When talking about plastic surgery with my parents, I find that they are not against the idea of plastic surgery. My mom even told me that it’s important to find a significant other with a compatible and nice personality as people can change how they look with plastic surgery but not their personality. My impression was that plastic surgery was something monumental. I thought getting a plastic surgery was like starting a new life. Of course, this stemmed from my misconception that people always dramatically change how they look with plastic surgeries. Well I guess I might have been wrong on that.
This article shows some of the positive boost that small plastic surgery can bring. Dara Schafer from New York State got a nose surgery and her response about having that surgery was thus, “[The biggest change that resulted from my surgery is] more confidence. If you don’t like what you see on the outside, you’re not going to feel good on the inside. Plastic surgery might not be the answer to everything, but it will solve a small portion of it.”. She also mentions that people generally don’t even notice that she got a nose surgery and that she didn’t expect it to change her life. Another case from the article is of Brittany Price from California, who got a breast reduction because she was having trouble with the size of her breasts. Many people assume that people only get breast surgery to make it bigger but Brittany did the opposite because kids at her school made fun of her and she wanted to wear cute clothes that she couldn’t fit.
Another article I found was a study done on people who underwent plastic surgery and followed several months afterwards to see if it had any psychological effect. The result was that, overall, people who underwent surgery had positive boost in “anxiety, social phobia, depression, body dysmorphia, goal attainment, quality of life, life satisfaction, attractiveness, mental and physical health, well-being, self-efficacy and self-esteem.” What I would like to know is the average age of the people in the study. Did age matter at all in how plastic surgery affected people’s psychology?
So maybe it’s not so terrible to get a plastic surgery. However, just like any other controversial issues in the world, I’m sure there are negative effects of plastic surgery too.
Everywhere we venture, we are exposed to some sort of media content. This journal article discusses how body appreciation in the media does protect women from the thin-idealization of the media. We are beginning to see more coverage on the media that promotes the idea that women should love their body such as the “speakbeautiful” campaign by Dove. Although these positive messages increase the esteem of women and girls all across America and play a role in building a healthier mental body image of themselves, does it ignore the serious obesity rates in the United States? For example, this ad featured on Buzzfeed highlights an obese model on Torrid’s new collection. This Buzzfeed article praises Torrid for using the beautiful Tess Munster in their new collection. Tess Munster is considered obese for her size.
Surely we want people to feel good about him or her self mentally, but it is critical to promote the idea of a healthy and active lifestyle given our growing rates of obesity in the United States. 20.5% of adolescents in America are considered obese and 68.5% of adults are considered overweight or obese. Certainly, having the thin-idealization in media did not help curve the statistics, but displaying obese models will not help either. Maybe when promoting the body appreciation images, companies or campaigns should use healthy models. Models should be measured in weight and height within the healthy ranges of BMI in order to appear in the media. This is especially important for the media that usually has children and adolescents as audience members because we want to instill this message in them. Hopefully, this message carries over into adulthood and the pattern continues for future generations to come.
The Eurocentric standard of beauty is one of the most blatantly oppressive standards, and has far reaching effects that some may not realize. This study mentions that one of the most common stereotypes is that Black women fail to measure up to society’s standard of beauty. This standard of beauty places an impossible goal on all women of color, and has especially affected Black women because of racist history they have experienced surrounding white beauty. Starting during slavery, when lighter skinned female slaves received house duty and darker skinned female slaves received backbreaking fieldwork, lighter skin was valued by white society. This has led to what some call the lily complex, where Black women cover up their natural features because they do not feel they are beautiful, and can only be “when they are impersonating someone else”.
This oppressive standard of beauty affects other women of color as well. According to this article, Asian women are even going as far as having plastic surgery to conform to the Eurocentric standard of beauty. They are having double eyelid surgery to make their eyes look more “white”, and even have been lightening their skin. Even TV anchor Julie Chen had surgery to make her eyes appear more “white” after a TV producer told her eyes looked too “Asian”. Latina women are often affected as well, as this article indicates that even the Latino media has been creating a Eurocentric standard of beauty in their content, which has had negative effects on their self-esteem, leading to depression. This has led many Latina women to have plastic surgery and lighten their skin in order to conform to the standard placed upon them by society.
It is clear to me that the white majority in society has valued light skin as the standard of beauty for centuries. Women who do not confirm to this standard are made to believe they are not beautiful, making them only feel beautiful when they have white features. This has led to devastating consequences, driving women of color to low self-esteem, depression, and even to surgically modify their body or lighten their skin to conform to this standard. In my opinion, women should not be made to feel inferior because of who they are, and should be free to be their natural selves and still feel beautiful. Because beauty has no color, and this oppressive standard needs to change.
It is no hidden reality that everyone is busy nowadays in trying to fit into an ever narrowing social ideal because that is how others want them to act. This social ideal is impressed upon a mass population by our social media which makes people insecure and uncomfortable with how they naturally are. Teenagers form the most vulnerable and most susceptible age group. This is because they very easily become a prey to the propaganda instigated by social media which is about looking thinner and more beautiful. The craze to look like the famous TV stars has reached its zenith currently because it seems like there is no place for a kid in our society anymore who does not look like a model. Just like what we watched on Monday, as Jean Kilbourne said, we cannot be the one we watched on TV, ads or magazines since it is not real. An ideal body image portrayed by magazines and television is always photoshoped. Even before I post a selfie on Facebook or Instagram, I usually use an app to prettify and make me looks thinner and whiter. Research also supports this idea that social media negatively influences body image and the research shows that girls are hurt even more than boys in this matter. This practice of social media to impose an ideal on our teenagers is highly objectionable in my opinion. Research claims that the US media environment is so sexually charged that it forces female to “fit into an ever narrowing ideal of female beauty”. Every day we see many young girls pressurized by our society and culture into fitting into defined sizes for chest, waist, and hips. This formula of “36-24-36” is mentioned in many songs and it is popularized by music and fashion alike. It should not be forgotten that it influences women in a devastating way. This is because teenagers in particular stress so much in adjusting their bodies according to a set physical measurement formula that it makes many clinically depressed.
