I am anti-plastic surgery. I am also a feminist. This doesn’t mean I’m one of those people who types out angry remarks at certain celebrities on their Instagram and Twitter posts, nor does it mean I feel justified in shaming anyone for their personal decisions. What it does mean is that I’m against the social forces that coerce women into having plastic surgery in the first place.
We are all incredibly aware of why most women undergo plastic surgery: it’s social pressure, it’s nasty remarks, it’s never feeling entirely secure in your own body. These harsh societal requirements that tell women you have to be a certain way to be viewed as attractive, even to be loved, are so horrendously accepted that many of them are willing to spend thousands getting physically abused by surgeons (who most commonly are men) who push and prod and tell you everything that’s wrong about you, despite that not being their place. It is not your apparent ‘unattractiveness’ that pushes you in to their chairs, it is the patriarchy’s attempt at oppressing women just enough to mould them in to a sexual object for the male gaze.
We are all valid in our own bodies, we are all beautiful, no one deserves to feel as if they have to consensually undergo horrific pain.
We watch advertisements, television shows, youtube videos, all advertising plastic surgery in a positive light, always attempting to sell you pain and brutality in the shape of a reformed you, a better you, a you men will actually be attracted to. But is it worth it? Is it worth a broken nose and weeks of throbbing pain just because someone doesn’t like its shape? Is it worth malfunctions and excessive bleeding and allergic reactions to bandage material just to change the shape of your breasts? Of course not. And we know this. Deep down, we are all incredibly aware that our bodies are unique and beautiful and that it is not worth pain and complications and gruesome procedure to become something that would please society a little more. But it’s difficult to see that when we are bombarded by pretty, thin, large-chested white women in magazines, on billboards, as Instagram models, with their straight noses and blonde hair and tiny waists. Just because this image is constantly pressed upon us doesn’t mean it’s the only image that is right. Dark skin is right, crooked noses are right, small breasts are right, cellulite is right.
Patriarchy hates women so much that mental torture isn’t enough. It likes to force us to endure pain like we’ve never felt before, entirely willingly, it makes us pay to bleed, just so we can all look the same, just so we can all match some idealized image that will fluctuate in the years to come anyway. It isn’t right and it isn’t the only attractive way of looking, it’s just the type of individual society is forcing us to want to be today. The beauty of the world is that it’s ever-changing and the beauty of social awareness and activism and determination and anger is that these feelings, these morals, these essential ways of life, can be used to propel us in to a better future. A future where women won’t feel as if they must endure pain to be attractive. We are all valid in our own bodies, we are all beautiful, no one deserves to feel as if they have to consensually undergo horrific pain. The attractiveness surgeons seduce us with does not exist, it is pure misogyny, it is pure myth.
Of course, some plastic surgery is necessary, as not everyone who goes under the knife is a victim of society’s brutal treatment of women. In most cases, however, women undergo surgery because society tells them they should look a certain way, and that is what I’m against.