Here there be monsters (socratic) wrote,
Here there be monsters
socratic

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I'm a normal nerd in a plastic world

I consider plastic surgery to be a serious ill in our society. It does have legitimate uses, such as correcting serious facial defects like a cleft palate or reconstructive surgery for people who have been injured, but it is in vast overuse. A slightly hooked nose or a smaller than desired rack are not reasons for surgery. Not only is it dangerous and expensive, but it's aesthetically disasterous. One of the things that's wonderful about the human experience is the variety there is out there in the world, and one of the things that's great about being a Seefemaphile (my new made-up word for woman watching) is the variety and authenticity to be found in the female form. Plastic surgeons tend to make everyone look the same and sandblast the character out of a face. There's a scene in a terrible Charlie Sheen movie, called "Good Advice" where the Jon Lovitz character (who is a plastic surgeon) tries to drum up business by asking a woman whether a competitor did her nose and offering to fix it. It's not even mildly funny, but it does have an accidentily profound point to make. Why should a woman's nose conform to some surgeon's idea of what looks good? When you hack up cartiledge and smooth away wrinkles you're taking away a little bit about what makes someone human. George Orwell said "At the age of 50 every man has the face he deserves." Nip/Tuck says "At the age of 50 every woman has the face she can afford." I find that statement a lot more Orwellian than Orwell's own.

Then there's the aesthetic thing. There are people who think that fake is beautiful. That saline tits that don't sag or bounce are superior to natural ones. That bleached hair, tattooed eyeshadow, and lifted faces can make an ugly duckling into a beautiful swan. Who are these people, and why do they get a Fox television show that caters to them? Plastic surgery is boring. It's assembly line bullshit, like mass-produced clothing grafted to the body. Yes, fake tits can look fabulous underneath a sweater or in a bikini top. You can achieve the same look with the right bra or a gel insert. Bleached hair is terrible, why would anyone want to compress the naturally occuring spectrum, with hues like auburn, chestnut, and, yes, gray, into the tiny space between spaghetti color and hay colored? Women spend hundreds of dollars in beauty salons trying to look like they haven't done anything with their hair. Protip: You can achieve that look by actually not doing anything to your hair. Eyeliner is just weird. Why would any man want his woman to have purple or green eyelids? Does he want to pretend he's dating a woman who is 1/32nd Mallard Duck with that little color patch on the edge of its wing? For this it's worth getting your eyelids tattooed? I'm not even going to get into facelifts. http://www.transfatty.com/o8/tiger_lady.jpg There you go. Case closed.

What's most disturbing about plastic surgery, though, is how young the recipients are getting. It's not just over the hill actresses and models trying to prolong their career by giving the camera a little more to pan over, or bored rich women who can't deal with the fact that eventually youth and beauty fade and all you're left with is the inner you and a mass of not quite so firm flesh. It's not just young women in their early 20's making foolish decisions, as young women in their 20's love to do (If I date the asshole today, and tomorrow, and the next day, and like 14 straight years after that, I'll appreciate the nice guy even more). Now it's kids. Kids in their late, or even early, teens. Kids who haven't even grown into their faces yet. Kids don't know if their nose will match their mouth and eyes because none of them is done being shaped by the hell known as adolesence. We're trying to eliminate ugliness from adolesence. That's an important experience, one that a lot of beautiful people go through too, and one that scars many but also leaves them stronger. How many wonderful people were shaped at least in part by being unattractive when they were young? I mean besides me. It has to be millions. It teaches humility, it teaches the value of the inner self, it teaches the glories of bitterness and holding a grudge against the pretty people. Essential values for any growing boy or girl. Seriously, though, I don't think that the lesson of teasing is that you should have surgery to correct what other people think is wrong with you. That's a really shallow and painfully bad thing to teach impressionable youths. Plastic surgery can be dumb and damaging at 44. At 14 it's indescribable.

So far I've mostly talked about women, but men get plastic surgery too. It's not as epidemic yet, the pressures aren't the same and men "age gracefully" (this is probably at least in part because an old man is still fertile while an old woman is not, evolutionary and shit, in addition to resources and whatnot) but the numbers are growing. This isn't much different than women getting it, except that I think it's a sign of what's wrong with our society. Feminists made the reasonable point that women are held to unrealistic standards of appearance while men are not. What was society's response? To relax the standards for women and allow them to be their beautiful diverse selves? HA! No, it was to demand that men become more shallow. Good job there America.

I must admit that I've considered plastic surgery, for the future. If I lose the weight there will be excess skin. Lots of it. Chances are it won't go away on its own, although crunches and such can help at my young age. I don't know what I'd do in that situation but I doubt I'd go under the knife. It's dangerous, you can lose your life, and for what? Aesthetics? To help your chances with the ladies (I could go from a zero to a zero+ for only $10,000 and the risk of infection!) The thing is, it's an easy thing to consider. No need for a prescription, nobody really advertises the risks, and the social stigma is on the way out the door. Ultimately my scars and skin are indicative of who I've been and who I am, though. I wouldn't want a surgeon to try to change that with a snip and a tuck.

Why do I think plastic surgery has become so common? A lot of it can be blamed on television. TV doesn't have the resolution or the desire to show the many faces of woman. It has an easier time with lighter hair, and when everyone looks the same it ain't hard to cast someone for the right part. Because breasts aren't bared they can be fake, and it's definitely youth before beauty. I also blame the death of the intellectual life of America, and the corpiratization of everything. If there's a product someone's going to push it. There's no profit in telling you that you're beautiful as you are, or that beauty's only skin deep. Ultimately it is individual choices that drive the industry, though, and that's so scary. Millions of Americans are choosing to be modified every year. They are stamping out difference and uniqueness in the quest to fit the incredibly lame ideal. They are trading in their noses for an original Leipschitz. They are supplementing their flesh with plastic, and trading their souls for a nicer image in the mirror.
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