Summary: Plastic surgery can be a divisive topic, simply by its nature. People can have strong feelings about the topic. And they all seem to be trying to discuss the same basic question: is it okay to get plastic surgery? This seems like a very general question, but it doesn’t stop people from having opinions one way or the other. Of course, at this site it shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re in favor of plastic surgery for those who desire procedures. Despite that, there seem to be a many people who desire to judge those who get plastic surgery. And we’re really not a fan of that.

Is it okay to get plastic surgery? We try to answer that.

Is it Okay to Get Plastic Surgery?

A lot of people have been talking about plastic surgery lately. This is partly, as always, due to the glut of celebrities going under the knife to maintain their money-making good looks. But it’s also because there have been a couple of well-publicized comments about plastic surgery from, among other sources, the Vatican. It’s not a stretch to say that not all of these discussions have been positive in nature. The main thrust of these conversations seems to generally be something along the lines of, is it okay for people—especially women—to get plastic surgery?

This is a difficult question to answer for a couple of reasons. First, there’s an uncomfortable amount of attention placed mostly on women. Men getting plastic surgery doesn’t seem to be nearly as judged as women getting plastic surgery. And I don’t necessarily mean “judged” in the high-school, deciding someone is a bad person kind of way. I mean “judged” in that the public seems perfectly willing to discuss and make judgments (good and bad) about the women who do indeed go under the knife. Now, it’s true that one might judge a man for doing the same thing, but they don’t seem to be in as much of a rush to judge men in general.

People Like to Talk About Plastic Surgery

Make of that what you will. For whatever reason, we just seem more willing to engage in a debate about women and plastic surgery. And that’s fine. From my personal perspective it seems to echo the unfortunate truth that people are much more inclined to comment on the behavior and appearance of women in general than they are on the behavior and appearance of men.

But let’s get down to this question: is it okay to get plastic surgery? On the one hand—and we’ve seen a couple of celebrities try to be really careful about this—the artificially achieved bodies of people who have undergone plastic surgery seem to perpetuate unrealistic expectations of beauty. One could argue that if you need surgery to be “beautiful,” then that beauty is by definition unachievable by more traditional, natural methods. It’s pretty easy to concede this point, and many plastic surgeons make this clear in their procedure descriptions. One Minneapolis plastic surgery website even states on its liposuction page that the procedure is designed to target pockets of fat that are immune to diet and exercise.

Forming Plastic Surgery Opinions

So, basically, if you can’t get the body you want using diet and exercise, you can use plastic surgery. Why would anyone want to do that? Well, there’s an enormous amount of pressure to look a certain way. And here’s what I mean by that: there’s a certain amount of confidence and self-assurance that comes with not having to deal with that pressure. When you look great and you know it, you can wear what you want without having to think about it. There are all sorts of benefits. Men and women that look “attractive” are more likely to succeed in job interviews, for example (for a wide variety of reasons that we won’t get into here).

Just as we shouldn’t blame someone who decides to be happy no matter their body size and shape (and there are plenty of people out there—and we should hold those people up as a great example rather than, for example, fat shaming them), we should also refrain from blaming those who desire to achieve the type of beauty they are told their entire lives they should encompass. In other words, I’m of the mind that, whatever you decide to do to your body or with your body, you shouldn’t be judged (even if you’re, you know, damaging your body—help is better than judgment).

In the End, it’s Up to You

Here’s what I’m getting at. We can take issue with plastic surgery as a whole. There are some legitimate discussions to be had about body image and so on. But I think we should refrain from bringing that judgment down upon the individuals who, for very understandable reasons, end up pursuing plastic surgery in one form or another.

Because here’s the thing. For many people who want plastic surgery, when they get plastic surgery they report a significant increase in quality of life and self-confidence. In other words, people who want plastic surgery and then who get plastic surgery tend to be pretty happy with what they’ve done. And isn’t that basically the goal of anything we do in life? So is it okay to get plastic surgery? Well, that depends on who you ask. But if you ask most plastic surgery patients, they’ll give you an unequivocal yes. And that’s pretty much the only answer that matters.

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