I woke up from my Percocet nap this afternoon to a facebook post that almost made me cry. A friend was wondering why women are supposed to lift each other up unless they’ve had plastic surgery and then we’re supposed to shame them. A few other girls commented that they would love to do surgery and one mentioned saving up for it.
I posted a truncated version of what I’m about to put here – including the statement that I am recovering currently from my own augmentation surgery.
First, let’s talk about image. As a woman who works outside my home in a professional setting, I am encouraged to not just have a neat and clean image, but to add polish by having my hair and make up done. Think about the advertisement, “maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s maybelline.” The whole idea behind make up and the female image is that we aren’t presentable without it. In this regard, society has no problem telling a woman she should alter her natural appearance.
Now, I like wearing make up. I like having shimmering eyelids and well defined eyebrows. Just like I like dying my hair and either curling or straightening it. I don’t feel like I have to do this every day, I have a husband who tells me I’m beautiful the way I am, so I feel pretty well adjusted and healthy in my relationship with makeup. But that doesn’t change the fact that women are told from a young age that they need this product to make them more attractive and, in some cases, presentable for work conditions.
Second, let’s talk diet and exercise. Here’s another socially acceptable way to tell men and women to alter their appearances. Slim down your waist, bulk up your shoulders, arms, and chest, and never skip legs day. Count calories, eat this and not that, here’s how to drop ten pounds in just two weeks. The litany is unending.
Now, it happens that I actually like to work out. The endorphin high for me is phenomenal and makes me feel like I’m on top of the world. I hate dieting though. I like fried foods some days. I like salads other days. What I really like is being able to eat what I want in moderation and not think in terms of what I can and can’t have. Food is more than fuel for me – it’s something to enjoy and delight in.
Why are these means of altering one’s appearance deemed ok to do and to encourage others to do? More, why are things like plastic surgery treated as such anathema? I can’t diet and exercise my way to larger breasts. I can’t highlight and contour my way to more cleavage. But I can go out and get implants.
I wish society would butt out. I don’t need to be told that I have to wear make up to be presentable. No one deserves to be told they need to lose weight or tone up to be considered attractive. And no one deserves to be shamed for having plastic surgery.
I don’t need an excuse for having it either. This wasn’t a reconstruction from having any cancer removed. This wasn’t me hating my body and having no self esteem. This was me wanting larger breasts. Nothing more, nothing less. Haha, definitely nothing less.
I wish we would all be kinder to each other. I wish we would look at women and mean it when we tell them that they don’t need make up to be beautiful, but to wear it if it makes them happy. I wish we would tell men and women alike that being healthy is a great goal, but that they don’t need to weigh a certain amount to be considered acceptable, attractive, or what have you. I wish we would tell people having plastic surgery to do what makes them happy. I wish we would tell everyone that. As it harms none, do as you will.