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The increasing relevance of appearance in society - Essay Example

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The Increasing Relevance of Appearance in Society Cosmetic surgery is one of the fastest growing industries in the world today (Elliott 21). According to a 2011 plastic surgery statistics report from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2011), the number of cosmetic procedures performed increased by five percent on 2010…
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The increasing relevance of appearance in society

Download file to see previous pages... It was mainly injured soldiers who went under the knife for reconstruction surgery (American Society of Plastic Surgeons 2011). However, since the late 1980s, the number of patients who desired cosmetic surgery began to spike; today, cosmetic surgery patients make up most plastic surgery patients. Dr. David Hargraves stated that the majority of his work now centers on aesthetic or cosmetic surgery, whereas before the 1980s he mainly performed surgeries for burns victims (Elliott 16). So, why has there been an increase in the number of patients looking for aesthetic surgery? The answer is that society has become more appearance-oriented, and many factors have contributed to this shift of thought. We can clearly see that society has moved towards a focus appearances when we consider how beauty standards have affected our lives. These days, there is a certain beauty standard that people are likely to pursue. To start with, people try to meet this standard for social reasons. Henderson-King and Brooks (134) state that a motivation for enhancing one’s attractiveness through cosmetic surgery is to develop one’s social status. It is a basic human desire to want to look more attractive to others, including one’s partner; this results in feeling a need to undergo cosmetic surgery (Henderson-King and Brooks 134). ...
This pressure drives a person to feel dissatisfied with their body. As a result, having a negative image about their body contributes to their thinking about reshaping their bodies through surgery (Park, DiRaddo, and Calogero 110). Also, Henderson-King and Brooks (135) argue that “one mechanism through which the internalization of standards of attractiveness is likely to happen is through the influence of close others, such as mothers, fathers, and friends.” A person’s concern about being attractive is formed by their close acquaintances, as their family and friends keep transmitting messages to them through appearance-focused behavior and attitudes (Henderson-King and Brooks 135). Basically, this behavior is likely to lead to someone to feeling insecure and less confident, and this intrapersonal reason, as well as the social reason, promotes someone to change their appearance through cosmetic surgery. Among several beauty standards, the most widespread one is known as ‘white beauty’. Across the globe, many people believe that white equals beauty. In addition, many people have a perception that white skin will result in a better economic and social status (Hunter 153). Due to these beliefs, many immigrants to the United States, such as Asians, Europeans, and African-American women, are now turning to cosmetic surgery to meet this recognized standard of beauty. This has come to be known as ‘ethnic plastic surgery’. The fact that the number of cosmetic surgeries performed from 2000 to 2008 in the United States for African-Americans increased by 145 percent and for Asians by 290 percent proves that ethnic plastic surgery has become ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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