What Are the Arguments for Cosmetic Surgery?

Lainie Petersen

Arguments for cosmetic surgery include the fact that many so-called cosmetic procedures actually have significant value in the treatment of health problems. This type of operation can also treat disfiguring conditions and, in many cases, improve the self-esteem and emotional well-being of patients who undergo these procedures. Although there are certainly cases in which cosmetic surgery is misused or patients have unrealistic expectations of its ability to transform their appearance, plastic surgery can help them lead happier lives in which they are better integrated into society. As such, despite the way it is perceived both inside and outside the medical community, there remain strong arguments for cosmetic surgery that address multiple social and health-related factors.

Many people seek to slow or reverse aging with botulinum toxin injections.
Many people seek to slow or reverse aging with botulinum toxin injections.

Many people think of cosmetic surgery as a luxury for vain people who can afford to undergo expensive medical procedures. While it is true that some cosmetic surgery procedures serve only to enhance the appearance of patients, there are some types of aesthetic surgery that can benefit a patient's physical health. For example, insurance companies have long recognized that cosmetic surgery on the nose can treat significant breathing problems. When individuals are better able to breathe, their health definitely benefits. Another example is that of breast reduction, as women with very large breasts can suffer from back and neck pain along with skin rashes under their breasts, which can be addressed through breast reduction surgery. Both of these procedures provide strong arguments for cosmetic surgery.

The most common type of cosmetic procedure, Botox injections have been used to eliminate wrinkles.
The most common type of cosmetic procedure, Botox injections have been used to eliminate wrinkles.

It is also true that many people are judged on the basis of their appearance, often in ways that may be unfair but that nonetheless have a significant impact on their lives. For example, unattractive people, or those with facial defects or significant birthmarks, are often victims of various types of social discrimination, including job discrimination. As a result, their economic well-being may be jeopardized by their looks. For individuals who have a facial or otherwise visible defect, cosmetic surgery can help protect them from further discrimination and, in some cases, may actually benefit society as a whole because these individuals will be better able to obtain gainful employment. In such cases, arguments for plastic surgery can be made on both compassionate and economic grounds.

In some cultures, having plastic surgery procedures can give patients an edge in employment.
In some cultures, having plastic surgery procedures can give patients an edge in employment.

Even in cases where an individual simply wants a cosmetic procedure in order to improve an already average or even attractive appearance, arguments for cosmetic surgery can be made. In some cultures, looking young is highly prized, and many people may seek to slow the aging process by having various procedures, such as botox or liposuction, done to make themselves appear younger. This can give these people an edge in employment as well as seeking out potential romantic partners. Plus, as these individuals may feel that they look better than before the surgery, their enhanced appearance can have a positive effect on their overall mental state.

Cosmetic surgery can be used to treat disfigurements and help people to function more easily in social settings.
Cosmetic surgery can be used to treat disfigurements and help people to function more easily in social settings.
A cosmetic surgery patient's enhanced appearance could have a positive affect on his or her overall mental state.
A cosmetic surgery patient's enhanced appearance could have a positive affect on his or her overall mental state.

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Discussion Comments

Lostnfound

@Grivusangel: Oh, there's no doubt that plastic surgery has a lot of positives going for it. I guess I just look at some actresses who have had "work" done and I wonder what they were thinking, and how much they paid some doctor to do what he did to their faces.

I saw Melanie Griffith on a TV show tonight and her "work" is so very obvious. She looks 10 years older than she is because she has that drawn back look about her eyes that's a dead giveaway for plastic surgery. Then, I think about Diane Keaton, who is something like 10 or 11 years older than Melanie Griffith, but looks much better.

It's very sad how Hollywood puts pressure on actresses to do whatever they have to do in order to look "young." People are going to age, and that's a fact of life. It's really pathetic the lengths some people will go to so they can try to shave off a couple of years. Frequently, it comes back to bite them.

Grivusangel

A former co-worker of mine had blepharoplasty, which is the removal of excess skin around the eyes. He had it done because his eyelids were drooping so much that it was affecting his vision.

He said once the swelling and all went down, he could see much better after the procedure and said it was not an ordeal, that it was worth it because of the benefits. So cosmetic surgery definitely has its uses.

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