words Alexa Wang
Cosmetic surgery has become a significant part of the beauty industry, especially in the last two decades. Surgery numbers have increased significantly since 2003, with a five-fold increase noted between then and 2015. Interventions range from lip fillers and face-lifts to rhinoplasty, breast augmentation and beyond. It has never been easier to alter your body.
And so, for many, it is the first place they think to go when they feel dissatisfied with their body. But plastic surgery is a major decision, even when it comes to smaller interventions. It can also be an incredibly expensive endeavour – at least, if you are in the market for the best possible results. As such, surgery represents a significant investment as well as a significant life event – necessitating that you ask yourself some extremely important questions before you proceed.
Think About Your Situation, and Motivations
Firstly, what are your motivations for the surgery? There are many reasons for which someone might seek plastic surgery; they may have self-esteem issues relating to their appearance, or childhood bullying of said appearance. They may even be looking to change their body to better align with their gender identity.
The other side of the coin is the simple wish to look more like a public figure, or to align the body with a current aesthetic trend. This gives rise to a key question: how long have you wanted this surgery? If it is an impulsive thought, consider waiting for a month or more, and seeing if you still want the surgery.
Assess the Risks
Surgeries in general are not without their risk; a number of things can go wrong, from complications in surgery to surgical errors – and, in the case of implants, rare after-effects like rejection. In the rare event that you suffer negligent care under a plastic surgeon or medical team, you could be eligible for compensation through a medical negligence claim – but the mental duress and potentially adverse physical results could stay with you for years to come. Granted, the risks in these cases are rare – but is it worth the risk if the procedure is completely elective?
Consider the Alternatives
Body autonomy is of course an extremely important issue, and one which renders even celebrity influence a somewhat valid reason for surgery – however, if the motivations for surgery are to make friends or feel more attractive, there may be better, less invasive and less expensive avenues to do so.
For example, issues relating to self-esteem or wanting to ‘fit in’ could be better solved by therapy. Self-confidence and body image problems could be mitigated by a more open approach to exercise in fitness, where liposuction would simply be an ‘easy way out’. Surgery is a valid solution for a number of things, and even just to feel more confident in oneself – but if there is a non-surgical route that can engender the same results, that should be explored first.