The Dangers of Celebrity Plastic Surgery

At this point, I think we all know the drill: 1. Celebrity gets plastic surgery. 2. Celebrity posts pictures on social media that make it clear they have gotten plastic surgery. 3. Celebrity either a) denies that anything is unnatural, or b) defends their decision because it’s “my body and I can do whatever I want with it” (or something along those lines). Now, while I agree that we are all free to make choices about our own bodies, and I acknowledge the problem of the media prying into every aspect of celebrities’ social lives, I also believe celebrities and other social media influencers need to seriously reconsider the effects that promoting these body modifications could have on their audiences.

phone screen with social media apps Photo by Tracy Le Blanc from Pexels

Getting cosmetic surgery to change one’s body is not equal to getting a piercing or tattoo or the like because, for the most part, cosmetic surgeries change the body to better fit society’s standards of beauty. For example, many prominent figures have received very similar-looking nose jobs lately, making their noses small and narrow with no bumps. Even though it’s probably not their intention, this trend ultimately sends the message that certain noses are just “wrong;” that conformity is good, and that beauty means looking exactly like other beautiful people. This is especially hurtful because standards for “good” noses, in particular, are rooted in racism and anti-Semitism. Further, these surgeries can be incredibly costly, creating an association between wealth and beauty. These celebrities seem unable to grasp that cosmetic plastic surgeries can be dangerous, and are not to be taken lightly; they cannot be easily undone like other cosmetic changes. “The look” is only attainable for those who are miraculously born that way or who are willing to spend lots of time and money on it. 

Rihanna on Vogue magazine Photo by Charissie Kenion from Unsplash

Even when celebrities insist that “it’s a personal thing” and that “everyone is beautiful the way they are,” their actions speak differently. Their actions say, “I was unhappy with my body, so I changed it to look more like the way other people would like it.” A celebrity who surgically removes the bump on her nose may claim that this doesn’t mean she thinks other people’s nose bumps are ugly, but how does that make any sense? People, especially women, constantly find new things to hate about their bodies; if one hated part is changed to be more acceptable, a new hated part is bound to arise soon enough. Although it’s difficult, self-acceptance and working towards a less conformist society is ultimately a far better solution. How is a person supposed to feel when any celebrity who looks like them changes their body to look differently? Though we can’t stop celebrities from posting selfies with their surgically altered bodies, we can support celebrities who reject traditional standards of beauty. Hopefully someday, the importance of beauty in our society will diminish altogether. But for now, all we can do is appreciate uniqueness and diversity. A world in which we all look the same is a world none of us want to live in.