Women Have A Right To Go Under The Knife

Not much has changed since the millennium when Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails epic tune, ‘Starf**kers’ emerged.

His iconic anti-anthem to vanity, and the gross insincerity and indecency of media portrayals still rings true – “My god pouts on the cover of a magazine.”

Like it or not, over 15 years on, we are still graced with never ending images of eerily thin, beautiful, perfectly symmetrical ladies plastered all over the covers of our magazines. Is it any wonder that women and young girls alike flock to the nearest plastic surgeons office for a nip and tuck, a nose job, breast augmentation, a bum lift or the latest craze of vaginoplasties?

Forty is the new 30 when it comes to careers, motherhood and having it all. Women are generally now waiting until they are more secure financially and personally before venturing into a new chapter of their lives.

However, another drastic age related change has occurred. It has now become apparent that 25 is the new 50 when it comes to botox, face lifts, and tummy tucks.

Statistics featured in the Irish Examiner reveal that there is a wide ranging appeal for cosmetic procedures; River Medical, located in Dublin, has seen a growth rate of 20 per cent year on year since they set up their business in 2008.

While I am by no means an advocate for plastic surgery (in fact my seventeen year old self would kick my twenty – nine year old self for insinuating it was anything but oppressive, degrading and yet another way for society to keep women down), as I get older I can empathise with the desire to hold on to one’s youth.

I’m sure there are some feminists reading this article screaming at me for implying that plastic surgery is a cure all. I assure you, that is not what I am saying. I don’t believe that cosmetic augmentation will alleviate the underlying issue many women who partake in the practice are masking – that of low self esteem.

However, these procedures are not limited to middle aged women looking to have a few nips and tucks, or to young girls with self-esteem issues.

Some women simply just want bigger boobs, or a smaller nose. Their motives are not limited to being envious over Jennifer Lawrence’s rockin’ body in that X-Men Mystique jumpsuit, nor are they trying to fill some void that they believe collagen and silicon is going to fill.

Some women are simply empowering themselves by choosing to alter their look because it makes them feel beautiful, and who the hell am I to stand in the way of any woman wanting to feel beautiful?

There are the staunch believers of the mantra, “age gracefully”. While that is undoubtedly a beautiful sentiment, due to genetics, sun damage, chronic Big-Mac love affairs or more serious issues like assault or accidents it is not always possible to abide by.

Is plastic surgery only acceptable when a woman has a medical need for it? For example, like in the case of Katie Piper, who was the victim of an acid attack?

Who decides what reasons are legitimate for wanting to look into a mirror and see something different staring back? I know it is most certainly not me.

Let’s stop the judgement, let’s stop putting each other down; real women bring each other up ladies. Let’s have enough faith in each other to know that women know what’s best for themselves.

As long as women do their research and are fully aware of risks and potential complications, they should have the right to do whatever they choose with their own bodies – without being judged.

Caitlin Mary

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