Plastic surgery is a wonderful thing for those suffering from serious cosmetic issues. But. The growing dependence on it is a worrying symptom of a deeper social problem.
According to statistics surrounding cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the UK from 2003-2017, the number of cosmetic surgeries reaching 28,000 in 2017. With the number of breast augmentation procedures performed in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2010 to 2017, peaked in 2013 at over 11,000.
Let’s face it- worrying about the way you look is a first world problem. Most people don’t have the luxury or the time to analyze and pick at all the issues they see in their bodies.
It’s true that beautifying ourselves is a natural urge. But what is wrong with being ‘ugly’? I don’t want to regurgitate the phrase ‘everyone is beautiful’, because, in reality, not everyone is beautiful- in the sense of being above average in looks. It sounds harsh and mean but it’s true. And the question is again:
So what? So what if you’re ‘ugly’, average looking or under average? So what if you woke up, looked in the mirror and thought ‘man I look like crap’?
Of course, it’s important to feel good about yourself and improving your looks does give confidence. But why should anyone’s self-esteem or confidence rest solely on their appearance, to begin with? Are only beautiful, sexy, skinny women allowed to feel good and confident about themselves?
What does it say about a person who is willing to cut themselves open, not because they have some kind of deformity, but because they simply want to look ‘more beautiful’. Celebrities who depend on plastic surgeries are by no one’s standards ugly. At least I haven’t seen the ‘before’ picture of someone and thought:‘damn… it’s a good thing she fixed that messed up face’,‘those boobs are so flat, I feel sick.’
What frustrates me is this feeling of never being beautiful enough that pushes women and men to pump this and get rid of that. They will never be good enough in their own eyes because the real issue is inside their heads- their inability to love and accept themselves. Why is not being ‘pretty’ or ‘very pretty’ a bad thing? The answer is we’ve made it a bad thing. Ugliness is demonized and those who are not considered to be beautiful enough are made to feel ashamed of it. When, if anything, we should only be judging people for being cruel or ignorant. You can control how you behave with others but you can’t control the nose you were born with.
Looking at how superficial the media in the West can be, it’s no wonder young girls find it so difficult to love their bodies. Clothes, hairstyles, fashion, makeup, diets, celebrities, body shaming. We’re always talking about how people look.
‘She was so sexy in the Oscars’,
‘His body transformation is unbelievable.’
How many times have you read an article about how generous, kind or intelligent someone is? How many times have you watched a Hollywood movie with an under-average looking female lead? I can only think of a few and they’re usually comedies and joke about overweight women. We have made looking good an essential thing. Now we need to make it less important. Conversations about appearances shouldn’t dominate our thinking. When you wake up in the morning you should be thinking about how to make yourself a better person, not a more beautiful person. Money should be spent towards making ourselves better participants in society and towards bettering the world.
It’s not in the interest of women to continually draw attention to our appearance. Doing so makes young girls insecure and obsess over their bodies instead of focusing on their education, characters, ambitions and things that actually matter. We like to say to ‘never judge a book by its cover,’ but how is that possible when we’re constantly talking and worrying about the cover. How are men going to see past our bodies and stop reducing females to breasts and backsides, when all we’re thinking of is our own breasts and backsides?
Here is a video experiment conducted where people are put in front of a double-sided mirror, without realising someone is on the other side of it. Every single stranger on the other side of the mirror had glowing reviews about the person standing before them. What this experiment relays is how we are often largely critical of ourselves because we have been socialised to view ourselves by societal standards of beauty. When we are judging others, we are a lot kinder and more receptive to their natural beauty.
Unlike many authors, my writing journey didn't begin with a fiery love for books at six. I couldn’t read English at six…or seven or eight. When I moved back to the UK after 3 years in Saudi Arabia, I was in year 4 and at the very bottom of the academic food chain. Two years later, my teacher asked to hold onto my creative writing book as an example of exceptional work and never gave it back (still pretty heartbroken about that). I’ve always loved living in my head, inside stories created by my overactive imagination. But stories don’t belong in our heads, hidden away from the world. It’s taken me years to reach this point, but I’m now ready to share them with you all. They are the fruits of hard work and imagination and I hope you love them as much as I do. https://www.instagram.com/the.thought.catcher/