On a technical level, I class cosmetic surgery
as another form of body modification
, no different from tattooing, piercing and branding
. The difference, in my experience, lies in a person's psychological view of their own body. Body modification is all too often used as a "quick fix
," avoiding confrontation
of the underlying dissatisfaction that initially provoked the "need" for physical change. In the past, society has fleetingly chastised itself
for causing people to focus only on others' appearances - his hair, her tits, his muscles. It can be depressing to see people rejected on the basis of their hair colour; to see people inflict this same facile hatred on themselves is dangerous. Eating disorders and compulsive requests for plastic surgery have gone so far as to ruin people's lives.
Conversely, once a person has come to terms with their body, the freedom to modify it in any ways that are available should not be problematic for them. To some people, their skin is a canvas
, and attempting to keep it as flawless as the day they were born is a waste of effort. (Do you want to die without any scars?
I don't think cosmetic surgery is the true problem here. Certainly, it manifests itself as a major scapegoat for many people's image-related problems, but it plays the same role as navel piercings
did for teenage females in the late 90s; they are the latest image modifiers that must be fulfilled. The true issue here is people's self images. Once people can learn to combat their own insecurities, cosmetic surgery will generally be treated as a tool
to be respected and explored, but definitely not abused.