Have you ever altered your appearance in any way? Like, with makeup or maybe bangs? If so, you should probably get behind not shaming plastic surgery or those who choose to go under the knife. As plastic surgery continues to be a subject of contemporary debate while more and more celebrities admit to getting plastic surgery themselves, the merits of the practice are undoubtedly being reassessed. However, according to the American Society Of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) 15.6 million cosmetic procedures were undergone in 2014 in America alone, with a three percent increase from the year before. While the organization has yet to reveal the stats for 2015, I can only speculate that the amounts and percentages will have risen, especially when we consider the world's current fascination with achieving the Kylie Jenner pout.
So with the popularity of cosmetic surgery seeming ever-present, why is the topic often still taboo or perceived in a negative light? I personally feel that cosmetic surgery is completely fine. It's up to the individual and, actually, not always linked to insecurities. And even if it is? That's none of my damn business.
Just as you shouldn't discuss other people's bodies and life choices before they have plastic surgery, I don't believe you should do it afterwards, either. In fact, I admire those who are open about their procedures all the more because of the backlash they often have to deal with purely for their honesty. So here are some reasons to consider putting a stop to the surgery shaming.
1. It's Not Always Based On Insecurity
To be honest, assuming that people only get cosmetic procedures or plastic surgery because of their insecurities will likely only help make them feel more insecure. Remember when Lady Gaga had horns placed under her skin? I doubt she'd spent her whole life thinking she was ugly because she didn't have horns.
2. It Can Be Artistic Expression
I'm going to use the Lady Gaga example again. As she told Harper's Bazaar, "It's artistic expression. It's a performance-art piece." And just consider the many drag queens who have plastic surgery to better their craft (and look more like Cher).
3. There Can Be Medical Reasons For It
You can't know whether someone's been through reconstruction because they literally had to. Dismissing plastic surgery as a fad of the rich and insecure dismisses the experiences not just of victims who needed surgery to carry on with their lives, but also of the transgender people who use plastic surgery to express their gender fully.
4. It's Not Your Business
Even if someone's reasons are purely cosmetic, it's still none of your business. Your negative opinion regarding their choices isn't going to make anyone feel any better.
5. You Shouldn't Judge People
It's Body Positivity 101 guys. Even if you disagree with someone's actions or you wouldn't choose to do them yourself, you simply shouldn't judge them for it. Unless it's like... murder or something. Then go ahead.
6. You've Likely Had A Body Modification Too
What's the difference between plastic surgery and body modifications? I can't see how piercing your belly button or ear lobes is in any way morally superior to getting your lips done.
7. Or Altered Your Body In Any Way
So what if someone chooses to adorn their body with giant plastic boobies instead of some dangly sparkly earrings? Where is the line drawn, and who gets to draw it?
8. What Is "Natural" Anyway?
As RuPaul would tell you, "We're all born naked and the rest is drag."
9. It's Body Policing
To put it bluntly: Please stop thinking it's your place to dictate what anyone else does with their body.
10. Self Love Comes In Different Forms
I have a friend who likes her lips. But she's always wanted a fuller pout — even as someone I'd consider quite body positive. It's not that she's miserable with how she looks, or unable to see the beauty in her features. It's simply something she feels could make her fall in love with herself that little bit more. And if someone else's form includes plastic surgery, you're just going to have to accept that.
11. Our Choices Should Be Respected
As much as you may disagree with someone's choices — and even I can admit I hate about 50 percent of people's aesthetic decisions — you have to roll with it and let them be themselves. Just like you want everyone to accept you as you are.
12. It's Culturally Ingrained
Like it or lump it, plastic surgery has a firm place in a part of our media and society. Instead of berating it (provided it isn't hurting anyone) I believe we should accept it and support those who choose to have it.
13. It Helps People
Even if it might not seem like a body positive act, plastic surgery has the potential to help people feel more positive about themselves. And in that case, I'm all for it. If you want to chastise the insane beauty standards of our culture, please be my guest. But don't chastise people who choose to alter their own beauty, whether because they're "victims" of said beauty standard expectations, they simply want to have an op, or they need the surgery for grander physical reasons.
To put it simply, you don't know people's reasons for having surgery, so there's no grounds on which to shame them. And even if you do, it's still not your place to be intolerant. Discussing and insulting the bodies of others — no matter your reasons — is just a shitty thing to do.