Plastic surgery used to be something many people were embarrassed to admit they’ve had. Twenty or so years ago, most celebrities would dodge the question when asked if they had work done, even if it was obvious that they had. It wasn’t uncommon to see the star of a popular movie or TV show looking noticeably younger or with a new and improved nose, but getting them to admit to it proved to be virtually impossible.
Today, the stigma behind cosmetic surgery seems to be fading, as more and more public figures are candidly talking about their experiences going under the knife. Reality TV star Heidi Montag was one of the first celebrities to come forward about having work done, admitting to having ten cosmetic procedures done in one day. Other celebs like Kylie Jenner, Iggy Azalea, and Ariel Winter have also admitted to undergoing various cosmetic procedures, making plastic surgery no longer the taboo subject it once was.
While we have definitely made strides as a society when it comes to cosmetic surgery, the stigma surrounding these elective procedures still hasn’t faded completely. Many people still feel embarrassed to admit they have had anything done, even minor tweaks, like lip injections or Dermapen. In order to work towards eliminating the stigma for good, it is important to first understand the different types of cosmetic procedures and how they affect different groups of people.
The Most Common Plastic Surgery Procedures
- Breast augmentation/Breast reduction
- Tummy tuck
- Buttock lift
- Lip augmentation
- Chin reshaping
- Botox injections/Facial fillers
- Eyelid lift
How the Stigma Affects Men
One of the biggest issues surrounding the plastic surgery stigma is that these types of elective procedures are predominantly for women. The truth is, men also struggle with body insecurities, and many of the same cosmetic procedures women choose to have can also be used by men in order to achieve the look they desire. Some of the most common cosmetic procedures for men include:
- Male breast reduction
- Eyelid surgery
- Ear surgery
Due to the stigma already surrounding plastic surgery in general, many men feel embarrassed or even ashamed to admit to having plastic surgery, out of fear for being seen as less masculine or even feminine. This can be incredibly dangerous for mental health among men, especially those who are transgender and may already be experiencing ridicule from friends and family. In recent years, however, male celebrities like Howard Stern, Simon Cowell, and Gene Simmons have openly discussed undergoing various cosmetic procedures, which can only be good news for men who may be considering having work done but are hesitant to take the plunge.
Eliminating the Stigma
While we have come a long way from the days of “hush, hush” cosmetic surgery, the stigma surrounding these types of procedures still has not vanished completely. They say that if you would like to change or improve something about yourself, you should take steps to make those changes. If you wish you were a better singer, you could take vocal lessons to perfect your pipes. If you want to be a stronger swimmer, practicing in the pool as often as you can will help you improve over time. Why shouldn’t the same principles apply to changing or improving some aspect of your physical appearance as well?
One significant way we can work towards eliminating the stigma behind cosmetic surgery is by continuing to be open and honest about our insecurities and the things we wish we could change about ourselves. While big-name celebrities like Kylie Jenner speaking candidly about plastic surgery is indeed a huge step in the right direction, it is also important for us to be having these conversations with our friends, family, and peers. Somebody you would least expect, like the barista at your local coffee shop or your teacher may have had plastic surgery, and while it is each individual person’s choice to decide whether to share that information, it is important that we continue to leave the conversation open for discussion and work towards eliminating the stigma for good.