Why Cosmetic Surgery Should Not Be Banned

This article explores why banning cosmetic surgery is not an effective solution for addressing issues related to physical appearance.

Why Cosmetic Surgery Should Not Be Banned

The ban on plastic surgery could have a drastic effect on the number of doctors who specialize in the field of aesthetic changes. This could make it difficult to find a cosmetic surgeon when needed for health problems. A shortage of doctors could cause physical pain for many people, as they wait for an appointment with one of the few remaining cosmetic surgeons. It is argued that undergoing a risky cosmetic surgery procedure to look better could be one of the most irrational and foolish decisions a healthy person could make.

It can be said that surgery is an invasive traumatic assault and, even under the best circumstances, it makes a person worse before there is a chance of getting better. Pain, swelling, bruising, and scar tissue usually forms. Without a guarantee of success, the result can lead to terrible, life-changing consequences. Banning cosmetic surgery will force people to find more dangerous ways to achieve certain styles, whether through unqualified surgeons or self-made Internet kits. This could result in a medical disaster.

Unreliable fillers and failed surgeries already exist, and banning legal cosmetic surgery would only amplify the number of people found in dangerous situations. The media often portrays teenagers undergoing cosmetic surgery in greater numbers than ever before, but this is far from the truth. Annual data increasingly show a reduction in the percentage as well as in the absolute number of these surgeries. Only very essential surgery should be performed for teenagers. The consultation must take place in the presence of a parent, and even if the adolescent is above the legal age of consent, parental supervision is still needed.

A period of reflection, informed consent under parental supervision and a time to rethink are essential. If a problem is serious enough to cause psychological problems, a psychologist can help make a decision. Cosmetic surgery has become increasingly popular due to its social and medical benefits. Cosmetic surgeons are also helpful when it comes to helping people recover from disfiguring situations. Lesley Sharp argues that cosmetic surgery patients are “victims of oppressive and idealized standards of beauty, in which physical appearance drives definitions of self and social value”.

My problem with cosmetic surgery is that it's a commercial industry that seems to be based on self-loathing and perpetuates the idea of the natural body as an undesirable body. Psychological studies have reported a reduction in the psychological burden in adolescent girls undergoing cosmetic surgery, especially in the breast surgery group, suggesting that the burden related to problems related to appearance, in particular the breasts, decreased significantly after surgery. A study on cosmetic surgery found that, in the months after surgery, patients were “healthier, less anxious and more confident”. If cosmetic surgery were banned, many people would not be able to make a decision that would ultimately leave them happier and more confident. Things are never simple when you remove something someone once had; eliminating the option of having cosmetic surgery would undoubtedly cause great discomfort and anger. In addition, research indicates that cosmetic surgery is a low-risk procedure and that the risk of dying in any surgical procedure is between 1 in 250,000.

By authorizing subsidized cosmetic surgery for those who cannot afford it, the Brazilian government legitimises discrimination based on female appearance and reinforces sexist and patriarchal ideals of beauty. Global advertising for cosmetic surgery adopts a camouflaged language of “liberation” and “agency”, in order to persuade women that they are able to choose to undergo such surgeries in order to “improve themselves”. Cosmetic surgery can help transform facial features and other body features that make people feel self-conscious.

Mary Boucher Brown
Mary Boucher Brown

Certified entrepreneur. Avid twitter guru. Hardcore coffee nerd. Passionate music advocate. Friendly twitter guru.

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