Cosmetic procedures exist at an interesting intersection in our society. There are a lot of movements in our culture that aim to re-contextualize beauty, including the Body Positivity Movement. These movements serve an important purpose; a reduction in the importance of appearance in society can increase social mobility for those who may not want to conform to social standards of beauty. This cry for body positivity can make some wonder why you would get a cosmetic procedure in the first place; this post is a high-level attempt to reconcile body positivity with the agency to visit a highly qualified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon to complete cosmetic procedures.
The most obvious reason to get a cosmetic procedure is that you want to look different than you do; some facet of your body is unsatisfying to you, and presents an image that is contrary to your internalized vision of self. This can create cognitive dissonance and might lower your self-esteem. For dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons, it’s always important to keep a peculiar balance. There are times where a cosmetic procedure can be a perfect solution to a problem; they tend to be minimally invasive with high rates of success, and if the procedure makes a person feel more fulfilled, more comfortable in their own skin, performing the procedure acts as harm reduction.
Another reason for cosmetic procedures is the social mobility they provide. Though our culture is attempting to reduce the importance of attractiveness, it is unquestionably important. Attractive people earn more money. That can feel unfair, but attractiveness gives off a lot of social signals that may be relevant. When you look good, it may be an indicator of conscientiousness; you’ve taken the time out of your day to work on your appearance, you may work out, wear cosmetic products, use lotions; whatever it might be, it probably took effort, and that effort shows.
The degree to which attractiveness plays into your work can vary pretty dramatically depending on your profession. A computer programmer might put less weight into their attractiveness than a model, a dancer or a professional speaker. Careers in which you must present yourself to the audience, in which you may be an inspirational model for those watching you – the pressure to look good can feel intense.
Dermatologists are highly trained medical professionals. It is their duty to assess the risks to a patient, and the potential benefits. While movements to accept all types of bodies are important, it remains true that attractiveness play an important role in our society. When there are social or psychological harms that can be reduced by the use of cosmetic procedures, they can be extremely helpful, and the risks that they pose are minimal.