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Perfection, Plastic Surgery, And Self Loathing Essay

2056 words - 8 pages

In a society where media rules, appearance means everything. Images of supermodels and celebrities promoting the latest fashions and products constantly bombard consumers promising us that if they buy these products, they too will attain the same level of just glamor. We can’t help but envy the gorgeous women we see in magazines with their perfect smiles and airbrushed breasts and thighs especially when expectations of physical perfection have become so high that they are nearly unobtainable. Marge Piercy’s poem “Barbie Doll” describes how this standard of perfection affects young girls and can carry on throughout their lives causing irreparable damages. Even though this poem was written in 1973, its meaning is more prevalent today than ever before. The occurrence of cosmetic surgery has steadily increased over the years and will continue to do so as long as people nitpick over their bodily flaws. Although, cosmetic surgery is prominent and generally successful, women should refrain from undergoing unnecessary surgery because not only can they become addictive, but also pose serious physical and psychological health risks.
Since childhood, we have been told it’s not what is on the outside, but what is on the inside that matters; on the other hand, as we grew older we were told to make the most of what we have because first impressions count. These conflicting messages cause us to battle with our appearance and what is and what is not important; subsequently, leaving people validating themselves with what they look like on the outside. People are often judged on first appearances, if we feel we look good our confidence increases and our first judgment improves. Primarily, with the economic issues we face today, millions of American women look at cosmetic procedures to give them a competitive edge in the workplace due to the belief that hiring is based on looks. ASPS Member Surgeon Loren Schecter, MD says, “Not only do the women believe youthful looks help in the workplace…they’re acting on that belief” (qtd. in “Women”). In a survey compiled by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), many women reveal cosmetic plastic surgery now appears important for success in the workplace. 13 percent of women say they would consider having cosmetic procedures done specifically to make them more confident and more competitive in the job market, while 3 percent say they have already done so (“Women”). Though many reasons exist as to why cosmetic surgeries appeal to people today, the main reason is for increasing self-esteem. Self-esteem relates strongly to happiness and when people are happy the effect often reaches to countless areas of their lives. The domino effect of boosting one’s self-esteem makes connecting with others and maintaining stable relationships for the long-term easier. While these procedures should not be used as a ‘quick fix’ solution for a crisis or problems that may require professional help, it presents an opportunity for...

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