"NIP. TUCK. Or ELSE."
By Joel Stein
The full article can be read here:
I was walking through an airport to catch my next flight when the latest TIME magazine cover caught my attention from a newsstand. The title was "Nip. Tuck. Or Else." My first reaction to the title was "Seriously?!" After finding and reading the full article my reaction was no better. However, I did have time to further process this article and what it means for our society as I was traveling to my destination. It was during this time of reflection that I decided to share my thoughts and personal opinion on the future projected in this cover story.
The article outlined that more and more people are having plastic surgery today, men included. For many years, plastic surgery was viewed as taboo and women went to great lengths to hide this from their family, friends and colleagues. Today, that is changing. Plastic surgery has become the norm, and to this article's point, expected.
"Expected." The whole idea of plastic surgery being expected really bothers me. According to this article, in the very near future, almost everyone will be expected to have some sort of procedure and those who don't will be the minority. I am left wondering at the changes in our society today that women and men are wanting more plastic surgery and injectables. As outlined in the article, it seems there are two popular reasons for having these procedures: anti-aging and confidence.
Does humanity fear death? Personally, I don't know that I necessarily fear it, but I am certainly not welcoming of the idea at 32. Thoughts of "I have a family", "too many things to do", etc. are probably what cross my mind and I am sure I am not alone. We live in an age of "reality" TV (which is less about reality and more about a concept or perception) with celebrity images projected at every turn. Is it any wonder that the concept of aging has become something undesirable? Aging was once a sign of a life lived with the collective wisdom of experience and choices made. It can also be a sign that the end is nearing and perhaps having plastic surgery to erase the aging process helps to remove that constant reminder when looking in a mirror. I cannot see myself getting plastic surgery. Will I like fine lines and wrinkles, no, but its what human beings do naturally as we get older and I think I will take my chances focused on living a healthy lifestyle and caring for my skin and see what happens.
...or I could just pickle myself with wine :)
Confidence. I am not here to judge or criticize people who would have various surgery or injectables to boost their confidence. It is ultimately their choice to do as they please and if that is what helps them find happiness in life then who am I to play judge? But I wonder whether a simple procedure can truly erase the underlying insecurities that all of us experience in one form or another.
Perhaps the question isn't why is plastic surgery and injectables becoming the norm but rather what happened to our society's idea of beauty that led us to this point. Have we forgotten that beauty isn't skin deep? Are we thinking about the impact this will have on our children? I don't remember when it came to be that perfection was something achievable or who set a standard that sparked this notion. Perhaps humanity, throughout time, has always focused more on outer appearances rather than inner beauty. It seems we are fast approaching the extreme where individuals are now better able to manipulate their bodies as they please and do so more frequently. The idea of physical manipulation concerns me because I worry we are focusing on the wrong things. Who said body image is more important than living a healthy and happy life?
After reading this article I sat back and thought, am I doomed to eventually want to do something like this? Will I cave to the pressures of society? Then my brain snapped and said you have never conformed to societal norms, why start now. I will remember that every line was earned smiling as I watch my girls discover the world around them, as I laughed with family and friends and took all adventures life had to offer. I leave you with two quotes.