Wednesday, 4 January 2012
keeping abreast of the issues
I had an impromptu bra fitting the day before yesterday at M&S in windswept Swindon. I came away feeling a little shocked. It appears I am a small B (possibly in some styles an A!). I had always thought of myself as a B - C. It appears not. Is this an age thing? Quite probably. I lost a little weight last year and it must have dented my cleavage rather than other areas of my body.
Now, here comes the rant....
I will not, however, be rushing to a cosmetic enhancement clinic for a breast enlargement. Recent news regarding implants and their safety hasn't influenced me. I've always thought it was ill-advised and potentially damaging to consider major surgery to remedy some kind of bodily aesthetic fault. I'd rather spend a few spare thousand pounds on a holiday or going to college, or even something useful like transport or paying off the mortgage.
I wouldn't want to make cosmetic surgery illegal and it's vital that people who require reconstructive surgery after illness, accident or in response to psychological trauma can access it with support of their GP and other health professionals.
I've just always felt uneasy about the purely cosmetic, the quick nip and tuck, the injecting, the filling, the cutting and sewing up. If that's how a person wants to spend their money then that's up to them but cosmetic surgery appears to have become much more accessible, much more mainstraim and it's the business element, the marketing element, the normalising of it and the identikit look it seems to produce in its customers that I don't like. It's the fact that young women are portrayed as almost 'requiring' surgery if they don't conform to a particular beauty fashion. The current vogue for the big breast, big lip look has transformed some of our most beautiful women into look-a-likes. Where's the joy without difference, quirkiness and individual beauty?
Listening to the radio reports, there were discussions of how cosmetic surgery clinics, as businesses, were allegedly offering cheaper implants to make more money. Now, what sort of business is it that not only cuts (let's face it) mostly women up, introduces various chemicals and substances to change / improve their body for large amounts of money and then tries to cut corners?
Cosmetic surgery procedures are usually elective but why are so many of us choosing to undergo surgery in an attempt to assuage our insecurities and worries about our physical appearance? Surely those doctors and clinic managers are aware that huge, global, international marketing forces are constantly reinforcing the idea that our bodies are not worth it if they don't cost us a small fortune every month to primp, paint, de-fuzz and sculpt into one of their airbrushed specimens?
Are they not profiteering from the insecurities created by our current cultural obsession with a certain kind of beauty? Perhaps this crisis will be the beginning of a stocktake of what some of us are doing to ourselves in the name of beauty.