Cosmetic Industry: Help or Harm?

January 31, 2010
By Natalie Colburn BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
Natalie Colburn BRONZE, Wexford, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

The United States plasters them across the country on TV, in movies, magazines, and online; images of the flawless complexions, perfectly aligned, brilliant teeth, impossibly slim figures. Constantly bombarded with countless photos, people of all ages witness the seemingly unattainable beauty of models and celebrities. The reason being, recent cosmetic research promotes not only quintessential prescriptions and procedures, but heightens the climbing progression of beautification products the rich and famous use. Researchers developed these methods simply for the purpose of changing appearance; nothing more. The medical industry advances constantly; easing pain, curing diseases, and saving lives. However, more and more ridiculous and unnecessary procedures become available all the time. Therefore, the surgical and medical cosmetic industry should reserve its benefits for those who require it for health purposes.

Primarily, victims of any physically damaging defects or accidents are the ones who truly need this medical attention. All medical researchers should use their brilliance inventing new and developed procedures, bettering the well-being and lives of those unfortunate people, rather than waste any minds on disfiguring the human body even further. A 16-year-old girl spending roughly $3,437 on breast augmentation, an average found by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), simply desires larger breasts, unlike a girl of the same age who may require rhinoplasty, nasal plastic surgery, for not breathing correctly through her nose. Every cent of money used in hiring
the researchers and paying for the equipment and surgeries of the beauty industry should fund the doctors who help people receiving reconstructive surgical procedures, so they could reap all the benefits of these cosmetics. As divulged by an article titled “Teenage Girls and Plastic Surgery,” in April of 2008, the Australian state of Queensland passed the first ban on teenage plastic surgery which states that residents younger than 18 years of age may not undergo plastic-surgery procedures intended for purely cosmetic purposes. Anna Bligh, Queensland’s premier, commented, “Cowboys in the industry [make their living] preying on [the] vulnerabilities and insecurities [of young, emotionally immature girls].” The law also states that Citizens under 18 in that region may still receive cosmetic surgery to correct deformities, or to reverse physical damage resulting from an accident. This law exactly defines what America needs to steer the cosmetic industry away from idealized beauty.

Furthermore, pictures displaying cosmetically engineered celebrities set an exaggerated standard of beauty. People see unrealistic graphics innumerable time a day, and the idea lodges in their brains to fit right into that perfectly sculpted mold of what this country thinks they should look like. This media crisis now affects not just young adults, but children as well. As mentioned by the ASAPS, not only were 42,980 plastic-surgery procedures performed on Americans aged 18 or younger in 2008, but according to Jim Steyer, CEO of Common Sense Media, one-third of American girls between ages 6 and 12 dieted in the past, and 27 percent feel the media pressures a perfect body. Even I once stumbled upon my five-year-old cousin trembling with tears because she thought she was too fat. Your moral conscience should tell you that this appearance epidemic must immediately halt in its tracks.

Moreover, all medications and surgeries have hazardous risks and symptoms, and some may even cause fatality. Nobody should put his life at risk to conform to our society’s measure of beauty, and pain should not exist in the bodies and minds of anyone who wants nothing more than social acceptance. The ASAPS estimates that even if someone endures a perfect procedure, she needs one to three weeks just for the recovery, depending what surgery she receives. An 18-year-old girl from Pennsylvania died from a pulmonary embolism, a blockage of a main artery of the lung, after undergoing liposuction in 2001. After seven years a court finally granted her parents $20 million. Would you allow your own daughter, sister, or friend to undergo liposuction if you knew the surgery could kill her? Would her life account for only an amount of money? Many patients, young and old alike, ignorant of the consequences of their decisions, blindly walk into the operating room with only the thought of looking beautiful on their way out.

Worst of all, supporters of the aesthetic cosmetic industry may believe that the United States should not add laws that restrict who may receive beautification procedures because they can boost patients’ self-esteem. Nevertheless, these supporters do not realize the surgeries account for at least a portion of the low self-esteem in this nation’s people in the first place. A poll conducted by the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, an association that works with organizations and programs that foster strong self-esteem for women, shows that 70% of U.S. girls aged 8 to 17 believe they do not "measure up" in terms of looks. The United States has the media to thank for displaying celebrities who appear perfect from head to toe, although a great deal of the time they are only a result of plastic surgeries and so forth. Therefore, eliminating these cosmetic surgeries will in turn have the effect of improving young men’s and women’s self-esteems. Although these supporters may believe that by simply morphing one’s appearance, her confidence will
sky-rocket, that is not always the case. After receiving breast implants at the age of nineteen and enduring many “sleazy comments from men,” Kate Birch-Davis, a British sales-manager, confessed, “I stopped wearing the figure-hugging outfits I'd once longed to wear…ironically, the implants I thought would give me so much confidence eventually led to a lowering of my self-esteem."
Above all, only victims of destructive accidents and health problems deserve the benefits of cosmetic medication and surgery. By having these beautification medications and surgeries readily accessible to everyone in the U.S., we pressure even adolescents into distorting their appearance for unrealistic beauty. The media imprints billions of images into the minds of Americans, fooling them into believing that they must look precisely the same way. As a result, many patients of unsuccessful surgeries may need follow-up procedures, have chronic symptoms, or even lose their lives. No one should feel obligated to change his body to any standard of beauty. Stop this injustice and petition your local government to ban these surgeries for purely cosmetic reasons. This country’s standards should not rest solely on how thin or beautiful a person is, but on the loyalty, patriotism, and love living in his heart.

The author's comments:
I was assigned a persuasive essay in my English class, and I chose to write about the issues of cosmetic surgery because I believe that it remains a very controversial topic. I wanted to express my views in this essay and show why this aesthetic industry must end.

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This article has 3 comments.

danny said...
on Apr. 10 2011 at 9:11 pm
I agree that the media is distorting the minds of young teens. And not just females are suffering but young males are as well.They are now days sexually driven. Every where they look there is a naked women are girls being showcased. How do they grow up not being sexually driven? This is becoming and epidimic and the media knows this. Instead of trying to solve the problem they create more problems, so that they can benifit off of it. I beleive it is all just a big game to get more money, they dont care about the people. If they did there would be prevention plans in place.

Pillow BRONZE said...
on Feb. 7 2010 at 11:41 pm
Pillow BRONZE, Spokane, Washington
1 article 5 photos 300 comments

Favorite Quote:
Nothing says oops like a wall of flame.

I really agree with you that our country has a screwed up view on beauty even when they try to correct it. I know it will take a lot of people and time to change our country. If Martin Luther King Jr. can make such a huge difference by standing up, why can't we do something?

on Feb. 4 2010 at 7:28 pm
TheUnknownGuest GOLD, Woodbridge, Virginia
14 articles 4 photos 110 comments

Favorite Quote:
I can't remember it clearly, but it went something like this:

"The past is the past, the future is the furture. But now, now is like a gift, which is why it is called present."

Wow..... I agree 100%!!


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