In 2002-2003, the British Association of Plastic Surgeons performed 10,700 procedures. Ten years later, he practiced 50,000. Among them, the most common was breast augmentation.
The association carries out around a third of all operations, so the total number is much higher. And even so, this is not the country with the most operations, far from it. Ten million cosmetic operations were performed in the United States in 2015.
Brazil, Japan, and South Korea followed.
A survey in South Korea found that more than 60% of women in their early thirties and 40% of women in their early twenties have undergone cosmetic surgery.
There is increasing pressure to appear young and handsome, especially for women, who are still more judged on their looks. The media is full of programs that idealize cosmetic surgery and celebrities who increasingly seem to have more vitality.
Subliminally, and not so much, our culture is changing the way human beings feel they should be. People believe that their lives will be easier and more successful if they conform to cultural norms.
Overall, 85% of people who undergo cosmetic surgery are women. Even as a nose jobs surgeon in Miami, we see more females come in than males. Most are trying to attract men. So we men must ultimately accept our guilt.
We undermine women’s self-esteem. And then we made money from that dissatisfaction. Pornography is now ubiquitous and should be a spur to people’s dissatisfaction with their bodies.
An ironic example is the United Kingdom, which has banned female genital mutilation, but at the same time, is experiencing a boom in labiaplasty. Girls and wives, or perhaps their boyfriends or husbands, are seeing female vulvas in porn movies and then going to the doctor to be “fixed.”
A gynecologist told me about a young girl who came to the consultation with her mother. The doctor, who had seen thousands of vaginal lips, knew that this girl’s lips were normal.
But there is great pressure to conform to the pornographic ideal of what women should be like. And when it comes to a white girl, it doesn’t seem like the law is being followed.
Someone can say that this is a free country. If someone has the ability to make decisions and wants to spend their money on botox injections or on removing their male boobs, it’s up to you.
But the effect of individual choices changes everyone’s cultural perceptions.
If most people take surgical steps to delay the effect of aging, then expectations about what we should look like when we get older will change.
The reasons that make you like someone or that someone wants you to have to do above all with personality: emotional
warmth, or that you are a good conversationalist, or above all, that you are fun.
So perhaps the disabled can share these lessons with the non-disabled.
In my experience, disabled people who have learned to accept themselves are much less distressed for these reasons.
For non-disabled people, a clothed body is a fiction that they present to the rest.
The naked body, without frills or makeup, is something to be ashamed of.
But disabled people are always different from the norm. So we have nothing to hide, no reason to be ashamed of taking off our clothes.
Paradoxically, perhaps we are happier with our seriously flawed bodies than those with only minor flaws.
But if someone is unhappy with their body image, should we offer them a cosmetic operation, or should we help them deal with their anxieties?