…then you might want to take another look at your values.
I know: that’s BLASPHEMY.
It’s the defense of cosmetic surgery I hear most: “There’s nothing wrong with it if it makes you feel better about yourself.”
I saw it again today, posted by someone who has significant social media influence. They got a lot of agreement. When people are aggressively certain about their position and influence others, it gets my attention.
Especially when that person has missed what I believe to be the larger issue: our society’s need for women to look a certain way, regardless of age. And how women buy the idea that feeling good about themselves depends on their appearance.
THIS is the bigger issue with cosmetic surgery.
If someone needs to get bigger breasts, a facelift or some other appearance-related procedure to feel better about themselves, it seems to me their values are cockeyed.
Appearance is superficial. I believe that valuing the superficial over the substantive is part of what’s wrong with our society. In fact, it puzzles me.
Are we really a better person because we have bigger boobs? Wrinkle-free skin? Or those awful duck lips that, for some unknown reason, seem to be the rage?
Should it matter enough to go under the knife? Or spend thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of dollars on cosmetic surgery?
What does it say about someone if their self-confidence depends on how they look?
More important: what does it say about our society?
I have a different view. Seems to me that we should feel “better” about ourselves if we’re living a good life, doing meaningful work and working on our own personal development. If we are contributing to the world around us.
Hey, I like a great body as much as the next person and maybe more. But how I value someone has nothing to do with that. I know plenty of physically beautiful people with incredible bodies who are not very nice.
If we feel like kicking it up a notch — “improving” ourselves– why not take a course? Develop a reading list? A meditation or yoga practice?
Of course, it begs the question of why we have to feel “better” about ourselves? Why couldn’t we just accept who we are and go from there?
As is often the case, I watched this person’s followers rush to agree, maybe to curry favor or maybe because they haven’t yet developed an opinion of their own. Or are afraid to voice it in the face of such vehemence. Such is the case with people who have influence. If you disagree, you get their version of shouting down. They are very certain of their view.
It won’t be the first time I’ve gotten pushback when I comment that those procedures are unnecessary and even harmful. Because few people today take a moment to think it through. To look at it more broadly.
“I’m all for whatever makes someone feel good about themselves. Each to their own.”
Well, not so fast with that particular justification.
Take a moment and consider the bigger issue. And imagine what the world would be like if we valued kindness, decency and intellectual development over appearance?
What if folks were inspired to spend the same amount of time, money and effort developing their internal selves?
Now that’s a world I’d like to live in.
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