Cosmetic surgery is not the best solution to getting the perfect body this year

Kristen Vasas and Kristen Vasas

All right BGSU. It’s time to face the music. January is over, and for many of us that means it’s time to evaluate our New Year’s resolution progress.

Did you stick to your goals? Did you cut the daily cigarettes out of your routine or keep with your promise to finish your homework on time? How about that ever popular objective to lose 20 or more pounds by spring or summer break?

We all know that these types of changes take time, but don’t you wish there was a way to speed up the results?

Well for those of us on a mission for the perfect body, there is. But don’t get too excited just yet. There may be dire consequences from your actions.

I now introduce to you the simple, effective and speedy procedure known as cosmetic plastic surgery. Defined as a procedure that reshapes normal body structures to alter the patient’s physical appearance, it was found that nearly two million cosmetic surgeries were performed in 2005 alone, which is nearly a four percent increase since 2004 according to the Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Resource.

Sounds promising, doesn’t it? Not only does it deliver fast results, but it also can be less expensive than buying a new car. The page then goes on to say that ‘cosmetic plastic surgery can help individuals lead happier, more confident lives.’

In fact, cosmetic surgery has become so appealing to the masses that it is now being offered as a prize-package deal.

According to a recent article in The BG News, as part of a program on the Fox Reality Channel, Gator’z Bar and Grill in Toledo hosted the finals of a three-week wet T-shirt contest last Thursday night. The prize: possibly becoming a co-star in a four-part series on Fox’s daily ‘Reality Remix’ show as well as a breast augmentation surgery valued at $10,000.

Now before I go off on the issue of wet T-shirt contests degrading woman and lowering them into mere sexual objects, let us reexamine the truth about cosmetic surgery.

The procedures, although they produce instant results, can also create instant problems. For example, any form of cosmetic plastic surgery will leave the patient suffering from side effects, such as an intense pain and inflammation in the surgical area, according to the website

However, different procedures lead to different side effects.

Breast augmentation can lead to bleeding of the gel, which in turn can lead to a flow of silicone throughout the body, a condition that in some cases can cause death.

Liposuction can lead to discoloration, numbness, bruising and pain, while facelifts can involve various side effects such as nerve damage that makes the person’s face unable to sense any contact at all.

And those are only the physical side effects.

According to a recent analysis performed on 37 patients both before and after cosmetic plastic surgery by psychiatrists Katherine Phillips and David Castle, it was found that such procedures can leave a negative psychological impact on those that receive the surgery and also on those who don’t, as they may feel inadequate as a result.

The information, which was published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, found that patients who are dissatisfied with surgery may ‘request repeat procedures or experience depression and adjustment problems, social isolation, family problems, self-destructive behaviors and anger toward the surgeon and his or her staff.’

The problem is not that this type of surgery can cause such harmful side effects, but that people who are informed of the consequences opt to receive the procedure anyway.

The only people who should ever consider any form of cosmetic plastic surgery would be those with debilitating problems, those with issues that affect an everyday lifestyle.

For the rest of us, those who feel we’re just not attractive enough, not thin or muscular enough; stop comparing yourself to the unrealistic ideals that society sets for you.

Learn to be comfortable with how you look. If your not, know that having plastic surgery will not get you there. Once one aspect of your body is ‘fixed,’ then something else will seem wrong, and another surgery will loom around the corner.

Cosmetic surgery is oftentimes a never-ending cycle that should be avoided at all costs. It is the source of poor self-esteem, the reason why thousands of people distort their bodies every year to become the ‘perfect’ man or woman. Because of the pressure from society to be beautiful on the outside, we tend to forget that it is only the inside that ever really counts.

Send comments to Kristen Vasas at [email protected]