Body Surgeries: Are they right or wrong?

Nose jobs, boob jobs, sex change surgeries, liposuction, tummy tucks, face remodeling, and reconstruction, among others, are all body surgeries. It is the augmentation, reconstruction, and customization of different parts of our body using plastic surgery. It may be for medical or cosmetic purposes with the former being widely accepted and the latter being popularly controversial. Let’s take a deeper dive into the controversy of it.

 Why do we get them?

A complex interplay of multiple factors is involved. Sociocultural beauty standards create a “perfect image” that is desirable. As social animals, we want to be accepted and validated. Having this perfect image goes a long way in getting that sweet sweet acceptance. Mixed in with this are personal factors like self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth. Add our personal experiences and feelings – like boosting our self-esteem and feeling more at home in our bodies – to this complicated mixture, bake it at 120C for as long as you’ve existed and you have an intricate dish of factors that determine whether we opt for these surgeries or not. 

Why do people think they’re wrong?

One major perspective against body surgeries is the naturalistic viewpoint, which advocates for accepting and appreciating the body in its natural state. Supporters of this perspective argue against surgical alterations, deeming them unnecessary and potentially harmful. Another prevalent attitude is grounded in authenticity and self-acceptance, emphasizing the importance of embracing one’s true self. From this standpoint, body surgeries are criticized for promoting superficiality and artificial beauty standards that detract from genuine self-esteem. Moreover, concerns about health risks associated with these procedures form a significant aspect of opposition to body surgeries. Critics highlight potential complications, such as infections, scarring, and adverse reactions to anesthesia, raising doubts about the overall safety and necessity of surgical interventions.

Why do people think they’re right?

Supporters of body surgeries hold a range of attitudes that contribute to their endorsement. One major perspective is rooted in the belief that body surgeries can empower individuals by enhancing their self-confidence and overall well-being. They argue that these procedures enable individuals to feel more comfortable in their own skin, leading to improved self-esteem and a better quality of life. Additionally, the perspective supporting body surgeries for corrective and reconstructive purposes emphasizes the importance of these procedures in addressing physical abnormalities, injuries, or congenital conditions. Advocates highlight the transformative impact of such surgeries on functionality, pain alleviation, and bodily integrity. Furthermore, supporters of body surgeries emphasize personal choice and autonomy, arguing that individuals should have the freedom to make decisions about their bodies without judgment or interference. They emphasize the significance of respecting individuals’ autonomy and their ability to define their own aesthetic preferences. Lastly, some research suggests that body surgeries can have positive effects on emotional and mental well-being. Advocates argue that these procedures can boost self-esteem, alleviate body dysmorphia or gender dysphoria, and contribute to improved mental health outcomes. From this perspective, surgical enhancements are seen as potential solutions for individuals experiencing significant distress related to their appearance.

So is it right or wrong to get body surgeries (mental-health wise)? 

Hah! If only it were that easy. Nothing is completely right or completely wrong. Annoying, yes. True? Also yes. The most crucial factor in gauging whether body surgeries are for you or not is to find out and understand the reasons behind getting one. If the decision to get a nose job stems from deep insecurities and low self-confidence, there is a good chance that a nose job won’t give you sustainable satisfaction. The initial relief will be followed by a resurgence of familiar inadequate feelings. If the reason however is a healthy change or customization that you wish to have or allows you to feel more yourself then getting them would be worth it for you! Like sex change surgeries for individuals with gender dysphoria. Body surgeries are not replacements for self-growth, they can only aid you in being the person you want to be. 

Getting body surgery is a major life decision and if you feel unsure about getting one ask yourself why. You can even reach out to professional help for support in figuring it out. Once you have a why you will know if it is something you want to pursue!