Column: Plastic surgery: Where to draw the line

Column: Plastic surgery: Where to draw the line

I’m all about everything in moderation, but that line starts to get a little blurry when I think about cosmetic surgery.

There’s a reason as to why Los Angeles has become the shrine for plastic surgery:  Girls are getting breast augmentations and liposuction as high school graduation gifts from their parents, and men and women are seeing their doctors several times a month to receive their routine botox or collagen treatments. But this craze doesn’t stop with the people in LA; people all over the country are becoming more obsessed with the idea of looking perfect. And if you ask me, I think it’s rather ridiculous and could be dangerous.

With all of the pressures coming from society and the media, I’m worried that some people may start taking it too far. Take my cousin, Sarah:  She just turned 30, and she’s already had a nose job, breast augmentation and routine botox and collagen treatments, which all started in her early 20s. The woman is beautiful, but she looks like a Barbie doll, and that’s not a good thing. She has started to lose track of herself and only focus on what appears on the outside.

Then we have celebrities like Jocelyn Wildenstein and Heidi Montag who have obviously taken cosmetic surgery to the extreme. The most disturbing part for me is seeing the transformation people undergo when they are so beautiful before, or at least more beautiful than what they look like after the fact. I mean, I get it. We all have our insecurities, and many of us may want to slightly alter our appearance if given the opportunity, but this could turn into a serious addiction. And before you know it, people may not even be able to recognize you.

A primary contributing factor in one’s decision to pursue cosmetic surgery may be body dysmorphic disorder (BDD). BDD develops mostly in young adults – both male and female – and is an issue in which a person is extremely concerned about a perceived imperfection in his or her physical appearance.

Reality television shows like “Bridalplasty” aren’t exactly taking away from the emphasis on the importance of physical appearance. “Bridalplasty’s” first season finale aired about a week ago. The show consists of 12 women who are competing to win their dream wedding and cosmetic surgery procedure wish list that they have individually created. I would like to add that 10 out of these 12 women are in their 20s, with the other two in their early 30s.

Aside from the worthless gossip and drama that comes with the territory of a reality television show, there’s something else that bothers me about it:  The message it’s sending to viewers by romanticizing cosmetic surgery and idolizing perfection. The creators of the show clearly aren’t promoting marriage as being the union of two people in love, but rather they’re focusing on the glitz and glamour of an extravagant wedding as if that’s the only thing that matters. And to make matters even worse, not to mention more dramatic, host Shanna Moakler bids farewell to each week’s losing contestant by telling them, “Your wedding will still go on, but it may not be perfect.” So let me get this straight:  Your wedding will only be perfect if you recreate yourself to the point that your fiance might barely recognize you. Now that’s special.

In all seriousness though, it’s important to remember to be true to who you are. If you decide to have some work done, fine. But use your best judgement in trying not to overdo it. Despite the number of procedures my cousin has had, she remains unhappy and wanting more. So take her case as an example that physical appearance isn’t everything, and it won’t always make you happy. It all comes down to confidence, and, as I stated before, moderation.

– The Inside columnist can be reached at

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