Throughout this century, the term natural beauty has taken a wide variety of definitions. Aesthetic treatments are rapidly becoming socially sought after in large urbanized communities, and this craze is rapidly progressing towards a flawless sales tactic for all cosmetic surgeons and media alike—proclaiming that one should invest in themselves. What was once seen as treatment for individuals in dire need is now evolving into a marketable service rendered to those with the means to obtain it. It is clear that demand for aesthetic surgery has skyrocketed in recent years, an increase caused by modern marketing tactics, technological development, as well as the modern idea of individualism and self-expression through artificial body modification.
Evidently, the use of traditional embellishments such as makeup and hairstyling are not enough for certain groups in today’s society. Many men and women are willing to pay top dollar for permanent changes masked by the belief that it will increase self-confidence, increase visual appeal, or reduce the effects of aging. Regardless of the motives behind undertaking surgical procedures, the cause of this mindset is clear. Modern marketing has distributed a plague of perfect breasts, firm obliques, slender silhouettes and white teeth across a variety of media, infesting a number of communities within North America and the developed world. Vanity and personal image have taken more priority than ever (Sullivan 2001:1) within the cosmetic medicine discipline, evident by the fact that the most common cosmetic surgeries are breast enlargements and/or reductions (Sullivan 2001:1).
Immense pressure from the media causes patients to undergo procedures without even considering implications. In some cases, patients invoked feelings of regret following a procedure. Diana and West analyzed two patients who underwent breast augmentation procedures. One patient was satisfied with the results, but the other was unsure she wanted to undergo the procedure in the first place. This falls into the human understanding of using stereotypes in order to organize social worlds (Anonymous 2008). Some individuals still have a clouded perception on their motives for undergoing such procedures, and it is not until the damage has been done that feelings of regret occur. Media has created a massive social cult for several years by creating what is seen as the ideal physique, encouraging astray individuals to take extreme measures in order to conform.
Another significant factor towards the recent increase of cosmetic surgery procedures is attributed to major technological advancements in recent years. Modern advances in technology have significantly decreased pain level as well as post-operation complications. Cosmetic surgeons are also widely available and offer competitive rates in many urban centers. The repackaging of cosmetic surgery as a business has also allowed for surgeons to advertise, which only adds to a consumer’s...