Students should embrace flaws, appearances

Opinions Columnists | Journalism sophomore

Students should refrain from getting plastic surgery because it does not fix the internal issues that lead up to the procedure in the first place.

The broad range of plastic surgery is typically split into smaller groups of reconstructive and cosmetic categories. Reconstructive surgery is generally classified as surgery to correct abnormalities, defects, trauma, infection, disease and tumors. It is usually performed to improve functionality but can help trauma or injury victims get back to their normal appearances. This type of surgery can be part of the healing process for many and can help victims of horrible circumstances move forward.

On the other hand, cosmetic plastic surgery is for those simply looking to spruce up their appearances. Being uncomfortable with one’s natural looks is something almost every student goes through at some point. Dealing with how the body changes with age is a natural part of growing up.

Unfortunately, there are many who wish to modify their natural form in an attempt to get closer to their idea of perfection. An annual survey from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) showed cosmetic plastic surgery accounted for 73 percent of all procedures performed by facial plastic surgeons in 2012. Interestingly enough, the poll also showed that there was a 31 percent increase in demand for surgery as a result of social media photo sharing.

Students should not let their self-confidence decline in response to the overload of selfies flooding social media sites. It is important for students to learn to love their bodies just as they are. Those who do not learn this important lesson can develop unhealthy perceptions of themselves that often lead to serious conditions like body dysmorphia.

People suffering from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) are obsessed with small or nonexistent flaws they perceive in their physical appearance. Many often turn to plastic surgery to fix these flaws instead of psychiatric help.

According to a June 21, 2013 article published in the National Institute of Health’s U.S. National Library of Medicine, plastic surgeons must follow certain steps when dealing with a patient suspected of having BDD before deciding whether or not to operate.

The article also states that surgeons who choose to operate on patients with BDD are at risk of facing potential violence, increased stress and frustration in dealing with the patient and low levels of patient satisfaction after the surgery. Many suffering from BDD can get addicted to the surgeries and seek many more, effectively altering their body but still remaining unhappy on the inside.

The world today is a rough and cruel place, especially for those who are uncomfortable with the skin they live in. Making my outward appearance look exactly like Beyoncé will not fix anything if I still feel like a moldy potato on the inside. Instead of costly and potentially dangerous plastic surgery, if students are unhappy with their bodies they should seek help in more productive ways like going to see a therapist. Learning to embrace flaws is a lot better than trying to nip and tuck them all away.