Mirror, mirror on the wall who is the prettiest of them all? As I get older every year, this is the question that I see many people asking themselves. Some people accept who they are and carry on with their lives, for better or for worse. Then there are others who simply cannot accept themselves for who they are. Those who struggle to love themselves have an insecurity that they will try to fix in a number of different ways. Some will become recluses and get all caught up in their technology, others will use jokes and humor, and then there are some who will use plastic surgery. By no means am I stating that plastic surgery is wrong. I completely understand that plastic surgery can help reconstruct a function a person has lost on their body. It is the cosmetic use of plastic surgery that needs to be addressed. It seems that plastic surgery has become a way of making the human body more appear more “natural” and thus happier.
Modern culture in America is a vicious cycle. First, the country seems to be obsessed with who looks young, healthy, and beautiful. It’s no wonder that many celebrities subject themselves to go under the knife in order to have the spotlight on them. All this attention on cosmetic plastic surgery is dangerous because it gives people a false sense of acceptance and confidence. During the lecture by Tanya Sheehan, a show known as the Swan was introduced. The show centred on a group of women who were known as ugly ducklings and were given multiple cosmetic surgeries in order to turn them into beautiful swans. I brought this show up because it just amplifies the ridiculous amount of importance we place on our outwards appearance. Our society wouldn’t have made this show unless there was strong interest and profit in it. What was one of the most disappointing things about this show for me was how similar all the contestants looked at the end of the show. They all had the same face, bust, and skin tone. They looked more like dolls than people, and yet they were happy because they felt like they were accepted.
This search for perfection is not new. In fact this constant journey for the perfect human body was a main focus in ancient Greece. Many artists in antiquity loved to sculpt and paint art with “perfectly natural” human characteristics. If we take a look at the art from this time we can see many people with perfect skin, smile, and body. Granted, many of these works of art were seen as gifts from the gods and needed to appear perfect, because these works were a form of worship. However, I sure all the spectators of the art wished they look a bit more like the sculptures they observed. It’s a common thing for people to compare themselves to one another. Although people do this all the time, the consequences of constantly comparing yourself to someone else can be devastating. It may seem cliche but beauty is only skin deep. The problem is that in our culture people are constantly striving to be accepted and try to get that feeling through their looks when in reality it is gained by being a genuine person who loves people.