It absolutely disgusts me that it seems to be perfectly acceptable for women (and now men) of all ages to resort to disfiguring themselves by means of increasingly evasive plastic surgery. I think that this is a serious issue and goes towards our preoccupation with the perfect face and body. Cases of Anorexia, Bulimia and even Body Dysmorphic Disorder are rising all over the world. I believe that our current obsession with how we look is being assisted by plastic surgeons and elevated by the media to a disproportionately superior status.
However, the title of this article does not relate to the usage of plastic surgery itself, as I do believe that in a few medical cases - for example the amazing reconstructive surgery cases currently in world news, it can be an amazing tool. What really worries me is the apparent decreasing of the age of those undergoing these 'treatments'.
Three recent British examples come in the cases of Kerry Katona, Jodie Marsh and Jordan (aka Katie Price). The British media is obsessed with every detail of the lives of these 'celebrities' and their behaviour may be hugely influencing young girls, and at ages 28, 30 and 31 respectively, all three seem to all have recently had face lifts or similar facial cosmetic surgery. None of these young looking ladies needed their faces to be changed in any way (let alone the tummy tucks, breast reductions and breast increases which they have also undergone) and the Media is fully aware that all three have experienced a number of psychological issues and abuses which may have lead to a need for them to have surgery. They are real life examples of those who have found that perfecting the body is unlikely to perfect the soul.
Each to their own, you may say, but what is the media stance on this? Has anyone criticised these 'public figures' for this recent devotion to botox and cutting themselves? No it seems that this is not news-worthy enough and thus impliedly absolutely acceptable for other young girls to try. That's not to say that the media hasn't mentioned plastic surgery, but more in a manner that glamourises it, allows us all to gawp and compare, but ultimately plays down the drawbacks.
The irony of cosmetic surgery is that those succumbing to the knife do not look younger, they only look shiny and ageless. I'd say that it isn't attractive to see such people with stretched faces, looking alien and lifeless at any age, including when still enjoying the flushes of youth. Its called 'plastic' surgery for a reason....
Its not just young girls who may be affected, but also young boys. Channel 4 has recently reported that the number of plastic surgery cases for male patients are rapidly growing:
It seems that the 'posterchild' for plastic surgery is rapidly becoming the teenager asking mum and dad for a nosejob for their 16th birthday. Until celebrities stand up and refuse to be swept up by the tide of surgery, showing how unnecessary and painful it is, and the media stops glamourising and starts investigating our obsession, that same 16 year old may be asking for a quick nip and tuck before their 18th birthday.
Where will it end?