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Is the Western World's Quest for Perfection Getting out of Hand?

Updated on July 14, 2018
ethel smith profile image

With a keen interest in British politics this writer is never afraid to share her opinion

Are we becoming too obsessed with having a perfect exterior? Will cosmetic surgery satisfy your need?

Over the years we have become used to seeing television personalities and celebrities who have undergone cosmetic surgery.

Noses shortened, breasts enlarged, buttocks tightened and in some case faces lifted.

Sometimes the results are quite pleasing on the eye whilst other times they are hideous.

Of course no-one can hold back time forever and so sooner or later your age catches up with you.

Sure people can have more surgery but this may have dire consequences and in some cases it has.

Faces can be left so tight that expressions and movement become impossible and breasts so young and taut that they look ludicrous on an older body.

The 21st Century has seen an increase in the cosmetic surgery and procedures available

It has also seen more ordinary folk wanting to undergo such attempts at either holding back time or improving what nature gave them.

This has resulted in some people saving their hard earned cash for an eyebrow lift or liposuction instead of a weekend break.

However it is debatable whether or not such surgery will satisfy a person's need or leave them wanting more.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Cosmetic Surgery

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Is Cosmetic Surgery right for you?

In certain cases cosmetic surgery is appropriate and achieves what the person wants but the trouble is that too many people never know when to stop.

Consider celebrities such as Cher or the late Michael Jackson

Both were so very beautiful in their day but, even before age kicked in, they seemed to want to change their appearances.

Many of us would have given our right arms, to have had what they were born with but it was not enough for them.

Before you go down the road of Cosmetic Surgery consider:-

  • Just what you are hoping to achieve?
  • Can you afford it?
  • Remember the cost may grow
  • Will these changes satisfy your need or solve your problem?
  • Have you researched the cosmetic surgery provider fully?
  • Is it really necessary?

I think the penultimate point is very important.

There are all too many witch doctors around these days eager to take your money.

You are trusting the surgeon with your appearance and your life. Do not do so lightly.

Surgery can be traumatic, even when it is essential for your health and well-being. To undergo such surgery, for what may only be vanity, may not be easy for you.

You will still experience the same amount pain and procedure risks as you would with say an appendectomy.

  • If you decide that this surgery is for you make sure also that you are prepared physically and mentally for it
  • Ensure you consult your loved ones and keep them informed. Keeping your cosmetic surgery a secret could be a shock for a partner who is not prepared to see any change in you
  • Follow all the instructions for the pre-op period as well as post-op to ensure that you stay infection free and well


Many people end up becoming hooked on cosmetic surgery.

That next little tweak to your face and nip to your neck could end up an ongoing process that you cannot stop.

This is why you must give the matter a great deal of thought before you make your final decision.

If you are not careful you could end up on a treadmill of cosmetic surgery that costs you a fortune, makes you unhappy and in reality spoils your natural looks.

Western society is becoming more and more obsessed with a person's appearance.

What people forget is that you earn those little wrinkles around your eyes and on your face.

Sure you can halt their progress but growing older is part of life.

If you decide that surgery is for you, go for it but do not let small-minded people or peer pressure push you into changing your appearance unless you are sure that it is for you.

It would be better to enhance what you have and learn to be happy in your skin.

If you can do this successfully your personality and inner self will shine through making you much more attractive than a stiff surgical cosmetic grin could ever do.

Don't get caught up in the whirl of cosmetic surgery just because it is the fashion these days.

In your heart of hearts you know whether it is right for you or not.

Well what about it?

Would you consider having cosmetic surgery?

See results

© 2009 Ethel Smith


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think Celine Dion was even more beautiful before having Plastic surgery.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      10 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for the visit greenerme. I will stick with growing old and wrinkly.Too each his own I guess but the quest for perfection is rather worrying

    • thegreenerme profile image


      10 years ago

      I went into this page thinking of all of the botched plastic surgeries, but seeing a couple of the before and after photos, like Celine Dion, I might have to have to alter my answer! I personally would never have plastic surgery, but if you're in the public spotlight I can see why the intense scrutiny might lead people to alter their looks. On the other hand, it's leaked out into mainstream America and some small cosmetic surgeries are getting more common. Hopefully this is a trend that will someday go away instead of flourishing and growing.

    • kiwi91 profile image


      11 years ago from USA

      If Michael or Latoya Jackson are today's vision of perfection, then count me out! I personally don't know anyone that has had cosmetic facial surgery just because they wanted to change something. Whatever happened to aging gracefully?

