In the recent years the obsession around the looks and appearance is constantly growing. The ideals of beauty are propagated through media, advertising and movie industry, and now the body image seems to define a person as an individual, as it has become the way of self-expression. In such environment the people in affluent western society concentrate their efforts on reducing the natural effects of healthy aging and returning their youthful appearance with the help of cosmetic surgery. This social trend negatively influences the process of natural aging and may cause physical and psychological harm to the health of and individual.
The technological advances and the progress in medical sphere have considerably improved the methods used in cosmetic surgery, so it has become more safe and effective. Consequently, more people have an opportunity to enhance their appearance and reduce the signs of aging. The studies has shown that “the ostensible objective of aesthetic surgery is to improve the patient’s psychological well-being by modifying their body image” (Honigman, and Castle). As the society is obsessing with the youth and beauty, it causes sociological pressure on the aging people, and they want to reverse the natural processes to fit in the societal expectations and to increase their self-value and self-esteem. The fear of death is another reason to keep trying to stay forever young, as the surgery helps to psychologically shun the uncomfortable thoughts of death and dying.
These trends negatively influence the society, as healthy aging is a completely natural process and people should not be ashamed of it. In some cases the surgery may not end up well or the person undergoing it may not be satisfied with its result. It may cause psychological distress or serious illnesses. Society has to alter the way the aging is treated and reconsider the values and attitudes towards the issue. There are a lot of opportunities for everyone regardless the age nowadays to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, while the surgery is not a solution.
Honigman R., Castle D. J. “Aging and cosmetic enhancement” Clin Interv Aging, 2006, 1(2): 115–119.