Impact of Cosmetic Surgery on Society

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Cosmetic surgery

What was onced used as a way to fix and restore is now a common step in the beauty routine of many Americans. Most Americans, because of social pressure and insecurities, are falling into the trap of plastic surgery. They are risking their health, trying to make themselves look better so they can feel better. But after all the procedures they are no longer themselves and are they really any happier? Although cosmetic surgery was used more than 4,000 years ago to treat facial injuries it is now considered a common activity among most Americans, and it is negatively impacting our society. (Nordqvist, Christian.)It is a common misconception that best way to achieve a more beautiful self is not through hard work, discipline, and self-control, but through surgery. Cosmetic surgery should be illegal because it negatively impacts our society by causing unrealistic expectations of beauty, major financial problems, and it has detrimental health risks.

By causing unrealistic expectations for beauty cosmetic surgery is having negative effects on our society. Most famous people have had some type of plastic surgery to enhance their looks. These stars are posted and plastered on magazine covers, billboards, and posted on all forms of social media. Teenagers look up to these celebrities.The world views these stars with the expectations of how everyone should look causing the average American to feel bad about themselves. This results in a rise in suicides, depression, and plastic surgeries. There was an investigation done to examine the relationship between self?presentational motives and physical activity in a population of cosmetic surgery participants. Participants were fifty female and five male cosmetic surgery patients who completed a battery of self?report measures following either vein or acne treatment. Analyses revealed significant group differences on self?presentational concern and public self?consciousness between: (a) those who elected the treatment for appearance motives and those who elected treatment for health?based motives, and (b) the more frequent (three or more times per week) and less frequent (two or less times per week) exercisers. Greater self?presentational concerns and greater public self?consciousness were associated with having appearance?related motives for treatment and with being a less frequent exerciser.(Culos-Reed, S. Nicole)

In most medical specialties, patients don’t know what their problem is, and leave it to the specialist to figure out. Not so with cosmetic surgery. Here, it is the patient who knows what’s wrong and the surgeon who often has a hard time seeing it. This leaves him with a dilemma: either he has to send the patient home empty handed or he has to find some medically acceptable reason for an intervention as drastic as surgery. To illustrate this point, the speaker gave a slideshow with— what else?— before and after pictures. To my surprise, the patient was not a middle-aged woman with wrinkles who wanted a face lift, but a fifteen-year old Moroccan girl who wanted her nose done. According to this surgeon, this girl was only one among many similar cases: second-generation immigrant adolescents who were getting harassed at school for having “noses like that.” They became miserable, antisocial, and developed feelings of inferiority, he explained. It became difficult for them to become assimilated into Dutch society. (Davis, Kathy)

Plastic surgeon Michael Salzhauer, or Dr. Miami states “I think the influence of social media is enormous and cannot be overstated.”(Dr.Miami) Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery brings shocking statistics to prove this theory. They found that over 40 percent of surgeons in the survey reported that patients said looking better in a selfie was their reason for getting surgery. This shows social media and the modern connectivity between fan and public figure can be held responsible for both glorifying and normalizing what was once considered an extreme step in self-improvement. Cosmetic surgery is not only hurting Americans self esteem and emotions but their wallets too (American Society of Plastic Surgeons.)

Cosmetic surgery should be illegal because it negatively impacts society by causing many patients to go into major debt. There are two types of plastic Americans rely on- plastic credit cards and plastic surgery. These plastics feed insecurities even as they captivate us with promises. If there's one thing Americans are brilliant at, it is tricking themselves into thinking that they can make their future better than the present. Credit and plastic surgery offer “easy” shortcuts. This causes many to fall into debt, impacting both society and the economy for worse.

(source)Dr. Alan Matarasso, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, who works as a plastic surgeon in New York City says, “Cosmetic surgery is not covered by insurance, it’s what we call self-pay. Traditionally, the model was that you paid (the full amount) two to three weeks in advance”(Materasso). Insurance doesn't cover cosmetic surgery, but that doesn't stop most from going under the knife. It only increases their debt.

 An American Society of Plastic Surgeons report found Americans spent more than $16 billion on cosmetic plastic surgeries and minimally invasive procedures in 2016, the most the U.S. has ever spent on such operations (Apr 12, 2017) (Rossman, Sean.). Claire Leeson, who got plastic surgery to look like Kim Kardashian, spent a total of $30,000 she didn't have on the procedure.(“I Spent $30,000 to Look like Kim Kardashian.”,NY post)  The Daily Mail reports that Leeson was bullied for her looks as a teenager and attempted suicide several times throughout adolescence. Her transformation was a direct response to that poor treatment, a way to reclaim herself and feel beautiful. Unfortunately, it's also hurting her financially.(Daily Mail)

 Despite record unemployment, rising health care costs, and sinking home values - Americans spent out more than $10 billion on cosmetic surgery and other procedures last year. This hurt the economy more than it hurt the individuasl. Almost half of Americans have less than $10,000 saved for retirement, but millions of them are not hesitating a trip to the plastic surgeon. Not only is Cosmetic surgery negatively affecting the economy, but Americans' health and even lives are endangered by the many procedures being done.(American Society of Plastic Surgeons. “Dangers of Plastic Surgery Tourism.”)

Cosmetic surgery, like any type of surgery, is not without risks. Plastic surgery procedures can result in complications ranging from an unattractive or unnatural final result to scarring or even death. All surgeries, including cosmetic procedures, carry risk. People who have a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes or obesity have a higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, stroke, heart attack or blood clots in the legs or lungs. Additionally, smoking increases risks and interferes with healing. There are many possible complications for any surgical procedure. Complications related to anesthesia, including pneumonia, blood clots and, even death are all possible. Infection at the incision site, which may worsen scarring and require additional surgery. Fluid build up under the skin. Mild bleeding, may require another surgical procedure, or bleeding significant enough to require a transfusion.  Obvious scarring or skin breakdown, which occurs when healing skin separates from healthy skin and must be removed surgically. Numbness and tingling from nerve damage, which may be permanent. Not only are there long term risks but even the recovery from these surgeries can be long and painful. Even with instruction and preparation, the bruising swelling that follow cosmetic surgery and how long they last is alarming. Bruising can take a minimum of three weeks to diminish; swelling can take even longer. Getting up and moving frequently after surgery is very important to minimize risk for blood clots, which can be deadly. Flying or driving long distances makes this hard to do—and blood-thinning medications to reduce risk of blood clots, such as Aspirin, are off-limits after cosmetic surgery. Sitting in a cramped plane for hours or enduring a bumpy car ride also can be uncomfortable on healing incisions. To minimize these risks, a person would need to spend several weeks taking it easy. Recovery time is long and while recovering a person is limited in what they can do. (“How to Stay Safe When Traveling for Cosmetic Surgery.” American Board of Cosmetic Surgery)

Cosmetic surgery negatively impacts our society by causing unrealistic expectations of beauty, major financial problems including debt, and it has detrimental health risks. Society’s unrealistic beauty expectations cause many to feel insecure and ugly resulting in the hope that plastic surgery will make them look better. Plastic Surgery causes many to fall into debt, impacting both society and the economy for worse. It is not without risks. Plastic surgery procedures can result in complications ranging from an unattractive or unnatural final result to scarring or even death. In conclusion cosmetic surgery is not a solution but a problem. Going under the knife will not help a person to feel better and will instead put their health and emotional wellbeing at risk, not to mention break the bank. Americans should look past social expectations and be who they are living real lives full of real happiness.

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Impact Of Cosmetic Surgery On Society. (2019, Oct 30). Retrieved March 3, 2024 , from

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