Stephen McCulley, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeon. MBChb, FCS(SA)Plast, FRCS(plast)

Do We Judge Cosmetic Surgery?

Cosmetic surgery is a topic which for many of us can cause some controversy as there can be many conflicting views and opinions surrounding the whole thing.  There can be negative and positive opinions about cosmetic procedures from both people who have and haven’t had cosmetic surgery performed on them.  This raises the question of do we judge cosmetic surgery and if we do, why do we?

There are many different operations and procedures which fall under the category of cosmetic surgery and naturally some procedures are more commonly performed than others.  Perhaps some of the most frequently performed procedures are breast enlargement surgery or asymmetry corrective surgery for women.  According to BAAPS, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the numbers of breast augmentations continue to increase year after year at around 10 percent.  Similarly the number of breast reduction operations performed on men also continues to increase quite considerably and is the second most common procedure requested by men.  There are many reasons for people choosing to have some sort of cosmetic surgery; some opt for procedures for purely cosmetic reasons, or it may be necessary for health reasons as a result of another operation. The majority of people who choose to undergo procedures like botox injections, breast augmentations or tummy tucks usually do so for the simple reason that they wish to improve their personal appearance and how they look to other people.  Other procedures are performed out of a necessity such as removal of excess skin after a dramatic loss of weight or breast reconstruction following a mastectomy as a result of cancer.

People are often very quick to judge others for one reason or another; it seems to be part of our nature as human beings to very often make quick judgements before the full story is known or any details given.  How you judge somebody who has had cosmetic surgery might well be a reflection of your own personal views on cosmetic and plastic surgery; it might also be influenced by whether or not you would consider having it yourself for the same reasons.  Many people make the decision to have some cosmetic work done because they are unhappy with how they look and want to do something to improve their appearance.  If this is the case then they are perhaps more likely to look favourably on other people who choose to have cosmetic surgery as they can perhaps empathise and have a better understanding of the reasons for having surgery.  The other side to this is that there are other people who prefer to age without having any kind of procedure to alter how they look.  It might be the case that they consider trying to look younger as being unnatural if they are content with how their body changes as they get older.  If they have no wish for cosmetic improvements themselves then again this could affect how they view cosmetic surgery in general and they may therefore be slightly more negative towards people who do have surgery.  We all form opinions about everything and very often our thoughts and opinions can be influenced by what we see around us.

Cosmetic and plastic surgery is very often in the public eye as a result of ‘celebrities’ who have had some cosmetic work done whether they are a glamour model who has had breast enlargement surgery or an ageing actor who has had facelifts and a hair transplant.  Media portrayals of well known figures can very influence how you then feel personally about that individual.  If comments are made about a certain celebrity who has had numerous procedures and they are judged harshly and critically then this can in turn affect how you view cosmetic surgery and the people who have it done.  Similarly if a celebrity is praised for their good looks and have had some surgery then you may be more inclined to see surgery as a positive thing which can do some good.

The number of people having cosmetic procedures performed on them continues to increase every year and whilst it can be very easy to make a quick judgement about somebody who has had filler injections or breast enhancements it is always wise to learn a little more about their reasons for having it done before jumping to any conclusions.

Posted: By