Plastic surgery really throws a wrench in our "you do you" beauty philosophy. Where's the line between doing something for yourself and doing something because you think you're supposed to? Then again, who are we to decide where that line should be drawn? At the end of the day, we should be able to celebrate natural beauty without judging beauty that might be less than natural. But, for many, that's counterintuitive, and more and more people are jumping on the plastic-surgery-hating bandwagon.
To that end, Lindy West over at Jezebel penned an article calling out people who demean women who have gotten plastic surgery, and it's a must-read. She writes, "Why do we teach women that staying young and beautiful is the most important thing, and then shame them for attempting to adhere to our mandate?"
It's an important question, and one that feels very relevant to the current beauty climate. Addressing why people think it's okay to shame plastic-surgery patients, West says, "It's caving to the patriarchy. It's lying, it's cheating, it's vanity unchecked — our beautiful people are supposed to be flawless naturally and without effort." It's this double-edged sword that makes the culture of youth-worship and perfection so frustrating. You're supposed to look flawless, but you're not allowed to try. As for who manages to do that? Exactly no one — not anyone I personally know, anyway.
It's a lot like the moral superiority attached to this season's no-makeup trend, which functions to shame makeup-wearers by celebrating those with the privilege of perfect skin. What's up with all this holier-than-thou B.S.? It's not like someone's choice to wear foundation or get an eye lift says anything about his or her strength of character. It just means they're living in a world with a lot of pressures and doing what they need to do to feel the most okay possible.
Trying to survive happily in our messed-up little world isn't a crime — as West points out, it's the system that's the problem, not the women who react to it: "And that cruel, oppressive culture should absolutely be mocked, critiqued, and dismantled," she writes. So, let's do that. Read West's full essay at Jezebel, and then let us know your thoughts on this complicated issue. (Jezebel)
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