Many doctors and researchers are starting to believe that cosmetic surgery offers psychological benefits to those electing to alter their physical appearances. Studies that compare individuals who had surgeries to those who meet with plastic surgeons show that those who had modifications to their bodies achieved a positive mental effect on their well-being.
Those who underwent surgery saw their lives improved in a number of ways due to elevated self-esteem and reduction of anxiety, depression, and social phobias. These individuals felt more satisfied with their lives and felt more capable of achieving their goals. They also felt more attractive and more mentally and physically fit after their surgeries.
Upswing in Plastic Surgery
There has been a recent surge in the number of plastic surgeries in recent years. Almost 8.5 million surgeries are performed worldwide every year. This increase is due the technological advance in these types of surgeries. Another important factor is that many people have more disposable income and can afford to have these physical changes made. Also the media sends a steady stream of messages about how important it is to look young and attractive. These messages about beauty affect all sections of society.
This is why plastic surgery is also controversial. Many pundits believe that these surgeries impose a Caucasian norm on societies that have multiple races. Some scholars feel that plastic surgery is a way to homogenize people without regard to their variations due to age or race. It also puts pressure on people to try to obtain an unattainable ideal of physical beauty through surgery. Sending a message that all people should want to look a certain way is oppressive, some scholars feel. Also people who don’t look like the ideal feel that they are different, out of place or ugly.
Long term Impact
There is little research on the long-term effects of plastic surgery on a person’s life, but there are several studies that show the benefits of being attractive. People perceived as attractive are treated better by others and thought to have more positive qualities simply due to their physical appearance.
Additionally, feminist scholars point out that it’s often women who are made to feel unattractive if they don’t look a certain way. In addition to using cosmetics, women also account for about 87 percent of all surgeries are performed on women trying to improve their appearance. However, some scholars feel that having surgery is a personal decision and has little to do with societal notions of beauty.
There is also some evidence that people have a negative feeling about themselves after plastic surgery. This often stems from unrealistic expectations of how the surgery will affect their lives. Younger patients and male patients are also more prone to be dissatisfied after the surgery although technically the surgery went well. A person’s psychological well-being before the surgery also plays a role in how they feel after the surgery.