I’ve started to answer this multiple times and keep getting distracted from the writing part. Then I keep thinking more. I don’t think I’m capable of having a fully formed opinion almost ever. There are just initial thoughts then subsequent thoughts and more thoughts then thought sauce until I have a steaming pile of overcooked thoughts. So I’m glad we are rambling.
Does plastic surgery have a terrible connotation in the west? People do seem hypocritical about it. It’s widely performed but people are harshly judged, particularly when they go too far and it turns out badly, or looks good but is obvious. A lot of things are like that, at least here in the States. People uphold an extreme end goal, like beauty or wealth, but outwardly disapprove of the methods necessary to reach it except rigid, preordained “hard-work”. I think there is a lot of envy/resentment involved; people don’t like it when it’s visible that someone had the balls and/or money to take a shortcut that they themselves may have considered but can’t or won’t take.
I don’t think I understand morality. I mean I do conceptually but not internally, or I understand it differently than society at large? I found myself in a circular pen when I started to go there, more thought soup I need to go post in Erika’s right/wrong thread.
Objectively I am fascinated by plastic surgery. The ability to manipulate flesh like clay or paint is alluring. This is one reason why it is not surprising to me that this is happening. The technology is available and people will use it. This is one reason why it is not surprising to me that this is happening. Some people use it magnificently, sculpturally. Some people use is practically. Some people use it to compensate. I certainly think people should have the final decision on how they look, but here we get into those finer-point issues of morality again that make me spin.
Why shouldn’t they? I can’t say they shouldn’t, but why it struck me as sad (first thoughts) is what it seemed the people in the article wanted to change was not their appearances, but the way they feel about themselves. I do agree the two form a mobius strip. You can start with appearance to make internal changes, just seems less likely to stick in the long run. The plastic surgery route for many individuals seems to me like wasted time and money, a paint job for a car with engine problems, which I think is often why it becomes addicting. The reward wears off quickly but was satisfying enough for another go. Really the potential is inside the wound, whatever is causing them to feel less than enough, for examination and subsequent building of what they’re seeking (which I believe is confidence and self-love). It’s just that getting there hurts more first and feels better later. But I have to believe this is true as I am pursuing a career in therapy. This is related to what I mentioned before as an increasing drive to stay toward the surface of things, to perfect the body but not the soul. There’s a lot there. Energetic shifts, tipping points etc.
On a selfish note I find it sad because I think physical variety makes the world a more interesting place, and I am disappointed that beauty is becoming increasing homogenized. But then again I’m not sure it is, there is constantly pushback against any one standard of beauty. The tide seems to flow much quicker with the Internet around. Maybe what’s being erased more than ever now is age? I find that problematic, but can’t currently pick the why apart. Related again to this push toward surface, an unwillingness to look at death.
Some people condemn women for rigging their sexual market value, but why shouldn’t they? Maybe something to do with the cosmos and destiny of humanity. If we rig the system perhaps we won’t be breeding out “unfavorable” genetics.
Wow I never even considered this as fucking up the gene pool before. I got stuck on “rigging their sexual market value” and started thinking about beauty standards vs. sexual attraction. I think many people misinterpret what the opposite sex is looking for physically in a (hetero) mate. Media and same-sex judgements seem to have more to do with beauty standards than opposite sex to me, or at least it is balanced. Things like big boobs/hips and perhaps facial symmetry will always signify good childbearing jeans, but the rest of beauty seems to cycle with societal needs. Like how thinness was the ideal from the late 60s through the early 2000s but is starting to fade out. That kind of thinness has little sexual market value biologically; my guess is the trend had more to do with changing perceptions of gender roles as well as drastic economic changes. But is sexual market value biological or is it cultural? Is it actually for sex or is it for power? Is there really any difference between sex and power?
Kind of unrelated, but women should do whatever they want. Women doing whatever they want is terrifying tho and everyone knows it, so people will keep making it hard for them.
It’s hard for me to differentiate right vs wrong, sane vs ill.
Me too. I was interested in the label “dysmorphia”, which implied to me false gross exaggeration to the point of pathology. How we perceive illness/treatment must be culturally sanctioned, and technology-based disorders being added to the DSM is a point of interest for me. I don’t know what the implications of this are for western countries that have universal health care, but in the States a large part of is practically. If people are getting these kind of procedures to address concerns that are actually internal/perception based and want to potentially achieve the change they desire through therapy, then it needs to be diagnosable so health insurance will pay for it. It’s ridiculous, but how it works. Is it actually an illness? Debatable. If you frame the surgery as a symptom of pathology then it is. If you frame it as a reasonable but short-term solution to a common human problem, then it isn’t. It doesn’t even matter how you frame it unless you place a value judgement on sick vs. well, but I guess most do.
You mention plastic surgery is culturally perceived differently in South Korea. More as a practical thing, makes me think of it like going to the dentist. I wonder if there are these same underlying issues about confidence and self-perception, or if there is a divide between the two, making it less pathological. Possibly because it is perceived casually. I don’t know, am very interested on any info you have about this.
Personally, I find myself abhorrent. I despise my own hideousness, but it’s not skin deep. It’s a feeling of self-disgust that no matter how I try to remove it, it will still permeate.
Again, me too. Or not quite, me too until about a month ago. I do find that the more depressed I get the more I focus on my physical hideousness, to the point where I now can pinpoint being disgusted with my appearance as a warning sign that I need to pay more attention to managing my mental health. I deal with this polarity of extreme shame/arrogance on a constant basis though, not just when depressed. Its a see-saw and I run from one end to the other. I visioned that polarity as a large black demon dog when trying to think how to explain it. Sometimes it just bites me and sometimes it consumes me entirely. I am inside looking out and it is doing a one eye open one eye shut switcheroo so rapidly it makes me nauseous. The feel of its guts are like labia after being swabbed with tea tree oil (if you don’t know what this feels like never try it even if you have a yeast infection). Previously I have visioned it as a swamp in my solar plexus. But lately I have the dog on a leash. I feel it creep up sometimes but I have commands or treats or something to placate it? IDK how I did it. I think it was this energy worker I’ve been seeing for a few months. She talked about the problem in terms of unworthiness/self-centeredness but I think it is the same thing. I guess she fixed it. Or maybe it is just that I am living on the outskirts of mania town rn.
This is a different issue. Or maybe it isn’t, maybe this is also what the people in the article are experiencing but it is less intense or they are less in-tune with it. I feel for you about the hideousness; it is a hard burden. I’m interested in what your experience of it is but I understand it may not be something you wish to share.