Yes to cosmetic surgery

This blog concerns a controversial and personal issue: To have cosmetic surgeries and other appearance altering processes. Scotty, my best friend whom I blogged about recently, suggested I discuss this (and he gave me his permission to use his example).

Some people will argue that altering your appearance betrays a sense of self-loathing or a feeling of inadequacy. However, I find that to be hypocritical. Have you ever styled and/or colored your hair? Do you wear contact lenses? Bleach your teeth? How much jewelry do you wear? Do you paint or manicure your fingernails? Do you work out or practice tanning? Do you ever wear makeup, or purchase clothing that in someway hides/accents traits about your body? Do you have piercings or tattoos? All of these choices modify your appearance. Why surgery is more taboo than the others is quite beyond me.

I think what is most important is that you be comfortable in your own skin. Scotty was scared I would judge him poorly for electing to get pec implants. But that is not the case. I will explain why.

Normally I would frown upon steroids, implants, and unnecessary cosmetic surgeries. Then I realized something: Who gets to decide what is “necessary?” Scotty, when he was very young and still growing quickly, was in a very bad accident. The doctors had to reconstruct his ribcage. They took too much cartilage, and this has affected the shape of one of his chest muscles ever since. The rib underneath that pectoral juts forward now, causing one pec to look considerably larger than the other. The asymmetry is a source of constant insecurity for Scotty. No amount of working out will correct this visual effect. He has found a doctor who can perform an implant.

If Scotty can pay $5,000 for peace of mind on this issue, why should he not? Isn’t his confidence and self-esteem worth that much? That money spent on that implant would change his entire life. I hope he does get this cosmetic surgery – not because I think he needs it, but because I know how much happier he will be when this is put to rest.

As for other examples: If Michael Jackson and his siblings hadn’t become famous at a time when blacks and afrocentric forms of beauty were completely marginalized they may not have felt the need to have had the surgeries they’ve undergone (but at the same time, if the Jacksons hadn’t helped break down racial barriers those prejudices might still be just as strong to this day. Michael Jackson is almost like a sacrificial victim: He gave up his blackness so that other black artists wouldn’t have to??). People mock those who have cosmetic surgery, but I think it’s a wonder of modern science. Anything can be abused, that doesn’t make it evil unto itself.

Would I have these surgeries? Right now, no. I don’t think I need them. Of course there are details I’d improve or change if I could do so easily; however, none of my facial incongruities cause me enough turmoil to go that route. My demon, as I’ve said before, is stature/weight, and that is something I can address on my own through fitness.

Do what makes you comfortable and happy. But, for something as permenant as surgery, get lots of information from a variety of sources first. Be sure that your doctor has completed thousands of successful procedures, and be sure that s/he is licensed and practices the latest techniques. You want your surgery to blend away your insecurities – not create new ones.

Author: Devon Hunter

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5 Comments

  1. I had my nose done in college, and it was the best thing for me. I always had felt insecure about my large nose, and felt it detracted from my appearance. The doc didn’t do anything extreme, just a modest change.

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  2. i say yeah for cosmetic surgery. as i am losing weight, parts seem to be going south. i just wish the health care flexible spending accounts could be used for cosmetic surgery. i for one would have everything lifted, nipped, and tucked. as i approach the mid century mark, i am doing what i can to kick father time in the back side.

    devon, you are right, people color their hair and wear contacts or have laser eye surgery, etc. to enhance their appearance and i think it is just a matter of taking pride in how they look. i will admit, i had the laser eye surgery and it was the best $3,000 that i have ever spent. as for my hair, at my age, i am fortunate to have it to color it. at one time my original color was dark brown, it is now a medium brown with occasional highlights….(whispering….the original color is white now….lol). to think, i am just an portly old bureaucrat, but i like to look as good as i possibly can.

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  3. Ok, So only two people who are really close to me have had it, so i can only speak from that limited experience. My cousin is about 130lbs, 5’9” and married to one of the greatest guys around. She has one problem though. She had NO chest. Her husband didnt care, God knows it never stopped them from “gettin it on”, but it really bugged her. She couldnt wear clothes that would look great on most women. She decided to have breast implants, which for a conservative fundamentalist christian, thats kind of a big deal. It was really funny to see her relatives try to figure out wha was different about her. She is just happy she can wear clothes that make her feel good. As, long as people appraoch anything with moderation I think it can be good. As for me, I plan on just keeping what i have and adding some (muscle that is). I want to age gracefully, grey is not a bad thing, i just want to make sure i ahve a kicking bod. I gues weight is my lil demon, I gain a pound and I complain.

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  4. In a way, cosmetic surgery is an extreme for appearance. We always feel the need to look good, but once the borderline crosses between looking good for others to looking good for ourselves, the desire becomes a need. A secure, peaceful state of mind is definitely worth the cost, but I could never really get over cosmetic surgery. When a person is insecure about the way they look, they should mediate that state of mind, not the appearance. Of course, reconstructive surgery post accident is completely different. Still, I could never really agree with the cosmetic surgery.

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  5. Wow, almost five years have passed since I wrote this… Looking back, I definitely understand why he wanted the pec implant (especially since he’s an adult entertainer), but to my knowledge he never had it done. I’ve been out of touch with Scotty for quite a while now, but the update I got from a mutual friend recently is that he went the route of steroids (again) instead.

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