Going under the knife

Amanda Jane Yap on cosmetic surgery and why it might not be worth the hassle at all

28th November 2016

Plastic surgery has evolved from restorative procedures for burns victims and people suffering from facial deformities to procedures to beautify a perfectly unharmed face.

Cosmetic surgery originated from Ancient Egypt, though it was not used on the living but on the dead. Slowly it spread to India where the cosmetic procedures were utilised to repair noses or ears that were detached as a punishment for crimes committed or in battle. However, these days is the dissatisfaction of one’s own looks that prompts the plastic surgery trend.

In the 21st century, appearance is valued over other inner qualities. Vehemently deny it if you will, however, both you and I know that people often judge you on your outer appearance before determining if he or she has a good or bad character? Subconsciously, we rely on outer appearance to get the upper hand during an important job interview or to make the opposite sex to do a double take and grab their attention during a social gathering. It is largely the belief that our lives will significantly improve as we improve our looks, solving to all our personal and professional problems. The dangerous part is that plastic surgery is addictive, the first procedure could be getting double eyelids and before you realise, your face has undergone massive face reconstruction to look like Kourtney Kardashian. (An exaggeration, but you get the drift.)

Society needs to be reminded that every one of us is genuinely loved not because of our looks, but because of who we are. There needs to be more emphasis on celebrating one’s inner beauty because there will always be somebody out there that you will deem ‘better looking’ than yourself. Ultimately, it is not worth the time, pain and money because, as cliché as it sounds, you lose your unique essence in the race to be one of the same.

“Subconsciously, we rely on outer appearance to get the upper hand”

In South Korea, the cosmetic surgery culture is positively booming and showing no signs of dying down. The trend of the doe-eye look for the females and the high nose bridge for the males can be seen on every blown-up billboard across South Korea, Korean celebrities are ambassadors of these mainstream looks. It becomes ridiculous when young girls just barely out of high school request for minor plastic surgery procedures as their 16th birthday present or as a reward for getting into a prestigious university. I strongly believe that there should be an age limit for people who wish to undergo plastic surgery. At the innocent age of 16 years old, looks should not dominate every waking moment of a teen’s life. What makes the formative teen years memorable are the friendships you develop while struggling through the demands of high school. The age limit is not to discourage people from improving their image but rather, it is to protect the innocence of fragile youths whose self-esteem is dependent on his or her looks.

This is something the plastic surgeons are reluctant to reveal is that the bigger the operation, the more risks involved. Take, for instance, a tummy tuck, even after a successful procedure, it is possible that an infection or gangrene can occur during recuperation. The repercussions could exceed monetary damage and more often than not, the emotional damage: the unrest and fear of seeing your body ruined by an unexpected turn of events.

We can all say that ‘these things definitely won’t happen to us’, the risks are one to a hundred, and yet again there is no 100% guarantee, right? Aside from botched operations, there is a possibility that the outcome you have in mind is completely different from reality. The urge to patch up the ‘damage’ becomes a never-ending cycle of cosmetic work needed to be done. Ultimately, I feel that plastic surgery only becomes necessary when urgent restorative work is needed especially on burns victims or to fix deformity caused by an accident. There is no complete assurance that the brand-new you will be happy, for all you know, you may constantly live in a state of dissatisfaction. After all, what is the point of fixing what is not broken?

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