Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dying to be Beautiful?

A study published today in the Annals of Plastic Surgery says that women who get breast implants are three times as likely to commit suicide as other women.

The researchers said the increased risk of suicide was not apparent for ten years.

Actually, that makes sense. Many women get implants because of low self-esteem linked to body image. Today's society puts such a premium on having the perfect body, some women will never feel that they are good enough.

It probably takes ten years for them to see that having the surgery didn't really change their lives for the better. If a woman's main reason for getting implants is to try to achieve that elusive - but so necessary to her esteem - perfect body image, then ten years will hold many disappointments.

What happens when tiny lines start to appear around the eyes and mouth? How will she feel when she has to pluck that first grey hair? Other parts of the body will start to sag, spread and generally suffer the ravages of time. Over ten years, that kind of realization can be depressing - and it's worse in some decades than others.

I don't think there is anything wrong with having any kind of plastic surgery as long as the expectations are not unrealistic. But if people think that changing some aspect of their body that they dislike is going to be a fix for everything that is wrong in their lives, then they are going to be in for some serious disappointments.

I saw a tabloid the other day that had pictures of famous women's hips, bellies and behinds. Every one of them had loose-curd cottage cheese butts and thighs. The teaser was that they covered the face and you had to buy the magazine to see inside and find out which ugly body belonged to which famous celebrity.

It's that kind of thing that makes women fear. And who is to blame?

I think we are.

Women are. Men aren't standing in the checkout line eyeing that tabloid and saying "see, I knew she was older than she looks". Let's face it. We rage and accuse the media of setting us up by using bone-thin models and airbrushing photos but the truth is, they are only selling. We're the ones who are buying.

There's only one way to stop it.

Don't buy it.


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