On Permanent Alterations

Friday, December 19, 2014

       There are plenty of physically beautiful people who have altered their "natural" appearance in order to look the way that they do now. Examples include (to my knowledge) starlets like Natalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, and Megan Fox, from noses to lips and all that's around them. All of these women were beautiful to begin with, and, arguably, didn't need any permanent physical change to be seen as attractive. So does that make what they did wrong?


       People seem to look down upon those who get plastic surgery, unless it is an extreme case where someone merely suffers through daily life due to their appearance (Remember that show: "Extreme Makeover," the actual people edition?). If someone who is already "attractive" gets plastic surgery, it sometimes makes it seem like "well if they did it, then everyone must be supposed to live up to these otherworldly and unnatural standards of beauty."

       I feel like we all change the way we look in some way or another. We dye our hair, whiten our teeth, wear foundation, shave, tan; the list goes on. Is it okay by society's standards to do such things because of the impermanency of them? If we don't like it we can change our minds and fix it, so that makes it better?


      What do you think? Is it wrong of us to condemn plastic surgery, or to condone it? I know a lot of people have strong opinions on this subject. I'd like to hear what you have to say and reflect on it in my next post.

11 comments :

  1. I don't think plastic surgery is wrong or right. If changing a part of your physical appearance for yourself makes you happy then so be it. As long as you're not doing it to look like someone else or because someone told you that you needed it, it's your body so you can do whatever you want with it. It's sad when someone who is already beautiful thinks that they need to have something done because they don't understand their own beauty(Heidi Montag). Although, even if you don't like it I believe we should keep those opinions to ourselves. What are your thoughts on beauty? Do you think you are beautiful and do you think that a women who calls herself attractive is shallow?

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  2. I feel as though everyone is quick to judge people in this society. If someone doesn't feel confident or happy with a certain feature of their body then why not let them change it, it's not hurting anybody? I personally wouldn't want to make any alterations to my body but that doesn't mean I think people are wrong to want to change their own. Everyone own their own life and absolutely no one in this world has the right to tell someone their wrong for what the want/ their opinion.

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  4. Plastic surgery isn't wrong, plain and simple. Sure, people have opposing views, but I don't think that necessarily means that it's wrong to have work done. I wouldn't consider having any work done on myself, but if another person wants to do it, given the risks aren't too high, then I say let them have at it. If it makes them happier and more self-confident, let them be happy and confident. Who are we to shame people for doing what makes them happy while harming no one else? However, if a person is getting work done when the surgical risks are high, then I say go ahead and criticize them. That's when a person is valuing their appearance over their own life and the lives around them, and that's wrong. On another note, I'm sure many people regularly exercise, who also criticize those who have work done because it's a permanent alteration. I think one could argue that exercising to attain a certain appearance could equate to being a "permanent" physical alteration as well. So, as you mentioned, it would be hypocritical for people to judge others because of plastic surgery when they are people who use another form of a permanent alteration.

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  5. The problem, I believe, with plastic surgery is the many risks of it. Wearing foundation doesn´t threaten your life like surgery does. I mean, with all types of surgery there are a large number of factors which can go fatally wrong. And if someone were to get breast implants, there´s always the risk of them popping and the person would get blood poisoning. I think what is "wrong" with plastic surgery is that people are willing to "risk their lives" for the sake of their appearances. That´s a bit sad in my head.

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  6. I think it's because by innate nature, we have the habit of making associations. When we think of the letter X in the alphabet, we are quick to to associate it with words like 'X-ray' or 'Xylophone.' But it's also good to remember that this association is only made by people who understand the English Language. Imagining there are languages that don't have the letter X in their vocabulary.

    The same thing goes with plastic surgery. A lot of the times sadly, we in the West associate it with vanity, insecurity, a flaunting of wealth. Possibly as someone who is so insecure, and is trying to further themselves up the social ladder by enhancing their looks, trying to appeal to the masses by trying to become "ideal" looking, rather than embracing their natural state.

    On the other hand, you have a country like South Korea who HUGELY celebrate plastic surgery like you WOULDNT BELIEVE. It's so popular to the extent that students that pass college entry exams are rewarded with plastic surgery (usually the double eyelid surgery) by their parents as a gift. Ads are everywhere, train stations, libraries, shop windows to the point where it's no longer considered bizarre.

    But I think at the end of it, there's always going to be a conflict with plastic surgery, no matter how liberal a country is, especially in the west. There's always going to be the argument of religion (e.g. God made us all beautiful) or people challenging your ethics and refusing to understand an alternative view.

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  7. I don't think it's wrong, but I don't think it's right either. Nature is beautiful and diversity of people's features are too! When you change your features to fit a specific description of attractiveness, you can lose that uniqueness. I see plenty of things that I wish I could change on my face, but I wouldn't go so far to change them. Even when I age, I don't really see the point in changing my features then either.

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  8. Personally, I don't think plastic surgery is wrong. I do believe that it is a good thing that it's there, that it is available to those who want or possibly even need it. I think what I'm more concerned about is the reason why you're getting it. There's no issue in altering your looks (whether if you are already seen attractive the way you are or not) as long as you want it yourself and you do it solely for yourself. It's a completely different, more questionable scenario if the reason you're getting plastic surgery is because of the pressure from what other people think about your body, and you think you're not good enough based on those criticisms. If you truly believe that altering your body/face will make you significantly more confident/satisfied with yourself, then nothing should stop you from achieving that. But if external influences come to play and make you feel bad about yourself even though you're perfectly happy the way you are, then I think that's where the problem is.

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  9. It's rather funny that you should post about this now, because I got a genioplasty (chin implant) done just a few days ago. My jaw is somewhat undersized naturally and while it wasn't seriously noticeable I was rather self-conscious about it. The surgery itself was relatively minor so my health wasn't at risk at any point. My appearance hasn't changed radically or anything, but my facial features now seem more proportional and overall I'm happy with it and I think it was the right choice for me. As with most other things, my policy is to live and let live. People's decisions about their appearance and whether or not to alter it should be left up to them and them alone.

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  10. hey dayna! this may get a few negative responses but what the hell, im opinionated differently. i think the whole issue on self modification has been limited to only "its wrong" or "its right". black and white stances. people have depth,and then so social issues like this do too. i believe people who have gone under the knife (or injections hehe), just simply didnt reach personal peace with themselves in time. the quote "you can only be you" was never excercised. as a person who spent quite some time to accept myself as I was, to truly love myself ,flaws and all, I see those who alter their appearances werent patient enough to go through the trial of self-love. sure, its hard as fuck! but thats what makes anything a real accomplishment, taking the "hard" trail through a journey. i think that makes it more special, when you look at the same face/body you once loathed and now look at it and smile and think "i love who i see looking back through the mirror". now,thats beautiful..in MY opinion. anyone agree or disagree? i would love to read what other people have to say about what i voiced. have a good day everyone. :)

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  11. In my opinion plastic surgery for beauty reasons is pointless. I feel as though people have lost or take advantage of what its like to experience life in this human body. We should be consious of what we do and put into our bodies and love them for what they are. We are a soul experiencing a body not a body with a soul. I feel as though people should detach themselves from the media, news, and other sources that are altering how we feel about the body that we see in the mirror its dehumanizing and makes us obsessive. But if someone was born with a birth defect like clef lip that impairs them to do everyday things like eating, drinking, talking then plastic surgery can mean the world. Again this is my personal opinion and I respect and value others opinions thank you for letting me share my views. Much Love xx

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By Dayna Frazer

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