With today’s cultural emphasis on health, longevity and wellness, cosmetic surgery has become a popular accepted extension of improving one’s self image.
At a press conference on “Redefining Vanity”, a social psychologist at Stanford University described a new world in which plastic surgery is acceptable and unstigmatized; a world in which it is “healthy” to do whatever it takes to feel better about yourself. It is a world in which “women and men are increasingly pro-choice about appearance enhancement.”
Women generally do not list aging, career advancement, or attracting a mate as their primary motivation for cosmetic surgery – the top reason given by most women is to feel better about themselves. Cosmetic surgery today is not just about self as in ‘selfish’. It’s about self as in ‘self-worth’, ‘self-confidence’ and ‘self-fulfilling’. To suggest that changing one’s looks can profoundly affect the quality of one’s life is extreme; however, small details of our appearance can be critical determinants of how well we do in our personal life, interactions amongst friends and our professional life.
The circumstances for each individual will be unique. While making the decision whether or not one is a good candidate for cosmetic surgery, it is important to consider the following: nasal surgery will never cure depression, a tummy tuck will not secure a job for which one is not qualified, and a breast reduction will never make your parents or boyfriend love you more.
What cosmetic surgery can provide is the combination of a self-confidence boost and the edge that good looks confer in this society. Potential patients who seem seriously depressed or looking for a quick-fix or impossible results should consider other means for addressing issues that surgical intervention could never resolve. Some patients will take heed in this advice while others will continue to look for a surgeon willing to perform the “quick-fix”. However, the vast majority of people who want a breast augmentation, nasal surgery or liposuction are not emotionally unstable or selfish people. They are realistic women who think a smaller nose, slimmer thighs, or bigger breasts will make them feel good about themselves and be noticed and approved by others.
Can plastic surgery change your life? Yes. Will it? That depends on several factors, most notably: what you look like, what you think you look like, and what aspect of your life needs changing. If your answers point toward having cosmetic surgery, go for it – and focus on how wonderful the new you is going to feel.
Have a plastic surgery question for Dr. Dickie? If so, e-mail us at info@BahamasInstituteOfPlasticSurgery.com . Dr. Kenneth Dickie is certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada in Plastic Surgery. He specializes in Cosmetic Plastic Surgery as well as Plastic, Reconstructive, and Hand Surgery. Dr. Dickie has been in clinical practice since 1984, and is currently a member of the Canadian and American Societies of Plastic Surgery, and the Canadian and American Societies of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. For a consultation, please contact the Bahamas Institute of Plastic Surgery at (242) 351-1234 or toll-free 1(242)300-1235.