Plastic Surgery Addiction – A Body Image Problem Within Our Society

Despite the prevalence of beautiful plus size models, and movements to boost self-esteem, many women and young girls are preoccupied with negative feelings about their body image. Moreover, with the onslaught of reality programs documenting plastic surgeries, some people rely on a knife to achieve their ideal appearance.

Plastic or cosmetic surgery is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, facial and body injuries may cause a deformity, which can only be corrected by means of plastic surgery. Additionally, cosmetic surgery can be a lifesaver in the case of extreme obesity. On the flip side, some people – especially females – are too consumed with looking pretty and having the perfect body. Because the perfect body is unachievable, these people may have continual plastic surgeries with hopes of finding personal satisfaction. To onlookers, these persons are beautiful. In spite of that, an unrealistic view of their body says otherwise.

Unfortunately, two-thirds of plastic surgery patients are repeat patients. Having the initial cosmetic surgery is the hard part. However, once the first surgery is complete, it is easy for the patient to seek more enhancements. Typical plastic surgery procedures include breast augmentations, nose jobs, cheek implants, liposuction, and so forth. Granted, not everyone who has more than one plastic surgery is addicted. Growing up, some people have a healthy dislike of certain body parts. Perhaps they have an unsightly nose. These persons resolve to correct the dislike when funds are available. On the other hand, persons addicted to cosmetic surgery demonstrate a measure of psychological problems.

To a certain degree, everyone is self-conscious and has insecurities. Yet, some people suffer from a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder. Persons with this condition can be extremely good-looking, but view themselves as ugly. They equate happiness with beauty. Thus, to achieve a happy state, they undergo repeated cosmetic surgeries. Unfortunately, people with this disorder are never satisfied with their appearance. Hence, cosmetic surgeries are never-ending.

Signs of Cosmetic/Plastic Surgery Addiction

Plastic surgery addictions are usually easy to detect. Obviously, patients who have had countless cosmetic surgeries, either on the same body part or on different body parts, are typical addicts.

Addicts commonly obsess about specific body parts of an admired celebrity. For example, a patient may request Angelina Jolie’s lips, Jennifer Lopez’s backside (butt implants), Naomi Campbell’s cheekbones, and so forth. Plastic surgery addicts consider these celebrities the epitome of beauty, and will go to any lengths to achieve their desired qualities. Yet, addicts fail to realize that each person has unique features, and trying to tailor our looks behind someone else’s is a recipe for disaster.

Ethics Code

Do plastic surgeons contribute to plastic surgery addictions? The answer to this question depends largely on who is asked. Granted, plastic surgeon’s primary role is to perform surgery, and not provide counsel to persons suffering from a psychological problem. Still, if a surgeon detects a destructive pattern, isn’t refusing to perform an operation in the best interest of the patient? Rather than support multiple cosmetic surgeries, physician should decline, and refer the patient to an excellent psychologist.

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