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20.09.2018

Can body positivity and boob jobs mix?.

A few months ago, a friend I know got a boob job. To me, they looked good. They seemed like a natural size and shape and she was over the moon with the results. The only bad thing was the amount of hate and judgement she got from people, especially other women, on the grounds...
Time: 12:41     Date: 11.07.2018
US Living News: Can body positivity and boob jobs mix?. NY Post 24 - US News

Fake. Plastic. Vain. Ridiculous. Bowing to the patriarchy’s narrow beauty ideal. These were just some of the nasty adjectives used to hate on this particular woman’s choice to have plastic surgery.

But in 2018, this judgment took me aback because I’m sure, like many people, I could name dozens of women (and men) I know who have turned to cosmetic enhancements to achieve the appearance they want.

Plastic surgery is not uncommon

A recent study commissioned by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery found that the number of cosmetic procedures performed on women has increased by 538 percent since 1997 (325 percent for men).

So, with procedures becoming more and more common, I think many people throwing shade on others about going under the knife (or needle?) might live in glass houses?

Now, even though I fully support the body positive movement — I want women to love their bodies as much as possible — I don’t think surgery is as detrimental to one’s self-confidence as some would like to argue. And I’m not alone. Model, and prominent #BoPo activist, Iskra Lawrence seems to share a similar view.

Whilst Lawrence, who is known for pushing messages of unabashed self-acceptance to her 4 million Instagram followers, hasn’t admitted to having any surgery herself — she credits the gym for her slamming body — she has spoken about her mother’s nose job and said, “it’s the best thing she ever did.”

“It’s wonderful that people have that opportunity to change their lives [with surgery] if it’s something that affected them,” the 27-year-old Brit once told Cosmopolitan. “Just making sure you do it for the right reasons and you do it for you, I think that’s the main thing”.

When I’m happy my tongue sticks out a lil when I smile.. What makes you all happy? ❤️❤️❤️ Bikini : @aerie #spreadasmile #noretouching #aeriereal

A post shared by i s k r a (@iskra) on Mar 30, 2018 at 7:34am PDT

Understanding the reasons people get surgery

Of course, understanding the “right reasons” is always crucial when it comes to permanently changing your body, particularly for the doctors who perform these surgeries, says Dr. Lara Devgan.

The top-ranked New York City-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon tells Whimn.com.au that contrary to what you might see on “Botched,” no credible plastic surgeon would operate on someone showing signs of body dysmorphia because they make sure patients understand surgery is “medicine and it’s not magic.”

“I think plastic surgery can be extremely powerful and transformative in helping people feel like the best versions of themselves,” Devgan says. Adding that she’s always wary of patients who show “red flags and warning signs that indicate a mismatch between expectations and reality.”

“Plastic surgery will not save a failing marriage, it will not cure depression, and it will not rid you of psychological problems.”

But, it can change your life in other ways, says 25-year-old Brodie MacPherson.

‘Surgery was necessary for me to live a full life’

MacPherson, who is the little sister of prominent Australian actor Daniel MacPherson, says her dramatic weight loss was the reason she underwent a full abdominal reconstruction, commonly known as a “tummy tuck.”

“I was obese for all of my adult life and lost half of my body weight,” MacPherson tells Whimn.com.au. “I was left with excessive loose skin which was not only cloaking my whole body, it was making everyday tasks more challenging and causing skin irritations.”

MacPherson underwent a six-hour surgery in 2017 to remove excess skin — six pounds of which came from her stomach alone. She describes the procedure as “extreme” but says, “it was necessary for me to live a full life.”

A year after going under the knife to change herself physically, MacPherson says her relationship with her body feels healthier than ever.

“You can still be body positive and undergo cosmetic enhancements,” Brodie explains. “You can love yourself and still explore cosmetic options, whether it be coloring your hair to enhancing your breasts.”

Brodie says being accepting of hair highlights while criticizing lip injections represents a societal “double standard.”

“Yes, there are levels of extremity,” MacPherson acknowledges, “but at their core, both choices stem from wanting to enhance your physicality.”

And double standards when it comes to beauty enhancements and the plastic surgery prejudice are not hard to spot.

The double standards when it comes to judging people’s surgery

Facials with “collagen-like results” and creams with “plumping properties” are widely tolerated — remember when Sandra Bullock got all the LOLs when she admitted to getting penis facials made with the foreskins of babies on “The Ellen Show:”? — but doing something that will actually get rid of wrinkles, like Botox, is portrayed as a step too far. So, just like horny teenagers at bible camp, many seem content with doing “everything but” will save them from sanctimonious judgement.

Whilst I can concede we do live in a world that still makes women feel they must look a certain way to feel beautiful, surely we can work toward diversifying those narrow ideals whilst not completely condemning people who find some happiness in plastic surgery.

Everyone’s journey to self-love looks different

In her book, “The Beauty Myth,” writer Naomi Wolf states that “a consequence of female self-love is that the woman grows convinced of social worth.”

She explains, “Her love for her body will be unqualified, which is the basis of female identification. If a woman loves her own body, she doesn’t grudge what other women do with theirs; if she loves femaleness, she champions its rights.”

So, at the end of the day, if the ultimate mission of body positivity is to champion self-love, then attempting to shame someone into feeling better about themselves more seems like an idea far more toxic than my friend’s silicone breasts.

Living

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