Plastic surgery is serious; know all the facts

I was looking through The Oracle, when I noticed something that I found disturbing. No, it wasn’t that picture of me, it was an ad that said “Trish went from an A to a C and still graduated with honors.”

I tried for hours to figure out how that was possible. Then, I dropped my eyes a half inch to read the words, “breast enhancement surgery.”

I’m not criticizing the doctor for placing the ad or The Oracle for running it. I’m more unnerved by the fact that people would turn to surgery to try to raise their self esteem. I know that looks are important and that you can get away with being better looking than you are talented and still be famous. My friend Matt refers to that as the “Kournikova Effect.”

The American Association of Cosmetic Surgeons Web site states that 3.5 million people undergo procedures every year. Of that, 18 percent are under 25 years old. That translates into 630,000 college-age people getting work done. The math took me three days. I don’t know why somebody under the age of 25 would want to undergo something as serious as surgery at such a young age.

The Web site for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has questions to ask yourself if you’re wondering whether you’re a good candidate for breast augmentation.

Two of the questions are, “you are bothered by the feeling that your breasts are too small,” and “you feel self-conscious wearing a swimsuit or form-fitting top.” These two questions more or less assume each other. If you’re bothered by the feeling your breasts are too small, it stands to reason that you feel self-conscious in a swimsuit or a form-fitting top. I can’t say for sure, but I bet most people feel this way about some aspect of their appearance.

Not to sound sexist, but I suppose most of this is directed at women, since of the 3.5 million people who go under the knife, less than 700,000 are men.

I doubt there is anybody who is completely satisfied with the way they look, but feeling like that is a part of being human. Most people don’t resort to surgery, though. Instead of liposuction, some people work out and diet. You get the added bonus of knowing you did it yourself instead of submitting to a fat vacuum.

Confidence is sexy. Some people might say that having a cosmetic procedure would boost a person’s confidence. I personally prefer natural confidence to the store-bought variety. If the only thing standing between you and complete self confidence is a larger chest or a smaller nose, your problems are not physical.

If you are set on getting a cosmetic operation, don’t be swayed by an advertisement. Find out who is the best qualified to operate on you. Seek credentials and ask questions.

Before and after pictures are helpful, as well. Don’t bargain shop, that’s reckless and stupid. Surgery involves you being cut open, so make sure you trust the person wielding the scalpel.

I’m all for free enterprise and all that. I know the doctor in question has to advertise. I’m not sure the ad was the best way or most appropriate way to go about getting business.

Surgery is a serious thing and drumming up business with a joke is inappropriate. A better ad would have focused on the doctor’s credentials and safety record.

Any surgery is serious. Cosmetic surgery is a drastic step and should be a last resort. I think the money would be better spent on therapy or exercise.

Congratulations, Trish.

Chris Ricketts is a senior majoring in English.