Your Body, Your Choice, My Opinion

I hate using words like “fluid” because of what the alphabet squad has done to it, but I don’t know how else to describe my feelings towards plastic surgery and cosmetic enhancement. On the one hand, there’s a part of me that wants to look the best I can, and understands and empathizes with those doing everything in their power to do exactly that. I know it can be done tastefully, and I know many people look objectively better as a result of going under the knife (or syringe, scalpel, etc). But on the other hand, I look around at people with their lips the size of sausage links completely disproportionate to the rest of their faces, their anatomically impossible bodies, barely able to register emotion because of the chemicals they’re pumping in to paralyze themselves and prevent wrinkles and I want to scream.

I understand being flat chested and wanting a boob job. I understand being well into your sunset years and wanting a face lift. I understand becoming a mother, and missing the way your body looked before you became one. I know that no matter what women tell each other or tell ourselves, many of us feel like our value is inseparable from appearance and feel a constant pressure to “improve” on what God gave us as a result. Preservation and inflation of beauty by any means available almost feels like a survival instinct.

But somewhere along the line, I feel like we lost the plot.

We’re becoming insane, destroying ourselves, fixating on the most minor perceived imperfections, risking not just our health but our lives — and for what?

And for so long, we’ve accepted this remedial, reflexive reaction to cosmetic enhancement.

“If it’s not your body why do you care?”
“Let people do what makes them happy”
“Her money, her body her choice”

Well, sorry, but it can still be her money, her body, and her choice but my opinion — and if she’s genuinely happy with what she’s done, my opinion won’t change that. After all, I’m the one that has to look at it!

The truth is none of us are an island, and for better or worse, none of us can make decisions without impacting others. While it may not seem like it now, our acceptance, indifference or rejection of certain behaviors always have consequences.

And when women treat beauty like a product to be bought and sold as opposed to a gift given from God, it completely distorts our perception of it, and in the worst cases, we end up destroying our beauty in pursuit of it.

When And Just Like That premiered, a lot of people had vocal, negative reactions to Kristin Davis’s excessive fillers. I don’t think I ever publicly commented, but I remember trying to watch a rom com she starred in years ago and being so distracted by what she’d done to her face I just ended up turning it off. They weren’t flattering at all, and it was unfortunate to see what insecurity and aging anxiety had done to someone so naturally beautiful. At first she was defensive, and if I’m remembering correctly, attempted turning it into some feminist soap box moment. But years later, it seems she’s had a change of heart, had the filler dissolved — and looks a million times better. She’s living proof of what’s possible when you tell women what they need to hear as opposed to what they want to hear.

I’ll go out of my way to reiterate points I’ve already made; not all plastic surgery/cosmetic enhancements look bad, and I have mixed feelings about them.

But I miss when people were trying to look like the best version of themselves as opposed to different versions of the most prolific instagram whores.

I miss when people weren’t obsessed with looking like they were generated by AI. I miss when “hip dips” or a slightly crooked nose or a birth mark didnt constitute a consultation.

I think of super models like Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Daphne Groeneveld, and Lindsey Wixson — who may not have been perfect looking, whose eyes may have been a little far apart, or had slightly gapped teeth, or had noses that weren’t perfect little buttons — but went on with their lives anyway.

And I wonder how we got here.

I know that Instagram is making women insane across demographics, but I also know that most women have always wanted to feel beautiful in the same way that most men have always wanted to feel important, and from Victorian corsets to Chinese foot binding, we’ve always been willing to go to extreme and absurd lengths to achieve “beauty” — and that lip injections and BBLs weren’t at all divorced from that time tested truth.

But we’re treating our bodies like starter homes to be renovated and traded in (risking the structural integrity in the process) when we’d be better off treating them like gardens to be nurtured and tended to (and I say this as someone that has killed 5 plants).

Do what you want and what you can afford. But as someone that’s faced avalanches of hate online and been called every derogatory name in the book, I can confidently say that if your decisions don’t hold up in the face of criticism, they’re worth reconsidering. Maybe there’s a time and a place for surgery and injections…but maybe that time and place should be much less accessible than what we’ve been led to believe.



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