with their own money, and having considered the risks. It’s not my place to comment on their decision.

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    • Angelica says:

      I completely agree with you. Just because you don’t believe in plastic surgery doesn’t mean you should attack people who choose to do it, even when it’s not necessary.

      While I personally would not do it, I will defend other people’s choice to. How can people praise others who are naturally beautiful while judging those who choose surgery because they’re not as genetically fortunate?

      People don’t live in a vacuum. Those who are considered beautiful are constantly rewarded for it. And those who are not are reaffirmed of their ugliness. Are they wrong for wanting to be on the other side? Judging people who choose cosmetic surgery is the same kind of stigmatization that led those people to choose surgery in the first place.

      In short, if you don’t like surgery, then don’t do it. But don’t look down on people who do.

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  5. Anna says:

    I don’t see plastic surgery as the solution to anything either. It might sound as I’m sitting on some high horse, but isn’t it better that you just learn to love yourself instead? Regardless of saggy tits and what not. If your confidence isn’t on top, you’ll just find something else to dislike about yourself.
    It also makes me wonder about what signals it sends to younger people and to children. Personally, if I ever have kids, I’d like them to feel that they are good enough just as they are. Now how can you teach them that when you’ve had niptucks, botox and lord knows what else?! It isn’t just enhancing what you’ve got, like you do with make-up, it’s changing it completely. If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it.
    We don’t have to be perfect. We really don’t.

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    • Julianne says:

      Yes! If somebody hated their nose, and they got a nose job, and then they had a child, and child had the nose they had before the surgery…would they hate their child’s nose? Would they tell their child to get the surgery as well? How would the child feel when they looked at old pictures of their parent, saw their nose, and then looked at the way they were now? Just thinking about this makes me feel sad.

      What you said about confidence reminded me of this post, The Fantasy of Being Thin: http://kateharding.net/2007/11/27/the-fantasy-of-being-thin/ because I think you could switch ‘being thin’ for ‘having the perfect nose’ or ‘having large breasts’.

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  6. i can understand why SOME people would want surgery. maybe they’ve suffered burns, maybe their massive boobs give them back problems, etc.

    however, my philosophy in life is this: if i’m not enough without it, i’ll never be enough with it. sure, a sharper nose might make me happier for a minute. but once it’s “fixed,” i’ll be sure to focus my attentions elsewhere. and since i had such an “easy” time getting the nose done, the other procedures will be easy, too. and pretty soon i’ll end up looking like the cat lady.

    cosmetic surgery, like getting inked, can be quite addictive. so the best solution for me is to never get anything done.

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  7. Isabella says:

    Hey there everyone, I have just stopped by and am thrilled to see so many of you have commented on the guest post I wrote.
    Your comments are great to read, I love a bit of healthy debate!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. I really don’t want to live in a world where it is considered normal to risk your life in order to change the way you look so that you fit a mainstream social standard. I can’t imagine ever doing anything more drastic to my looks than getting my filling changed to a white one, and I hope I never can.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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