The Sexism of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery | #Blogtober22 – Day 14

Bear with me for a long-winded introduction because I need to lay the foundation for how this idea germinated in my mind.

I’ve been watching a series – finished a second and third loop, too – that has some great acting, some great premises in there. Some characters can be annoying, as is the case everywhere, but some are simply brilliant. The layers to them are so great to watch because underneath all these characters is a strong foundation of what makes them. The female main character especially is a firework in a best meaning of the word. She is badass, she is impulsive, she won’t take sh*t from anyone, she is persuasive, and she is the kindest and most understanding person you’ll ever meet. But cross her and you’ll see!

Naturally, I became curious about the actress and went to check her filmography. She has some acclaimed titles under her belt, and I wasn’t surprised. Because although she can come off as contrived in some scenes, she is seriously talented and deserves all the love. So, when I saw posters of her old shows, I was surprised, because there’s a world of difference to how she looked then and how she looks now. I mean, you could say the same thing about anyone, if you compared their pictures with a ten-year gap. And she was stunning then, she’s stunning now. But I was sure she’d gotten cosmetic surgery done. Turns out that she did, and I went, “oh, okay” in a way that comes with a revelation that confirms your thoughts.

But people on the Internet had different ideas. They were of the “Ew, she got plastic surgery done” class of thinking. I became progressively more horrified than I can explain as I watched interviews and read articles of her and saw the comments that people were leaving (which I will talk about in this post). There’s an explanation for this behavior, although not as much an explanation as a deeply entrenched belief that we’re entitled to insult someone because they did something we didn’t like.

The first article I read was a news article where she was pronounced the most beautiful woman or some such title by a British magazine. And I believe it because she is stunning. She deserves every accolade even though I think that measuring beauty is a patriarchal concept that needs to go out of fashion. Anyway, a lot of people back in her home country opposed it because she’d gotten cosmetic surgery done. Apparently, it makes her fake and not deserving of that title because she decided to do it herself. And to this date, even though she has a HUGE following – and I’m talking 30 million on Instagram – there are still people who do this crap.

And just yesterday, I was watching one of her interviews in awe. Throughout the whole hour she was on, she was a total delight. Beautiful, witty, smart, charming – everything about her screamed strength and poise. Watching her smile and laugh put a smile on my face! And if I loved her before, it was nothing when compared to how I loved her now. Yes, sounds like a cheesy line from a romance but it’s true.

Of course, me being the me that I am, I went to check the comments. Almost all of them were in that language and as I carefully scrolled through them, I realized that all of them were supportive, but in retaliation to other nasty comments that had come before them. I got the gist, though. People had been saying that she couldn’t act, that she wasn’t beautiful because of cosmetic surgery, and were hurling insults at her. I didn’t scroll down to those comments because I didn’t have the energy to go on a war of words with such people.  

Why do people think that commenting on someone’s choice of what they want to do with their appearance makes them superior? Why does it bother them so much? And why do they need to spread all this hate? What do they get out of it?

I remember reading somewhere that cosmetic surgery is inherently sexist. Patriarchy dictated for so long the standards according to which women must conduct themselves, how they must look, how their bodies must look, and how they need to ‘take care’ of these things otherwise men wouldn’t want them. Hence plastic/cosmetic surgery took off with great success because now, men could dictate women’s lives to an even larger extent.

However, when women decided to get cosmetic surgery done for their own selves – not for society, not for men, not for anything else – of course patriarchy was offended. “How dare you get plastic surgery? Now watch as I rip your soul out of you!” And thus started the demonizing. If a woman gets surgery and becomes successful while not having a boyfriend/husband, she gets called names and gets insulted. People say she wasn’t beautiful before, but cosmetic surgery made her so. Okay, so the next time you want to go get your teeth cleaned or fixed because they aren’t what you want them to be, remember this. Don’t get them fixed! Oh, you’ll become so fake after that, how will you live with yourself?!

This patriarchal thinking is not just sexist, but also heteronormative and queer-exclusionary, because WTF do you mean “for a boyfriend/husband”? There are different kinds of relationships in the world out there. Why this heteronormativity? Just because you are heterosexual? Which God told you this? Queer people and relationships have always existed, and cis-het people have always discriminated against them. This is a cis-het problem and they need to fix this behavior of turning away not see the truth that queer people and relationships have always been a part of nature, just like they are.

A little detour there, but much needed, in my opinion. But coming back to plastic surgery. I don’t see why there’s so much hate against it. How does one go out there and put this kind of energy out into the world? It’s probably something like, you’ll understand and appreciate it better if you go through it. But sympathy exists in the world. You don’t have to live something in order to understand when someone else is living it. Live and let live. If you don’t have something good to say, if that other person isn’t harming you, if they’re just living their life – don’t ruin it. You are entitled to your opinion (as much as I hate to say it in this matter) but keep it to yourself.

I don’t have a good conclusion to this, honestly, because I went with the flow here. This post has been a long time coming, though, and I think I put all the thoughts I wanted to in there. Yet, I still cannot erase the nagging feeling that something is wrong. I mean, if you think about it, a lot is wrong with the world. Maybe it needs a little surgery of its own, just not cosmetic. It’s going to be a loooooong procedure if and when we decide to make this world a better place to live in.

What did you think of this blog post? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you! ❤

I’ll see you in tomorrow’s Blogtober post.

Until next time, keep reading and add melodrama to your life! 😊

2 thoughts on “The Sexism of Cosmetic Plastic Surgery | #Blogtober22 – Day 14

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