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I'm with you Bryguy

    • bryguy1 profile image


      11 years ago

      Ethel, I would never consider plastic surgery or modification for any reason other then something like a bad accident which might have left me scarred or damaged physically. I believe that we should all find true happiness with ourselves. God made each of us unique. We need to learn to accept ourselves and be happy with ourselves. We will never believe that someone might be happy with us if we cannot be happy with ourselves leading to a life of depression. Be happy with who you are. You are unlike anyone else in the world. Find inner peace with who you are. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and is only skin deep.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Well said James and yes I agree about Celine

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      The only one who looked better in the after photos was Celine Dion—mostly the teeth. I will never have cosmetic surgery. All under the Sun is Vanity—King Solomon.

      Thanks for the article. You are quite sensible.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      That will never be you Ripplemaker

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 

      11 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Once upon a sunny day, I made a decision to grow old gracefully and to be accepting of the wrinkles, the grey hairs and the sagging parts of me. LOL :) Thumbs up for this hub.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Redelf we must be twins. I always thought I was fat etc and now looking at old photos think I was not bad at all.

      Rnmsn, yes well I have had some teeth capped and crowned but it was that or have them pulled out.

      Catherine, If tooth whitening had been around when my teeth were younger I would have tried it I think :)

    • Catherine R profile image

      Catherine R 

      11 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I am with you Ethel. Let nature take its course. I think a good haircut and a bit of makeup can do wonders. Teeth though - that's a different thing. I would have some teeth whitening done if I had the cash.

    • RNMSN profile image

      Barbara Bethard 

      11 years ago from Tucson, Az

      ha I voted never and I voted before readng you guys' comments :) but now I have to rethink my top teeth were all falling out and cracked and yellow and I had the insurance so I had them capped this year and I love my smile again/would love to get all my teeth capped/is that cosmetic surgery? insurance paid for it because my natural teeth were in such terrible condition....but other than my teeth/still a never vote :)

    • RedElf profile image


      11 years ago from Canada

      I would consider reconstructive surgery should that necessity arise from an accident or some such. I am now reasonably happy with what and who I am.

      What truly amazes me is seeing photos of me as a teen and a young woman. Looking at them I see an attractive, fresh-faced girl - I had a distorted self image and such terribly low self esteem that I couldn't see the pretty girl for the bad feelings, LOL.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Yes Kunika those that struggle living on a meagre income have more important things to worry about.

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      you are so true that western countries are obsessed abt their physical appearance coz people get easily earn their livelihood and all the luxuries of their life after getting things easily what they want than they move towards something new look different from others that's what tend towards all those things while if u see underdeveloped countries there people are busy in earning their livelihood all these things for them are for celebreties only or for them who are born with a silver spoon.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Thanks for all the great comments guys.

      Yes no-one voted never-not even me lol. However with all of these things it depends on so much. IF you have surgery and are not happy with the results you may be faced with hefty bills and endless surgery.

    • emievil profile image


      11 years ago from Philippines

      Great hub. It's not only the Western world. Even in my country, a lot of people are getting cosmetic surgeries and the like. I think being satisfied or dissatisfied in one's appearance is a personal preference that knows to boundaries, countries or race. =)

    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 

      11 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Hey this is really great. Nice, comprehensive, and informative.

    • Envoy profile image


      11 years ago from USA

      awe great hub!

      No one voted never lol :O

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      11 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Good hub! Cosmetic surgery can easily be overdone. Some people look quite unnatural after cosmetic surgery. Correcting deformities is one thing, trying to improve on mother nature another.

    • MikeNV profile image


      11 years ago from Henderson, NV

      Could care less about what other people do cosmetically. Doesn't have any effect on the way I feel about people.

    • Anath profile image


      11 years ago

      Would I consider having cosmetic surgery? My answer is yes. I would love to say that I want to grow old proud of my "laugh lines", but I think that sooner or later I would consider getting rid of them.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Hear Hear Princessa. I quite agree. I do think though that some go into it blindly and regret it in the end.

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 

      11 years ago from France

      I think it is very important to be satisfied with your apperance. I am not for or against plastic surgery, I think that it really depends on the person and her/his expectations. It can work wonders for some while it can be damaging for others.

      The important thing is to keep in mind that Surgery cannot change your life, it might improve your looks (not always) but will not change underlying personalitity issues.

    • ethel smith profile imageAUTHOR

      Ethel Smith 

      11 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Good for you lol. I hope it makes you happy. At 57 years of age I have learned to be happy with me.

    • loveofnight profile image

      Loveofnigjht Anderson 

      11 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      if it falls and i can get it lifted i will


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