Cosmetic surgery

Looking in the mirror, it’s easy to point out our own flaws. We pull and lift at the skin around our eyes, suck in our cheeks and carefully try to sketch a defined cupid’s bow on our lips. While we are learning to practice and embrace unconditional self love, even the smallest imperfections can weigh heavy on us, and getting a ‘bit of work done’ can go a long way.

Over the last few years, it’s become clear that young women getting their lips plumped, jaws chiseled and cheeks defined is increasing dramatically. Decades ago, cosmetic surgery was a taboo subject that people hardly talked about and many people (especially women) were shamed if they admitted to having work done.

A nip here, a tuck there, it was all very frowned upon, and celebrity women were often publicly shamed in the press for their experiences with cosmetic surgery. Remember Heidi Montag? That poor girl was dragged to hell and back.

While it used to be seen as an extreme route for beauty, it has since become normalised. Whether it’s laser hair removal, a brow lift or a boob job, we’re much more comfortable talking about it. This isn’t about beauty standards, it’s about our own bodies and our own choices that we make for ourselves, and not for the validation of other people.

Controversy around the topic still exists, with YouTube influencers and vloggers often receiving a digital slap on the wrist for sharing their own procedures, accused of encouraging low self esteem and minimal body positivity. Once again, women are accused of feeding a vanity obsessed cultural norm, presenting only their best selves through a lens.

Today, young women are embracing cosmetic surgery procedures, whether that’s a little bit of filler or enduring a more complicated surgery. You can look at it two ways, we can either criticise those who opt for cosmetic enhancement and blame the Kardashians and celebrity culture for the low self esteem of women everywhere, or we can mind our own business.

It seems that the latter is the most popular choice, with many women supporting others for taking ownership of their own body, and doing what they want with it.

There seems to be a shift in attitudes toward cosmetic procedures. The current rhetoric mainly consists of “it’s her body she can do what she want’s”, the rise of fourth wave feminism is partly to thank. Girls supporting girls are everywhere, but it’s not something to be taken lightly.

As with all medical procedures, there are risks involved, and even the smallest amount of botox shouldn’t just be used to mask an insecurity, you need to be sure you want it. It’s your face and your body, and you need to be sure you’ll be pleased with the result.

One established social media star and close-friend of Kylie Jenner, began to document her surgeries on her YouTube channel for her 103,000 subscribers. Anastasia Karanikolaou (@StassieBaby), uploaded a video under the obvious title ‘PLASTIC SURGERY – Vlog (My Experience)’, which at present has 344,000 views. In the video we see her document her experience with Dr. Ghavami (@drghavami), a well-known cosmetic surgeon on Instagram, talking about her upcoming breast augmentation.

Keen to get the messaging right, the influencer took to the description box of the video to explain her reason behind sharing her story. She wrote that she wanted to share the true experience with her followers, even going as far as mentioning the type of breast implants that Dr. Ghavami used.

When looking at the comment section, which she opted to keep open, the overall response is pretty positive. With comments such as: “I love how Stass is so honest about everything, she’s beautiful no matter what”, and “I love your realness and openness.”

However, with that much positivity floating around, there is bound to be some negativity sprinkled in the comment section. “Y’all are saying shes so open about surgery but has she discussed her ass yet?”, is but a few.

With the wealth of YouTube videos and Instagram posts that detail a persons cosmetic surgery, whether that’s a celebrity or a girl we went to school with, raise the question about whether people are becoming more comfortable with talking about it.

It would seem that while the stigma is alive and well, especially in the media, cosmetic surgery is already part of modern life, and becoming more accessible and acceptable to the women who choose to do with it what they will.

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