A recent Time Magazine cover story called “Nip. Tuck. Or Else.” hit the stands last week and reveals an interesting look at cosmetic surgery and our culture. The bottom line of the article is that women and men are embracing and accepting cosmetic procedures. It has become part of the fabric of our global society.
From Joan Rivers to professors of gender studies and feminists, the acceptability of cosmetic procedures to enhance our lives and self-image is growing rapidly.
Some interesting facts from the article:
An industry that was once exclusively for rich Beverly Hills and Manhattan women has been thoroughly democratized. In 2005 more than two-thirds of cosmetic-surgery patients in the U.S. made $60,000 or less.
Acceptability eventually comes to nearly all forms of vanity. In 19th century America, makeup was often sold under the counter because it was considered a tool of prostitution. In the 1930s, when hair dyeing was new, women got their color done in the basements of beauty parlors so no one would see them and continued to do so for decades after; now 75% of women dye their hair. And 15 years ago, getting your teeth whitened made you a tool; now dentists throw in free whitener in the goodie bag along with the floss and a toothbrush. It’s actually difficult to find a toothpaste that doesn’t include whitening.
Americans feel much more comfortable these days with the idea of cosmetic enhancement. A 2014 survey by MSN found that 62% of people would say, upon finding out that a friend had work done, “Good for them!” Another survey, from the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, last year found that 52% of people are considering aesthetic treatments, up from 30% two years ago. Cosmetic surgery has become the new makeup.
It’s not just America. In Seoul, Beirut and Rio de Janeiro, women proudly show off bandages in public as if they’re Birkin bags. One in five South Korean women has had cosmetic surgery. In Venezuela, being an “operated woman” is so common, many of the mannequins have D cups. Five years ago, Brazil made plastic surgery tax deductible; officials argued that many procedures contribute to physical and mental health. And Iran, where women cover their hair and bodies but not their noses, leads the world in rhinoplasty.
And the fastest growing plastic surgery procedures? You might not guess it: Labiaplasty and buttock augmentation (up 86% and 49% since 2013 according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery).
As with everything great (wine and chocolate come to mind….), good cosmetic surgery goes a long way, but you need a close friend (or your surgeon) to tell you when enough is enough!
RealSelf.com is a widely recognized online cosmetic procedure informational website and had more than 51 million visitors last year. I think this excerpt from the article best summarizes the future of cosmetic procedures:
CEO Tom Seery, who lives in Seattle and worked at travel website Expedia, launched RealSelf eight years ago when his vegetarian, Subaru-driving, yoga-practicing wife came home with a brochure for a $1,500 laser procedure for her face. “I figured if my wife would consider doing a laser treatment, I’d say nearly everyone in America would,” he says.
Find the full Time Magazine article here.