Written by Jinghan Wang
In 2014, liposuction became the number one most performed surgery in the United States with projected number of 363,912 procedures performed , which is up 16% compared to last year, nationwide according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). It’s not only liposuction that saw an increase in number of procedures performed, other top five surgical procedures saw an increase anywhere between 2 to 5 percent. One of the interviewees, President of ASAPS, asserts that this is not a surprising news citing advances in technology, less-invasive procedures, accessibility and rebounding economy as major factors in why plastic surgery has been seeing so much increase.
It’s hard to argue against raw numbers and say plastic surgery has not grown since recession. Even if the article is from a society that specializes in plastic surgery, the article has methods they used to estimate projected data at the bottom and going as far as to state that they have worked with independent research firm in compiling the data. There’s no denying that plastic surgery has seen a rapid increase. However, the article does not mention any type of plastic surgery that declined in popularity. Thus, unless every type of plastic surgery has increased in number of procedures, readers should take note of the fact.
According to Newsweek’s article Plastic Surgery Is More Popular Than Ever, plastic surgery business has been growing steadily since the 2008 recession while money spent on necessities, food, clothes, housing, have declined between 2009 and 2010. The article gives credit to the industry’s aggressive marketing for driving the rise of plastic surgery. Discounted liposuction through Groupon and Botox party is one thing but the article also mentions media’s role in the trend. The article specifically mentions sitcom stars and actresses with surgery enhanced lips and cheekbones. The industry has aesthetic-marketing strategist who consults doctors on how to best advertise their service.
To the question presented in the title, my answer would be yes. There’s been undoubtedly huge influence on plastic surgery business and media. I agree that there have been a lot of TV personalities who went through plastic surgery and that even people who proclaim to not endorse plastic surgery only give more media spotlight to it than take it away. I’m also surprised that the article didn’t touch on how media portrays certain body images to be more desirable, leading people to hold conviction that they have to look certain way. The article does mention a study conducted by YMCA that showed quarter of kids age 11 to 16 considered plastic surgery.
With the development of science and technology, most people have a smart phone, even not expect children and teens. Within the popularity of the social media bring us convenience, it brings the crisis to teenagers as well. In recent years, people’s dissatisfaction of their body is widespread. Moreover, the bulk of empirical evidence also shows that low self-esteem, body dissatisfaction is related to eating disorders, low life satisfaction and high correlation. Models’ body shape constantly present in the mass media and share on Facebook, Instagram and other social media affects the teenagers’ body satisfaction.According to the data from Katie Lepi’s post, there is over 95% of teens (12-17) use the Internet and 81% use social media. Most of the content that teenagers share is Selfies and of cause, girls use social networks more frequently than the boys, 14 years and older of adolescents using social networks more frequently than the adolescents 12 and 13 year olds. I feel definitely agree that social media influences teen as that age on body image. As my personal experience, I was pretty fat before 14 years old, and from that time, I started to care about my appearance and lose weight. At that time I had tried diet pill and was on a diet. I think what makes me do so is because during and after adolescence, teenagers especially girls are more care about her appearance and self-respect is stronger. People will be ideal for these thin images of internalization, named “body ideal internalization”. This idea is from Caroline Knorr’s article, She asked if social media give teens a negative body image. She believes that social media do influences teens but parents should play the important role to give teenagers a right concept. As my opinion, body image doesn’t just happen. It’s a complex phenomenon influenced by many factors, including parents, peers, and social contexts. But in this modern and technological society, Facebook and other social media play a powerful role in shaping teenagers’ body image and body satisfaction.
Written by Jinghan Wang
By Peter Graef
According to this article by Lexie Kite and Lindsay Kite in the blog beauty redefined, a particularly oppressive ideal of beauty excludes women of color. According to the article, even though one third of the US population is nonwhite, there is a serious lack of portrayals of women of color in the media. The article states that the reality is even when women of color are portrayed in the media, the examples of them being portrayed as beautiful of desirable are almost nonexistent.
When these Eurocentric ideals of beauty are questioned, there is often resistance. According to this article by the Daily Targum, this was especially signified by the online comments following the crowning of Nina Davuluri as miss America in 2013. Following Davuluri’s win, the internet erupted with racist comments. Even though Davuluri was Indian-American, people on twitter referred to her as a terrorist and much worse. There were some comments that said “this is America, not India”, and some people on twitter questioned why the runner up, a white woman from Kansas, did not win because she was more of a “real American”. The writer of the article goes on to say that the use of the word “American” to many means white, and the backlash surrounding Davuluri being crowned miss America “proves we are not in a post racial society yet”.
Both of these articles made excellent points that I definitely agree with. It seems the standard of beauty in the US, at least for a woman, has been “whitewashed”. Watching TV myself, I notice some of the themes that these articles bring up. It seems for all the talk of a post racial society, the idea seems premature if there are so many people who still don’t see realistic portrayals of themselves in the media. This standard of beauty is unfair and incomplete, and it has a devastating effect on girls and women of color, as I will write about in future posts.