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Plastic Surgery- Marketing Gimmick or A Feminist Idea?

A young person shares her thoughts about plastic surgery being labeled as "empowering"

Social IssuesMental health and wellbeing
By VoiceBox ·


A young writer from India

Plastic Surgery - A Marketing Gimmick or A Feminist Idea?

I have a funny nose. It curves a little to the right and has this tiny mole at the end, which makes my nose look like that of a chipmunk. I kinda like it, but I’m also hyper-aware of its existence which makes me a little insecure about it. When I was young, I used to think I would grow out of it. I would be like that one-celebrity-I-shall-not-name who had this funny nose when she was a child, but by the time she was an adult, she had grown out of it. Boy, imagine my disappointment when I hit puberty but still had my funny nose. Suddenly, the celebrity’s perfect nose didn’t make sense to me anymore.

The realization hit me when I was seventeen. She didn’t grow out of her nose, she had it altered by a skilled plastic surgeon. I felt weird. Why didn’t she just say that she had her nose done? I remember seeing loads of her interviews where she talks about how she ‘grew’ out of her nose. Then I felt bad. The people in Hollywood probably forced her to do this. They probably silenced her too. But in silencing her, they forgot about a million teenage fangirls who didn’t know about the plastic surgery and were disappointed when they didn’t ‘grow’ out of their noses.

Skip to a year later, and I started seeing multiple TikToks and Instagram posts calling plastic surgery an ‘empowering move’, talking about how it gives women agency over their faces and bodies and how it helps women build confidence in themselves. Ok, I agree. It is definitely empowering for a woman to decide what to do with her face and her body, but my question here is, “Is she doing this because she wants to or because she has been conditioned to believe that she isn’t beautiful?”

The answer is pretty simple. Plastic surgery isn’t something that gives a woman agency over her own body. It gives her body dysmorphia. Today it’s the nose, tomorrow it’s the buccal fat, a week later it will be a Brazilian Butt Lift. A woman will constantly be chasing this unachievable ‘beauty’ standard because if she doesn’t, she is “ugly”. And why is she ugly? Because society doesn’t understand neutral beauty. 

But hey, the ‘holistic’ plastic surgeons who operate on thousands of people in a day for profits say plastic surgery is empowering and that going through the process makes you a stronger woman. Does it, though? Or does it perpetuate the same false beauty standards but with a different label?

The only time I support plastic surgery is when a trans woman or a trans man wants it. Or maybe a disabled person. If you do not need it for medical reasons then maybe you do not need it at all. The only reason you feel like you need plastic surgery is because all these rampant marketing gimmicks are trying to give you body dysmorphia.

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