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Friday, 1 April 2011

Background Of Cosmetic Surgery

Cosmetic surgery has been defined as "Surgery (and related medical treatment) undergone to improve appearance rather than for health reasons."

The first ever person known to have benefited from plastic surgery was Walter Yeo, he was a sailor during World War 1 and needed a skin graft, which involves using skin from an undamaged area of the body. He was treated for his wounds by Sir Harold Gillies.

Walter Yeo - Before his skin grafts (left) and after (right)
 There is now a rising trend in people undergoing cosmetic procedures in order to achieve better looks rather than for practicality, and is steadily increasing as years go by. In the following blogs I am going to outline the dangers behind this rising trend which is being set by celebrity role models to women in todays society, and if it is really as beneficial as celebrity A Listers make out..

Cosmetic surgery however still has its uses today and developments in technology and science have allowed a broad range of procedures to be able to become possible. Although there is a rise in surgery being done for vanity, and wanting to look better it is still very much still used to help people for burns, and disfigurements just like it was used to help Walter Yeo.

This is evident in the story of Katie Piper. She is now a burns victim, the result of her boyfriend getting someone to throw acid in her face because of his jealousy. However after going through overwhelming reconstructive plastic surgery with the help of her reputable surgeon Mr Mohammed Jawad, her face is now a lot better looking than what it was when she was first burnt. 

An extract from her autobiography, Beautiful by Katie Piper outlines this: "..we'll take skin from your back and buttocks, and graft it onto your face, neck, chest and hands. Afterwards we'll put you in an induced coma so you'll have the best chance of recovery" 

 The first image shows the extents to which her burns were, and in the second below that the work of Mr Jawad is clearly evident, as her burns look a lot better.

Katie is also campaigning against prejudice towards people with disfigurement. Watch below, a clip about Katie Piper.

Personally I believe that surgery used to help those with disfigurement and burns is a more effective use of resources because they actually need the surgery to help them get back to leading a normal lifestyle, in comparison to individuals who want surgery to simply appear better looking.

The link between Marxism and Cosmetic Surgery..

Karl Marx was a sociologist, and theorist. His ideas formed the basis for many of the theories used to describe society today, including the idea of a dominant ideology. This theory means a set of common values and beliefs which are in society and are believed by the majority. These views are normally those of the upper/middle classes.

Therefore the lower, working classes will be forced into believing them as they have no power to have their own views, and are probably not educated enough to realise they are being exploited.

This concept can be applied to cosmetic surgery, as if the upper classes are saying cosmetic surgery is the right thing to do then the working classes are likely to also go and also get it done, because they may not be able to rebel against the dominant thoughts in society.

In my judgement I believe that the working classes are dominated by those above them, and are also very naive. They also may not have the educational attainment that the upper classes, a consequence of this is that they may not know any better and may be sucked into capitalism.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

What Is Attracting People To Cosmetic Surgery

Women, and equally men and teenage girls are being lured into the high risk industry of cosmetic surgery and modifications to their bodies which are fuelled by this desire to appear ‘perfect’, however indisputably this should start ringing alarm bells to people. This desire to appear perfect can easily then spiral out of control, especially in the case of teenage girls who naturally have an inquisitive mind and lead to their aspirations instead of being to achieve good grades, and do well in life become “when I grow up I want a boob job just like Katie Price” or “when I’m older I want to liposuction for my thighs and stomach”.

The editor of Bliss Magazine
Bliss Magazine conducted a survey on 2000 girls with an average age of 14, and alarmingly 40% admitted to wanting cosmetic surgery, with only 8% saying they were happy with their bodies.

The effect of this poor body image and self esteem can have a selection of different consequences depending on the person, however especially in young teenage girls the result can often be eating disorders such as Anorexia, in order to become more thin, to have this perfect body shape like their idol celebrities. Anorexia takes over a persons brain, and makes them want to go to extreme lengths to avoid putting on any weight. Statistics outline that 95% of all people with anorexia are aged between 12 and 25.

Shown below is an extreme case of anorexia.

Personally I think that this search for perfection will be never ending, as soon as one issue is tackled through surgery, for example a wrinkle on someones forehead, they may then find another imperfection that they will result to going under the knife for. This will then be on going and individuals will regularly be having procedures done. I believe that this is unhealthy, both physically and mentally because the effects will eventually take their toll on the person.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Different Types Of Procedures Available

There is a selection of different cosmetic procedures available for almost every part of the body, all the way down from facelifts, to buttock implants. This means that there is the opportunity to change almost everything, however none of these procedures come without any risks. Generally speaking the risks are not very high however there is always that 'what if', they go across the spectrum from bruising all the way down to in the worst case scenario, death. Why would anyone want to pay such a high price both literally and mentally for a better appearance?

