Plastic Surgery: Becoming Barbie

Written by Regan Lemley

Does the name Nicole Scherzinger ring any bells? If her name doesn’t, her face will. She’s the lead singer of raunchy pop group The Pussycat Dolls, and she is in ownership of the ideal American female body. She’s skinny, she’s tall, and she’s still curvaceous. The pathetic part is how she goes about getting it.

Forget the low-carbohydrate diet or just eating small portions of healthy foods, because this diva goes a few days a month without eating. As an alternative to real nourishment, she puts nothing in her malnourished body except water that contains cayenne pepper, honey, lemon, and maple syrup.
Now don’t you worry girls, if you don’t feel like becoming mildly anorexic like Scherzinger, and you’re not that into throwing up partly digested food and stomach acid after every meal, we lazy Americans have the thing for you.

Welcome to the billion-dollar industry that is plastic surgery.

Feeling chubby? Spend a few thousand dollars for a surgeon to insert a hollow tube into your body that is connected to a vacuum unit which sucks out your fat through tiny incisions. Don’t like your nose? There’s always the option of rhinoplasty, but don’t let the thought of a doctor breaking your nose with a hammer and chisel bother you. The bleeding will stop eventually, and the blood that pools around your eyes will recede.

Breasts not as big as they should be as defined by what is shown to you each day through television, movies and magazines? Then you females should thank whatever being you worship for being born in this country in this particular time period, because the FDA just lifted its ban on silicone breast implants in 2006. Now you have the right to pay a man approximately $3,000 for an optional surgery in which he shoves gel thingies into one of the most sensitive areas of your body. It should also be mentioned that the implants were approved despite female health organizations declaring the implants were dangerous to a women’s health, so apparently money and politics hold more weight than health precautions.

Fortunately, plastic surgery has had so much support in recent years, as evidenced by the 7 percent increase in cosmetic plastic surgery between 2005 and 2006, that the field has expanded to fix areas that hardly anyone sees. So girls, if your vagina just doesn’t compare to what our porn-raised boys consider to be normal, then there’s a quick fix surgery to make it perfect.

I wish I was kidding, but there is now a booming market for vaginal rejuvenation surgery. Overseas, this would be considered genital mutilation. In America, this is considered a luxury.

There’s something extremely disgusting and disturbing about plastic surgery. Yes, I know some people need corrective surgery or reconstruction. I am aware. But don’t tell me a woman needs her breasts to be bigger. No one needs that.

Men and women who undergo optional cosmetic surgery are paying someone to mutilate their bodies. They are paying someone to cut and break and bruise and contort their bodies just so that they can fit into some kind of beauty ideal that is both unattainable and unnatural. Something about that just defies logic.

The lesson of plastic surgery is that everything has a quick fix, so long as you have the money for it. The rich, who we are supposed to view as role models, make plastic surgery seem glamorous and desired. This is in direct opposition to the belief that plastic surgery is vapid and wasteful, which it is.
Even worse than reinforcing superficial beauty ideals is the fact that plastic surgery is telling men and women that something in them is sick or broken and in need of fixing. Television shows like “The Swan” and “Extreme Make-Over” seek to “fix” people’s faces, implying that each person has some horrid defect that demands surgical attention if the person ever wishes to be accepted by society.
We’re supposed to pity and even mock the people on these shows that don’t fit into the narrow ideal of what beauty is, and we’re supposed to applaud those that finally “fix” themselves and adhere to societal standards.

In real life, it’s pretty similar. If you’re not constantly trying to improve yourself even in the smallest ways like working out or getting pedicures, then you’re not taking care of yourself.

At the very least, plastic surgery can give you insight into a person’s personality. I refer to my one of my favorite comedians, Daniel Tosh, who said, “I am all for women who decided to get plastic surgery. Plastic surgery allows you the rare opportunity to make your outer appearance resemble your inner appearance. Fake.”

Which, let’s be honest, it is.

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