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Cosmetic Surgery: A Phenomenon of Empowerment, Not Insecurity

There are many visible trends in cosmetic surgery that can be seen across the country as celebrities from Kim Kardashian to Nicki Minaj continue to dominate the entertainment spotlight. Breast augmentation is up 35%. Buttock implants have nearly doubled in the past year alone. Procedures like tummy tucks and arm lifts are also up. Meanwhile, other operations have decreased in popularity. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, eyelid surgery, facelifts, and forehead lifts have all dropped. Though many trends rise and fall and change over the years, one is consistent: cosmetic surgery, overall, continues to increase both in terms of numbers and public acceptance. Nevertheless, some falsely attribute cosmetic procedures to insecurity and vanity when studies consistently prove the opposite to be true. The high quality procedures such as lip augmentation and rhinoplasty performed by our surgical centers are chosen by patients who do not lack self-esteem and confidence, and actually serve to further empower them.

Though society continues to become more accepting of cosmetic surgery, some continue to hold the misconception that anyone who would want to modify their bodies does so out of shame, or overall discontent with their identity. It’s true that some patients who pursue cosmetic surgery wish to address areas of their bodies that cause them dissatisfaction, however most patients seek cosmetic surgery to enhance their body image, not run away from it. A butt augmentation, for example, is often the result of a patient wanting to amplify their qualities and increase the appeal of their backside. In these cases, the patient’s goal is to simply bring out what they envision to be the best version of themselves.

In addition, though cosmetic surgery is proven to increase self-esteem, confidence, and feelings of self-worth for the patient the vast majority of the time, those who pursue plastic surgery are rarely lacking in confidence and self-esteem. According to the American Psychological Association, most people who seek plastic surgery exhibit self-esteem at normal to above average levels. The study attributes one cause for this trend to the fact that seeking to change one’s position or circumstance requires a base level of confidence in the first place. Patients who pursue cosmetic surgery feel empowered to take control over their bodies, and seek positive results. Conversely, people who struggle with low self-esteem often struggle to take the steps necessary to engage in self-improvement behavior.

When this data is taken into consideration, it’s clear that cosmetic procedures such as operations to adjust facial features or the body are a result of positive mental health that only offer further improvements. As public opinion continues to increasingly view plastic surgery favorably, stigmas and misunderstandings such as these will continue to fade.

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