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Drawing the Line on Plastic Surgery

 
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When it comes to people getting plastic surgery of all kinds, my views are pretty libertarian. If you’ve done your homework, you have reasons that make sense to you and you’ll take steps to ensure your safety — go for it. It’s your body, it’s your life, and you should decide what’s right.

But that doesn’t mean I personally believe all procedures are okay for everyone. There are plenty of times I’ve reacted to cosmetic surgery news with the ever articulate, “Huh?”

Knowing there definitely are times when I don’t think plastic surgery is a great idea, I’ve been searching for a logical place to draw the line; to come up with some sort of criteria for what’s reasonable. The old, “I’ll know it when I see it,” just doesn’t do it for me. As someone with a pretty decent understanding of the world of plastic surgery, at least for a layperson, I really want something more definitive than that.

“Huh?” was just the reaction I had when I read that a terminally ill woman planned to have surgery so she could look like Demi Moore. I thought about the tens of thousands of dollars this would cost and figured there might be a better use for the money — some kind of meaningful legacy, maybe?

I also wondered why this woman would subject herself to extra pain during this difficult time. But most of all, I marveled that someone living out her final days would choose to spend them looking like someone else. For goodness sake, why? Doesn’t it make more sense to live the last bit of time allotted to you on this earth, as, well, you?

That’s when it hit me. This is where I draw my own personal line between cosmetic surgery that makes sense to me and cosmetic surgery that doesn’t. If you want to change your physical self to attain some sort of ideal — a look you think embodies true beauty or epitomizes perfection — I wonder how happy you really are. And I probably won't applaud you for planning surgery. While I might agree that Angelina Jolie has great looking lips, I don't think that having someone else's lips will make you more content (even if I thought you could achieve them after seeing so many lip jobs gone oh so wrong).

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Thanks for the comment, Susan. I guess the bottom line for me is that I believe people should be fundamentally content with themselves and their lives before considering plastic surgery. Commit to a procedure as a kind of fine tuning, or icing on the cake, not as a way to get happy. I agree with you, those who take the Michael Jackson approach to plastic surgery have a huge self-satisfaction issue.

Have you read about the Korean singer who was so addicted to plastic surgery that she went even further than MJ and took the DIY route? I just saw before and after photos--yikes! Google it if you want a shock. Poor thing.

March 30, 2009 - 4:43pm
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