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Cosmetic Surgery Essay

Cosmetic Surgery is a widely accepted practice among men and women. You can have anything done to yourself as long as you have the money. With the advancement in today’s technology, more men and women are flocking to have expensive cosmetic procedures done. The percentage of men and women getting some type of surgery done to themselves are drastically different. Women have the highest number on the chart for having cosmetic surgery and men don’t even come close to their numbers. Men and women share the same types of surgery like: breast augmentation, liposuction, Botox and even laser hair removal. Teenagers are slowly starting to climb the charts more every year.

The average age for teenagers are between 16-18 years old. Teenage girls and boys go for procedures like; microdermabrasion, chemical peels and nose jobs. Some people believe that it is immoral to have surgery to change your appearance while other people believe that it is all right to have a tattoo. What is the difference between having surgery to change a defect in your appearance and having a tattoo? There is no difference, one can be removed and the other cannot. Every year, the average American spends millions of dollars on the many different types of cosmetic procedures available.

Many women would like to have surgery done to enhance the look of their bodies. Most women go through the agonizing pain of surgery for a needed boost in their self confidence. What do you see when you look in the mirror? For most women, they see imperfection and room for improvement. Often time’s people try to change themselves in order to make others happy. Cosmetic Surgery is so popular with the average American, it makes you wonder what our society will look like in 10 years. The most common surgical procedures done for women are; Breast augmentation, and Liposuction. In the year 2007, more than 399,440 women had a breast augmentation and 398,848 women had liposuction ( Mann 2007). Another type of cosmetic procedure people have done are non-surgical procedures.

Non-surgical simply means aesthetics are not necessary to be used in order to have the surgery done. Hyaluronic acid treatments, and Botox were the most popular non-surgical procedures for women. Hyaluronic is just a fancy word for skin treatments or acne treatments. Botox procedures essentially paralyze the muscles in the face to eliminate wrinkles and lines in patients by preventing the muscles from contracting (Sommerfeld 2007). The number of non-surgical procedures women have done are dramatically higher than surgical procedures simply because they are more affordable. Over 2,775,176 women have had Botox injections and over 1,448,716 have had some type of skin treatment done (Mann 2007).

Not only are women wanting to change their appearance, men have also jumped on the band wagon. Men are increasingly changing the things they do not like to see. Men and women between the ages of 35 and 50 had the most cosmetic procedures in 2007, a lot of them being men because it is around the time they are going through their mid life crisis. In the earlier years, men were not as concerned about the way they looked, the way they smelled or the fact that they were going bald. With the influx of women coworkers in the job force men have become more self conscious about their looks. The better you look the more attention you receive. The two main surgical procedures men have done every year are liposuction and rhinoplasty.

In the year 2008, more than 31,453 men had liposuction done on themselves to appear thinner to the opposite sex, and over 30,174 men changed their facial appearances by getting rhinoplasty done ( ASAPS 2007). The top Non-surgical procedures men have done are: Botox and Laser hair removal. Ironically, while some men are having hair removed from one part of their bodies, they are having hair transplanted to another part of their bodies. Hair transplants are another surgical procedure that is used widely among men and women. Men who are balding and have receding hair lines are having hair put back in order to look and feel younger. Over 225,099 men have received Botox injections and 309,692 men have had laser hair removal on some part of their body ( ASAPS 2007).

Cosmetic Surgery is not only for adults, teenagers are jumping at every opportunity that comes along. Due to the parents having so much cosmetic surgery done, they are influencing their teenagers saying it is all right to have cosmetic surgery if you do not like the way you look. The most popular procedures for teenagers were: Laser hair removal, Microdermabrasion, chemical peel, ear reshaping, and Rhinoplasty. Of those cosmetic procedures, 2 out of the 5 were actual surgical procedures ( Mann 2007). There is a difference between having cosmetic surgery to enhance your appearance and having cosmetic surgery to reconstruct a cleft lip, big ears and a collapsed nose. Having reconstructive surgery can benefit a child immensely simply by bringing up their self-esteem. In today’s society, some children ridicule other children who’s facial features are unattractive or physically impaired.

The long-term physical and emotional phenomenon of many popular cosmetic surgeries, including implants and liposuction are unknown ( Zuckerman 2005). Teenagers are unaware of the health risks they face everyday by going tanning, smoking and drinking. Even though teenagers don’t want to accept the fact that tanning is bad for you health, they do not realize that tanning can actually lead to more cosmetic surgery not to mention skin cancer and wrinkles. Cigarettes and drinking make young adults prematurely age in their facial features making them look older than they really are causing another reason for cosmetic surgery. If they are unaware or choose not to pay attention to these risks then they are less likely to pay attention to the risks of cosmetic surgery ( Zuckerman 2005).

In 2007, Americans spent more than $13.2 billion on cosmetic procedures alone. Of that $13.2 billion, $8.3 billion was spent on surgical cosmetic procedures, while $4.7 billion was spent on non-surgical procedures (Mann 2007). According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the number of cosmetic surgery procedures has jumped 457% since they began gathering these statistics in 1997. Over 11.7 million cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures were performed in the United States, of those procedures, 91% were performed on women. (Mann,2007). That is a whopping 10.6 million procedures done a year, an increase of 1 percent since 2006 ( Mann 2007).

Before, men would stand by and let the women get all the cosmetic changes done to themselves and now they are slowly being put on the map. In fact, men had 9% of cosmetic procedures done in 2007, with the number of total procedures increasing 17 percent since 2006, to just over 1 million ( Mann 2007). Teens aging from 16 to 18 years old had less than 2% of the cosmetic surgery procedures. Either this information is not enough to be put on it’s own chart, or it is already incorporated with the men and women.

With the expense of having surgery and all the recovery time you have to take, it makes you wonder how far a person is willing to go for happiness. Some people think getting surgery is disgraceful and immoral, while others think it is all right to have a tattoo. What is the difference between having a tattoo and having a nose job? The only difference would be that, a tattoo can be removed while some of the surgical procedures people get cannot. They are for life, you cannot undo what you already did if you do not like the outcome. Every day more men and women are spending thousands of dollars fixing things they do not like about themselves. They are letting their children know that it is all right to have surgery because they are not developing fast enough, or get their nose done because it’s too big.

I have nothing against the doctors that perform these surgeries, it is their job. With out these specific doctors, we would not be able to survive in the cruel world we live in today. They are here to help those of us who really need it, and help those who want it. Does having cosmetic surgery truly make you feel better about yourself, does it make you sleep better to know that you can try to look like someone your not? Does having surgery on the outside make people like you better, even though you are the same person on the inside? Either way you look at it, having cosmetic surgery only changes what you look like on the outside, and if this does not make your self-esteem higher, then your problem goes much deeper than surgery.

Mann, D. (2007) Statistics on Cosmetic Surgery from ASAPS. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www.yourplasticsurgeryguide.com/trends/charts-graphs.htm

American Society For Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. (2009). Liposuction no longer the most popular surgical procedure according to new statistics. Retrieved March 26, 2009, from http://www.earthtimes.org/article/show/liposuction-no-longer-the-most,750221.shtml

Sommerfeld, J. (2002). Liposuction Safety Concerns Assuages. Retrieved April
10, 2009, from http://www.nowfoundation.org/issues/health/whp/whp_fact1.html

Zuckerman, D. (2005). Teenagers and Cosmetic Surgery. Retrieved April 10, 2009, from http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/companion.asp?compid=102&id=1

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