Table of Contents:
Introduction Page 2 Causes of Cosmetic Surgery (by Hilda) Page 3 Physical Damage after Cosmetic Surgery (by Bonnie) Page 4 Psychological Effects of Cosmetic Surgery (by Ashley) Page 5 Conclusion Page 6 Works Cited Page7 Appendix A – Women and Health: Power, Technology, Inequality, and Conflict in a Gendered World Appendix B – Reflecting on Cosmetic Surgery: Body image, Shame and Narcissism Appendix C – Body Work: Beauty and Self-image in American Culture Appendix D – Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention Appendix E – Nips & tucks: Everything You Must Know Before Having Cosmetic Surgery Appendix F – Check list
To examine the history of cosmetic surgery, Ratcliff stated that cosmetic surgery was originally used to reconstruct the injuries of the returning soldiers from the First and Second World Wars. However, due to the long-time promotions of the media in the standard of beauty of women and the turning of the effects of aging to pathological changes by doctors, the usage of cosmetic surgery has changed (133). Ratcliff reported the statistics in 1998 from the American Association, which showed 3,892,149 cosmetic surgeries for women (135).
Nowadays, cosmetic surgery becomes more common, especially for women. Instead of needing it, women see it as a want. They want to attain their ideal images by cosmetic surgery. However, the raising of cosmetic surgery causes both physical and psychological problems.
This paper will examine the causes and effects of cosmetic surgery.
Causes of Cosmetic Surgery by Hilda Kong Tsz Yan
Northrop reported the Davis’ and Gimlin’s findings in 1995 and 2002 that the judgment of men is not the main reason for women to have cosmetic surgery. The opinions of men are just the supportive of the cosmetic surgery decisions of women (157).
With the increasing number of women having cosmetic surgery after divorcement, Northrop believed that many women would change jobs or resume studying to enlarge their competence and competitiveness. Cosmetic surgery would improve their body image and increase the opportunities of employment (157). Northrop also thought that cosmetic surgery had the meaning of getting back control of the bodies for divorced women. They did not mind the pain of cosmetic surgery as they thought it was the inevitable part of process of retrieving ownership of their bodies (158). For common women having cosmetic surgery, Northrop suggested that due to the rejection and replacement by other people who had better looking in daily life, women would have dispirited self image and feel shame. They therefore want to improve their situations by cosmetic surgery (159).
I am surprised that cosmetic surgery has a great meaning for women. It does not only boost the self-esteem of women, but also has the meaning of getting back their bodies. I have believed that opinions of men are the main reason for women to have cosmetic surgery all the while. However, it appears to me that there is evidence to say that women want to have cosmetic surgery because of women themselves.
Physical Damage after Cosmetic Surgery by Bonnie Hui Nga Ting
Gimlin highlighted cosmetic surgery can cause a serious problem on health that the body may have rejection on tissue engineering application. She also described women had breast augmentation and it is extremely pain. They may feel difficulties and uncomfortable when they lying or putting up the hand. If it is not success, the surgeon chisels the chest wall of the patient for removing the chemical part out. It cannot stay inside the body. Furthermore, the breast may have scars or deform (77).
In addition, Gimlin stated if woman had cosmetic surgery for whole body, the woman may get poor in facial expression. Also, if a woman had liposuction, the patient may get corrugated and uneven structure of the skin (77). Gimlin also claimed that due to new benefits or more resources, the body can advance and transform continuously (78).
However, I disagree with Gimlin that the body can advance and transform after cosmetic surgery. If we had cosmetic surgery not because of disability, I think it is not upgrading and this must have side-effect that we use chemical way to change our body structure. Moreover, I think women had cosmetic surgery for beauty purpose and the physical effects are the cost of the beauty. I think the pain is bigger than the value of beauty for me and beauty cannot be everlasting. It is not worth a try. I do not want to stake my health for whole life to get a beautiful appearance for few years only.
Psychology Effects of Cosmetic Surgery by Ashley Ngan Ka Yan
Not only the physical damage is serious, but also the psychology effect should be concerned as well. Cash and Linda report that 5-15% of cosmetic surgery patients are having body dysmorphic disorder which is a kind of mental illness that their body will be criticized by themselves extremely such as their skin, hair or even any body parts. Thus, they may not satisfy the postoperative results as they will still look for the flaws of their appearance (396).
For women having cosmetic surgery, Cash and Linda highlight that the occurrence rate of suicide are increasing frequently and having mental disorder are happening most likely specially the women who have breast implant, so they need to have psychological and psychiatric remedies in order to prevent their self-murder ideation or self- harm conducts (397). Moreover, Cash and Linda suggest that producing preservative influence for women who may have those risks for self-destruction because of mental illness and psychosis (398).
I am surprised that cosmetic surgery can cause the psychology effect seriously like suicide and self-harm behaviors, so I do agree with Cash and Linda that providing more support for those women who may have body dysmorphic disorder in order to deduct the unfortunate happenings because life is important and it should be treasured. It also reminds me that we should think twice before making change to our body as once you did it, you might not be able to go back.
Although there are negative effects of cosmetic surgery, it cannot eliminate the advantages it gives to women. Cosmetic surgery gives self-esteem and a new body image to women. It makes women accept themselves again and comfort them when they face others and do not feel inferior when they saw their face or body. So, why not look for outstanding doctor to help you fulfilling your goal.
To choose the right doctor, Barry suggested that the first thing is comparing more than two doctors and taking consultations with them (17). Second, choosing a doctor according to their experience and technical abilities and do not trust any advertising, magazines or television shows because great doctors do not need to get promoted (18). Third, you must know what you want to change before having operation and during the consultation time. You have to ensure that your doctor understands your expectations after surgery (18-20).
Barry, Diana. Nips & tucks: Everything You Must Know Before Having Cosmetic Surgery. Los Angeles: General Publishing Group, 1996, 17-20. Print.
Cash, Thomas F., and Linda Smolak. Body Image: A Handbook of Science, Practice, and Prevention. 2nd Ed. New York: The Guilford Press, 2011, 396-398. Print.
Gimlin, Debra L. Body Work: Beauty and Self-image in American Culture. University of California Press, 2001, 77-78. Web.
Northrop, Jane Megan. Reflecting on Cosmetic Surgery: Body image, Shame and Narcissism. Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2012, 157-159. Web.
Ratcliff, Kathryn Strother. Women and Health: Power, Technology, Inequality, and Conflict in a Gendered World.1st ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 2001, 133-135. Print.