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Negative Social Ideals Fueling Physiological Body Alterations

1339 words - 6 pages

Societies idealization of beauty is not a new phenomena, however in recent years medical professionals have started expressing sincere concerns related to the rise in cosmetic surgery procedures being performed in the quest to create the ideal body figure. Issues relating to the physical alteration to the human body is a controversial issue in society with arguments for, and against surgical procedures to enhance body figure. Recent scientific studies are presenting a frightening realization of a board spectrum of societal issues, however some individuals are attempting to refute creditable scientific data with opinionated arguments pertaining to social, cultural, and historical archetypes ...view middle of the document...

Unlike the invasive surgical procedures resulting in physical alteration to the human body which are being defended, the noninvasive procedures mentioned in these arguments are inaccurately used to portray a rooted sociological and historical norm in favor of physical manipulation of the body to achieve beauty.
In lieu of non-permanent decorative stylizations of the human body used by many cultures for ceremonies or external displays of beauty, physical alteration to the human body does occur in many cultures for a vast array of reasons. Deliberate scarring of men in African tribes, wrapped feet in Chinese cultures, elongated necks of the Burmese, and circumcision are all examples of historical and cultural alterations to the human body by various social groups around the world. Alterations to the body amongst members of the various cultural groups provided a framework for social unity and acceptance among individuals in the group. Historic examples displaying social unity and acceptance is used to portray a rational in of support the modern movement of physiological alterations to the human body whether its embodiment takes the form of plastic surgery, tattooing, or even the various forms of self mutilation being used to achieve a euphoric experience.
Pro-modification arguments using social identity ad unity as a primary justification for body alterations lack cohesion in the greater social context of the practices mentioned. Although many cultures will alter their bodies, which does provide acceptance and unity among group members, many of these practices are oppressive exertions of power. The positive notion of social unity is contradicted by the negative social values being displayed where the degree of social oppression is widely accepted to such an extent that physical body alteration becomes an accepted norm. In the context of an empowered and liberated society were members have equal rights regardless of sex, race, or creed, the religious practice of removing female genitalia which eliminates the sexual pleasure of a woman during coitis, is unethical in a civilized society despite the beliefs of those involved viewing such actions as a sign of purity, and a submission of their bodies to sociological demands. Furthermore in such cultures women are denied access to an education, isolated for other individuals outside of the men of their families, and viewed as week with no political rights. The oversight of oppression and inequality within such cultural examples establishes a flawed logic behind the use of these historical social contexts in developing an argument attempting to display the possible social benefits of body alterations which provide individuals a sense of belonging within a cohesive society.
Factual data collected from a vast array of medical professionals, scientific communities, and recovered patients articulated in Milne’s written work presents a scientifically supported argument against current trends in cosmetic...

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