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Clare Macnaughton

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Is Cosmetic Surgery a Feminist Issue?

Posted: 29/11/11 13:55

I wrote a blog post, with the help of the Hospital Group, about cosmetic surgery and self esteem. The blog post was targeting both men and women who wanted a little nip tuck to boost their self esteem.

I received this comment on the blog:

"I think cosmetic surgery is damaging for women's self esteem. I see it as part of the industry that makes women feel unhappy with themselves and desire unrealistic body goals. I feel that by promoting cosmetic surgery for money you are continuing the process whereby women feel they have to be a certain size/shape/look in order to be attractive and accepted. Absolutely life is about choices. You have chosen to promote unnecessary surgery for money."

I have a cosmetic surgery wish list. I would like to have brace to straighten my top teeth because they are not quite in line. I would like a tummy tuck to deal with my post-baby jelly belly that I can now tuck into my knickers and I would like to have the varicose veins on my legs removed. The NHS said that they wouldn't remove them until I had finished having babies. Well, my baby-making days are well and truly over and now the NHS doesn't treat varicose veins because of rising costs, escalating population and reduced spending so my only route would be to have them treated privately.

But why do I want these little cosmetic surgery enhancements? I don't think it is because I want to feel attractive or accepted by others. I don't think that my life would change other than I would feel better for me. I don't see this as feminist issue. I dye my hair, I wax my legs, bleach my facial hair, wear make up and I paint my toes. Men groom and preen. Birds and animals groom and preen. The law of attraction and mating means that people choose to alter how they look to attract a mate. Mating is about survival of the species.

I don't think we should be ashamed to admit we have had a little nip-tuck. Would you be embarrassed to say you wax your legs? Fern Britton was castigated, when it was discovered she had surgery to implement a gastric band to lose weight. If that was the solution she needed to give her the impetus to lose life threatening weight then there is no shame in having cosmetic surgery to improve her life.

Cosmetic surgery is readily available but how people use it is down to the individual. Is promoting alcohol for money encouraging alcoholism? I think cosmetic surgery like all aspects of life should be approached with a responsible head on. If individuals are fully informed and understand the implications of the decisions they make then I believe they have a right to make that choice. I am happy to endorse businesses such as The Hospital Group that are registered and responsible practitioners of cosmetic surgery. Self esteem isn't a gender issue because both men and women lack confidence about how they look and feel about themselves. If a little nip tuck can lift someone spirits and improve their life then I think it's worth it.

This post is brought to you with a little help from The Hospital Group but the opinion is my own.

 
 
 

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