What Lies Beneath

Before exploring cosmetic surgeries, teens should embrace personal attributes

Many teenager girls and guys find themselves looking through a mirror several times a day. Rather than admiring themselves for their facial features or beautiful bodies, the majority unintentionally begin a “list” of physical improvements in their mind, many of which are difficult to change.

Renownedly once taboo, plastic surgery has become a typical quick fix for individuals seeking to alter their physical appearances to meet social standards, personal standards and “perfection.”

With a single swipe on a screen, teenage users of social media are easily exposed to seemingly flawless celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Beyoncé. While plastic surgery may still seem like a luxury, it is undeniably becoming more common and desired with large amounts of today’s role models undergoing such bodily reconstruction methods.

Senior Kayla Vanderwerf said, “Plastic surgery is all around us on social media. Almost every celebrity undergoes at least one surgery in their lifetime. I think a lot of times we forget they have had work done and just assume they are beyond fortunate with their appearance. Of course there are celebrities that would still be insanely beautiful either way, but we are too often times deceived and don’t see what goes on behind the scenes.”

In a survey of approximately 200 CFHS students, roughly 45 percent of students admitted to potentially seeking plastic surgery in the future. Among that group, 68 students said they would consider facial reconstruction while 56 would consider reconstruction below the neck.

The most popular reasoning in defense of plastic surgery is the idea that eliminating specific areas that cause an individual to not feel beautiful will boost self-confidence. Seventy-nine students said if they were to receive plastic surgery, it would be solely for self-esteem purposes. When asked to explain, 68 students suggested it would improve their physicality, confidence and allow them to fit into societal standards more so than their current, natural-self.

Vanderwerf said, “If you want to get plastic surgery to feel better about yourself, go for it. However, I think that confidence comes from within. A new nose, lips or breasts might make you look ‘better,’ but eventually you have to find self-esteem and love in yourself, flawless or not.”

Senior Justin Gray added, “I feel as though plastic surgery for beauty and confidence is not the best option. I think it does help with scarring or small cosmetic issues, but it will not help your confidence which is essential for living a happy life.”

So, where should we the draw the line on the strive for perfection? Highly impressionable magazines, television and the media are constantly bringing onto the surface innovative ways for women and men to run further away from natural beauty and closer to an unrealistic image that is constantly changing with trends. Even if we try to constantly adjust, we are setting ourselves up for failure. Truth is, we can’t keep up.

Junior Alexandra Gudgeon said, “Beauty standards are constantly changing. Being insanely skinny used to be highly in-style, but now it seems as though curves and being ‘thick’ is what’s popular. The same can be said about eyebrows, lips or any body part. Sure, people can keep changing with surgery or makeup to adjust, but it’s a never-ending cycle.”

The end to the misconception that plastic surgery will drastically change self-esteem must end by pushing the idea that the most ultimate satisfaction comes from loving and being kind to your current body.

Junior Mikaela Elenz said, “Loving everyone for their faults is a way to improve the confidence of others. Knowing our own faults and loving ourselves despite flaws will also help with our inner issues.” Vanderwerf added, “It’s normal for people to dislike certain areas about themselves. However, we shouldn’t immediately decide the solution is changing it. I think people will find the most fulfillment in loving and accepting their unique bodies and facial features.”

Before you stand in the mirror to pinpoint societal flaws within yourself, admire your attributes that make you different. Perfection is unattainable, therefore, pull your confidence from within and embrace your imperfect self.

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