Self-reflect before you nip and tuck

Published by Taylor Shaw on

Self-reflect before you nip and tuck

Taboo or pop culture?

Some may say invasive or minimally invasive procedures are taboo, but the numbers may disagree with this statement. With 1.1 million posts on Instagram tagged rhinoplasty and endless YouTube videos relating to Brazilian Butt Lifts, it is apparent cosmetic surgery has become a part of popular culture, therefore, making people feel more comfortable to discuss the topic. 

R&B singer Queen Naija and popular influencer Raven Elyse have been transparent about their surgeries. Alongside celebrities, surgeons have been dominating cosmetic surgery conversations. Surgeons such as Dr. Terry Dubrow, Dr. Paul Nassif and Dr. Garth Fisher openly discusses cosmetic surgery on television and in magazines.

The combination of personal experience and professional knowledge, available on social media outlets, allows individuals to gain clarity and insight.

Cosmetic vs. plastic surgery

Plastic surgeons speaking openly about their profession gives people access to statistics and knowledge that can affect his or her decision. 

For example, surgeons are providing clarity between cosmetic and plastic surgery.  Cosmetic surgery and aesthetic surgery are interchangeable. They both refer to the process of “improving” the face or body. Whereas plastic surgery is dedicated to the reconstruction of the body. 

Peaches. Fardeen Sheikh | Avant-Youth

For instance, cleft palate surgery, performed by plastic surgeons, improves the functionality of a person’s lips and mouth, helping them eat and speak effectively. Cosmetic surgeries, such as breast augmentation, are not aimed at making breast function better. It is purely for aesthetic reasons. 

If you are considering cosmetic surgery, it is worthwhile to think about the concept of necessity (functionality) versus choice (aesthetics) to better analyze your decision. It may be helpful to ask yourself questions pertaining to how you view your body and the level of your self-esteem.

Body image

Celebrities have spoken about their body image after undergoing invasive, or minimally invasive, procedures. Society and one’s perception of his or herself can influence an individual’s body image. It is important to ask oneself what is the motivation of having a different appearance, because it forces self-reflection.

Self-esteem and self-confidence

Self-esteem and self-confidence are incorrectly used interchangeably, so it is useful to know the difference. Self-confidence is a person’s ability to trust in oneself and his or her abilities, whereas self-esteem is one’s emotional appraisal of one’s own worth. It is very possible to have a high level of self-confidence and still have a low self-esteem. 

For example, someone can be a confident singer and still think they have too much belly fat, resulting in a negative body image, which affects their self-esteem. Dr. Neel Burton M.D. stated, “People with a healthy self-esteem do not need to prop themselves up with externals such as income, status, or notoriety, or lean on crutches such as alcohol, drugs, or sex. 

Essentially they are using a “band-aid” approach to fix their sentiments. Ask yourself, do you have a high self-esteem or are you confident in your abilities, accolades and achievements, creating high self-confidence?

Changing one’s appearance is a unique experience and it is important to reflect and use trusted sources to help make a decision. Ultimately you have the agency to either engage or not. 

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Taylor Shaw

Taylor Shaw graduated from the University of Georgia with a B.A. in Sociology. She is currently attending the University of Colorado to work on her journalism degree and has aspirations of running her own magazine and writing children’s books.


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