Cosmetic surgery has been a taboo topic for a very long time. There is plenty of mixed opinions about it. We also hear many cosmetic surgery horror stories of people ending up with botched faces or breast implants rupturing. Some also like to say that the only reason people get cosmetic surgery is that they’re being pressured by society to do so.
Although, to a certain extent, these are indeed true. But a lot of things have changed in the past years. People are starting to accept cosmetic surgery, and some are even beginning to normalize it. But before we get into why cosmetic surgery is being normalized these days, let’s first talk about its history.
The History of Cosmetic Surgery
The practice of cosmetic surgery can be dated back to the 1400s. That was when the first ‘nose job’ was done. The procedure required obtaining a skin graft from a person’s arm, leaving the bottom of the nose flap open and still attached to the arm, allowing it to heal for a week with the person’s arm raised and stuck to the nose, and cutting off the skin flap after it has healed.
It was, honestly, a gruesome and quite silly way to do a nose job. But at the time, it was considered an incredible medical innovation. The practice was famous all over Europe, and it wasn’t until the 1800s that they decided to change the way they did nose jobs. Inspired by a procedure in ancient India, doctors began taking skin grafts from people’s foreheads instead of taking them from the arm.
Cosmetic surgery became even more popular and necessary during the war. New and improved techniques of skin grafting were created. It was used not only for nose jobs but to repair all kinds of war wounds, with the majority being burnt airmen. The practice of skin grafting is still being done today.
And because of the number of people getting cosmetic surgery due to the war, by the time we reached 1942, cosmetic surgery became mainstream. A lot of cosmetic surgery procedures were originated in Europe. And before the 1960s and 70s, cosmetic surgery was mainly done for people born with physical deformities or major wounds. It wasn’t being done entirely for aesthetic purposes but because it was necessary for people’s survival.
Because of the creation of silicone and a breast implant device, cosmetic surgery started becoming more popular in America. People started to see it as a way to enhance themselves. Breast augmentation has been the top cosmetic surgical procedure since 2006. A lot of major cosmetic surgical procedures were popular during the early 2000s. You could see a lot of celebrities going through major cosmetic surgery procedures. But the reason why plastic surgery became such a taboo was that people started to become victims of botched cosmetic surgeries.
Since then, people began to fear cosmetic surgery because they were afraid of being botched. Because of that, major cosmetic surgical procedures became less popular. More minimally-invasive procedures became popular.
Lip fillers are an example of a minimally invasive cosmetic surgery, and it has become trendy these days together with Botox. Some more trained cosmetic surgeons do excellent jobs and are very transparent with their work on social media. Thanks to social media and more skillful and honest cosmetic surgeons, cosmetic surgery is becoming normalized.
Should These Procedures Be Normalized?
Of course, there are still many people who don’t accept cosmetic surgery. Mainly because many people think it’s only being done due to society’s pressures and harm people’s mental health. But what people fail to acknowledge is that many other people who have gotten cosmetic surgery are happier after the procedure. Recent studies show that people who have gotten cosmetic surgery feel much more satisfied with their appearance than before.
The great thing about 2021 is that many people are all about body positivity, self-love, and self-acceptance. We want to reject the unrealistic beauty standards that society forces on us by loving the way our body is naturally. All-natural is truly beautiful, and we should begin to love our bodies just the way it is.
But is it such a sin if, for some people, self-acceptance means going through cosmetic surgery and other procedures that alter their appearance? If cosmetic surgery allows a person to feel more comfortable in their bodies, why should we persecute them for their decisions? Besides, who gets to dictate what we do to our bodies but ourselves? We should learn to be open and accepting that not everyone has the same opinion of themselves and needs other things to achieve self-acceptance.