Procedures Available:
This procedure is concerned with the nose, and can involve either making it smaller, to become more proportionate to a persons face or to make it larger, this depends on the individual needs of the patient.
The recovery time is normally 2-3 weeks, however it make take several months before the nose settles into its new shape.
Risks that come alongside this procedure are nose bleeds either shortly after the procedure or a week to 10 days afterwards.
Rhinoplasty may also leave a hole inbetween the nostrils which will need further surgery to repair.

Before                  and               After     
For more information on Rhinoplasty click here

This form of cosmetic surgery is concerned with an individuals ears. Otoplasty is mainly concerned with bringing the ears closer to the head (ear pinning), reducing the size of very big ears, or even reshaping the ears all together.
Recovery time is usually 3 to 7 days and this means that a patient will not require an over night stay in the clinic where they get their procedure carried out.
Risks associated with otoplasty are ears may not be perfectly symmetrical, and there is also some risk of infection.

Before                  and               After

For more information on otoplasty click here

A Rhytidectomy is also known as a face lift and is associated with giving skin a more youthful and younger appearance. Excess skin is removed and redraped onto the patients face and neck. Sometimes the skin is tightened, but not always.
According to the 2008 statistics from the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, were the 6th most popular procedure.
The healing period can last between a week and several, depending on the level of surgery carried out.
Potential risks of having a facelift can include - Bleeding, Infection and Skin Discolouration.

Before               and               After

These procedures are now accessible to the average, everyday woman or man. However working class people may buy into such procedures even though they may not be able to sustain their lifestyles, but they will do this anyway as they will see it as their ticket into the upper/middle classes. This concept is causing a somewhat blurring of the boundaries between the working classes and those which are above them.

There is also the argument that the before and after images are misleading to consumers looking into plastic surgery, as it is amazing what technology allows us to do these days. You dont need to be an expert photographer to be able to use photoshop to airbrush images to make them seem more appealing. Cosmetic surgeons may also use better lighting, and angles in the after images to help make the results appear better than what they actually are. This will give potential customers a false impression of what they could look like.

In my opinion I think that people prepared to change the way they look in order to fit into a certain class category goes against their morals, as they are not being true to themselves. Instead they are seeing cosmetic surgery as a solution to their social mobility.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Celebrities Who Have Had Cosmetic Surgery

Click on the links below these celebs names to find out more about their backgrounds.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Going Against The Hegemony?

People may decide that their idea of perfection is different to that of everyone elses, this may mean that they take a different approach to what is beautiful and therefore will go and get surgery to fulfil their perceptions of 'good looking', even if this means going against the hegemonic views that are pressured upon them. Hegemony is a Neo-Marxist concept that means the dominance of a particular set of ideas or views.

A perfect example of this is Lizard Man, who went against the norm and used surgical modification in order to make his appearance more like that of a reptiles.

Lizard man chose to look the way he does because he liked the idea of body modification, he later took this liking to extremes and eventually had a selection of plastic surgery including horn implants and a forked tongue to help him achieve a lizard like appearance. Lizard man has had the majority of his procedures free, or at a reduced price however the total bill if charged at full price would come to around $250,000.

However surely someone willing to change their body to look like a reptile is not normal? What could have possibly triggered the desire to look like a lizard? The psychological issues that underlie in the decision to get body modification not to look more beautiful, but more like a reptile must be very deep as Eric, or Lizard Man went through hours of painstaking surgery in order to achieve his look yet confessed that he may never be satisfied with the final result.

I think that lizard man is a prime example of someone who's search for perfection has taken him to extreme lengths, because he has now turned into a human guinea pig who is being experimented on by cosmetic surgeons.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Overall Perception Of Cosmetic Surgery..

Overall judging by the evidence I have looked at on cosmetic surgery, I believe the negatives outweigh the benefits. People are taking unnecessary risks to their otherwise perfectly normally functioning bodies, simply in order to look better. However the way we look shouldn’t affect an individual’s life, as people should be less shallow and not judge ones personality by their looks. Feminists would argue that women should not feel the need to change how they are simply in order to please men, as outlined in the article by The F Word, a feminist website.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Christina Aguilera - Beautiful.

The song Beautiful by Christina Aguilera helps people with low self esteem issues feel better about themselves.

'cause we are beautiful no matter what they say
Yes, words won't bring us down, oh no
We are beautiful in every single way
Yes, words can't bring us down
Don't you bring me down today'

The lyrics help outline that the people shouldn't be influenced by what everyone else says to them, and instead they should be happy with how they look, and be content with their appearances no matter what.
Christina outlines that people are beautiful inside and out no matter how they look.

In the video for Beautiful, there are a series of different people shown who may be facing different types of problems. Click play below to watch the full video.