I normally write about political issues, but today, I’m doing something different. Culture effects our politics and politics effects our culture. Most often, these two things are intertwined without our knowledge; one impacting the other in unseen ways. However, a bad cultural trend is certainly a harbinger of things to come.
A new trend is on the rise that I find highly disturbing. This trend is familial plastic surgery. According to an article on CBS 11 News in Dallas Texas, it is becoming increasingly popular for mothers and daughters to get plastic surgery together. According to the article:
“…they do a lot of things together, so when it came to plastic surgery, they decided to try it at the same time. ‘We went in together for a consultation.’ says Sheckells (the daughter) ‘I decided right away that was what I was going to do.’ remembers mother, Jani Reyes. ‘And the she said, well, I need a few things too.’ Cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Jeff Adelglass, says mother-daughter procedures are becoming more common. Dr. Adelglass says he has even seen three generations come in for cosmetic procedures. He says reality shows like ‘Big Rich Texas could be making it a more acceptable practice.’”
I’m not against plastic surgery. If someone wants a facelift or Botox, it’s absolutely their choice to go for it. But there are several things that worry me about this trend:
1. The pervasiveness of celebrity procedures is affecting the way we, as a culture, see plastic surgery. It is no longer being seen as a last resort, or a small fix.
2. The rise in the ubiquity of plastic surgery makes it easier for people to go overboard; especially those with actual mental disorders, like Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
3. This trend of mothers and daughter getting surgery together is setting a dangerous precedent. It’s encouraging youths to get unnecessary alterations to their bodies. In addition to that, it is fostering a culture where physical perfectionism via surgery is acceptable. It’s not as if teenagers don’t already have enough to worry about with airbrushed magazine ads, perfectly sculpted TV and film actors, and a society that already puts a premium on physical perfection; now they have the availability and acceptability of extreme plastic surgery.
Trends like this are often a harbinger of things to come; they are a peek into the direction in which our country is moving. We are marching toward a culture based solely on appearances. The farther we go down this road, the more we will be driven to surface level thinking. The longer we value only what’s on the surface, the dumber we will become. We cannot allow the next generation to fall short of their potential. Imperfection is part of life, and we shouldn’t be encouraging our youth to think otherwise.
If the surface level ultimately trumps the intellectual, we are finished as a country. We’re standing on the edge.