Tag Archive | “ambivalent feelings about cosmetic surgery”

Can’t WE Redefine BEAUTY Without Narrowing Women’s Choices?

Have you heard the latest? We now have an “anti-cosmetic league” composed of a group of beautiful actresses rallying against plastic surgery. This tight knit group of UK pals – Kate Winslet, Rachel Weisz and Emma Thompson – have banded together to promote this cause.

Jumping on the natural beauty bandwagon has women around the world taking “the pledge” against plastic surgery.

On the one hand I applaud these women for raising consciousness about our culture’s obsession with anti-aging and physical perfection, but what does this message say to the rest of us? Women like Winslet, Thompson, and Weisz were blessed with good looks as well as the financial resources to explore all possible self care venues. Most likely they have a bevy of hair stylists, personal trainers, and fashion/beauty consultants at the ready to help them keep up appearances. Can these beauties really know what the everyday women in her 50s and 60s is feeling and thinking? Furthermore, with ages ranging from 36 to 52, these beauties are still relatively young. I wonder if they have yet reached that moment of truth while looking in the mirror or hearing a hurtful, appearance-related comment?

With women being so self-critical, they just don’t need to have more guilt heaped upon them. Most women who choose to improve their appearance through cosmetic surgery already feel some ambivalence. They are at the crossroads of conflicting values. They want to feel better about their physical selves, but don’t want the baggage that comes with that decision. On top of it all, they don’t need to be told that their actions are immoral.

Both cosmetic surgery and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures offer solutions to women’s complicated needs and wants. As results became more natural and pleasing and procedures became safer and more cost effective, the door opened to overuse, abuse and misuse. We now have everyone from family practioners to back door charlatans offering quick and inexpensive anti-aging solutions. Consumer beware!

In a recent Huffington Post article, psychologist Vivian Diller points a crystal clear finger at the probem and a positive direction for refocusing:
Is an anti-cosmetic surgery league the best remedey to an anti-aging obsessed culture? Need we condemn women who opt for dermatological or cosmetic procedures if they chose them to feel better about themselves? Do these famous – and gorgeous – celebrities need be so sanctimonious about it all?

Instead, how about we all join together to become clearer about the choices we have – surgical or otherwise – while we challenge the unrealistic images created by the media and the dangers they present for women trying to achieve them. Isn’t working together against the narrowing definition of beauty – rather than narrowing of women’s choices – our ultimate goal?

I say amen to that.

Have a beautiful life in all respects!