Plastic Surgery Ridicule – Why is Making Fun Acceptable?

Anonymous_1 on 14 Mar 2011 at 12:00am

Why is it acceptable – indeed, nearly a sport – in the media and pop culture to make fun of plastic surgery?
It’s understandable when a surgery goes awry and makes headlines - as they say in the news, if it bleeds, it leads. Then there are the Heidi Montags and Catwomen of the world; they portray extremes, and capture our collective fascination.
But the majority of people who have elective surgery seem to want to slip under the radar, driven by one of two factors – to boost confidence and self-esteem, or for health-driven reasons.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery* reports that, among Americans who would consider cosmetic surgery, 88% of women and 69% of men want family members to say they look better but "like the same person."
The survey also found that, of the 39% of women and 22% of men who wish they could change their appearance, only 15% of women and 10% of men said they would make an extreme change.
Gawker writer Richard Lawson asks, “What I truly don't get is how normal people, regular folks like you and your mom, could see those results [like Montag] and still say ‘Yes, sign me up!’”
Sure, as with everything in life, there are extremes. But there are also tremendous results from plastic surgery: life-changing results, like gastric bypass, that allows patients to live healthier lives with reduced risk for stroke, diabetes and other health concerns. Surgeries like scar removal, which can restore confidence to abuse victims.
Even the much-maligned-in-pop-culture breast implants can restore confidence in appearance and boost self-esteem, for very personal reasons.
Here's an example of a cartoonish extreme. Yes, this can be seen as humorous - but perhaps more attention should be paid as to why some people are driven to such lengths. What does that say about our culture?
Data source: ASAPS