Forget the arguments about vanity, this is truly frightening imo, you must wonder if the surgeons who specialise in this type of purely cosmetic surgery are really 'medical professionals', sounds like business to me. Wouldn't psychological or psychiatric rehabilitation be best? Some interesting observations about identity and social cohesion.
Women use surgery to cope with divorce
SMH May 17, 2006 - 4:49PM
Australian women are increasingly going under the cosmetic surgeon's knife in a vain bid to cope with traumatic experiences such as divorce and bereavement, an academic says.
Queensland University of Technology School of Humanities and Human Services researcher Margaret Gibson said cosmetic surgery was "really taking off in Australia" for more complex reasons other than looking young and beautiful.
"We are not up to America's rather extreme levels of surgery but we are certainly on the increase," Dr Gibson said.
"Women are getting surgery done because they are going through these traumatic life experiences such as divorce and bereavement ... but there are better ways of dealing with them.
"It's quite pathological ... it's dangerous because it's trying to fix something with the wrong kind of remedy.
"It's the affluent who can afford it - put it in a third world context and they would think we are mad".
She likened the bizarre trend to "using your body as a means of grief therapy", enabling women to erase the lines on their faces reflecting sadness they had endured.
"The problem is we have a very narrow definition of what is a good image to look at and when you do see elderly wrinkled faces that can be a really moving experience," Dr Gibson said.
She said that after one cosmetic procedure people were more likely to become habitual users - the most famous examples of which included surgery "addicts" Michael Jackson and Joan Rivers.
Dr Gibson said it was concerning that people were "creating bodies without histories" and eroding the genetic traits and behaviours learned from family members with surgery that limited their facial expressions.
"We identify people that we love and take on their characteristics ... what if you can't quite smile the way you used to, which reminded people of others in the family?" she said.
Dr Gibson also said the booming industry, through creating "more sameness", was lessening tolerance of diversity.
"People in affluent societies are taking part in 'cultural pretending', pretending that we don't age and then die," Dr Gibson said.
"In some Asian countries like Korea people are changing their eyes so they look more Western - the Western ideal of beauty has become dominant."