#3 – #WWSK 2017
We live in an age where self-importance and relevance is rated based on physical appearance, where one feels inferior because we have unconsciously crafted out a certain physical attributes that we see as the perfect body image.
What then is body image? Body image is the mental representation one creates but it may or may not bear close relation to how others actually see you. Body image is subject to all kinds of distortion from internal elements like our emotions, moods, early experiences, attitudes of our parents and much more. Nevertheless, it strongly influences behaviour (Psychology Today, healthprofs.com, 2017).
It can be deduced from the definition of body image that irrespective of our physical appearance, our real viewpoint of ourselves arises from the internal mirror image and these can hinge from all sorts of factors. Searches have shown that there are vast majority of the world population whom have indulged in cosmetic plastic surgery just to improve what they think is a flawed body image or to conform to the generally accepted perfect body image for instance late Michael Jackson e.t.c.
Plastic surgery is a surgical specialty involving the restoration, reconstruction or alteration of the human body. It has two categories which are reconstructive surgery which includes craniofacial, hand surgery, micro surgery and the treatment of burns and cosmetic or aesthetic surgery which aims to reconstruct a part of the body or improve its functions or its appearance (Wikipedia 2017).
Reconstructive plastic surgery aims to improve or correct impairments of a/some part(s) of the body which was caused by developmental abnormalities, infection, diseases or burns and in this case it can be understood that its clinically important to make the individual’s live easier whereas cosmetic plastic surgery is an intentional choice made by individuals on normal parts of the body because of several superficial reasons.
Firstly, one of the many reasons why people expend voluminously on cosmetic plastic surgery is phobia for ageing forgetting that one of the laws of life is that everything that has a beginning will have an end no matter how much you want to prolong or extend it. Second reason is defining beauty based on physical appearance or comparison with a publicly accepted model. The saying that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder is totally right because one person’s mirror view of beauty is different from the next person and if that is the case why conform to a trend of what beauty is. We all forget that each individual is a masterpiece and there is no copy of anyone no matter how much one try to reconstruct the body image to be exactly as another. Another reason is being uncomfortable in one’s own skin and the overzealous need to erase some so called body marks like birthmarks and so forth.
As the statistics of persons who advocate for aesthetic plastic surgery increases, the effects seem to elude those involved because of the immediate gratification it brings them. They forget or wave aside that surgery is already risky on its own and that willingly subjecting oneself to the surgical blade because of sentimental reasons is like willingly going to the gallows hoping you will escape hanging.
The emotional effects are hardly considered in respect to cosmetic plastic surgery and these arises from the plastic surgery obsession where a slight physical difference is seen as an anomaly. The funny thing is those that engage in cosmetic plastic surgery are hardly content with the outcome of any plastic surgery they undergo and these in the long run will lead to an emotional meltdown, their body image will never be perfect in their eyes.
Clinical complications like hematoma, nerve damage, implant failure or even organ damage which may arise from surgeries should be enough deterrent for anyone who wants to venture into cosmetic plastic surgery just to meet up a particular physical trend. Another interesting thing about this cosmetic plastic surgery is that as much as you expend a lot of money to undergo it you expend more to maintain it.
Finally it can be seen that a good body image which arises from a healthy knowledge, understanding and acceptance of oneself is preferable to trying to invert the mirror image to suit what you think should be the real you. We are all individually unique and it’s high time we accept and see ourselves as beautiful.