Misc.

When is it too far?

Aleira-Avendao
Aleira Avendano

By recently perusing Twitter this morning, I saw a link posted to an article about a Venezuelan model who had undergone 20 plastic surgery procedures just to get the ‘perfect’ body. The 26 year old has a 20 inch waist and has had 4 breast enlargements, along with three bum implants to achieve her hourglass figure.

A lot of people view plastic surgery as one of the most negative things on the planet. In the name of vanity, people change the way they look, but does that necessarily change who they are? People go to extreme lengths to change their bodies – Aleira Avendano is one of them. She’s reported to have had all of her teeth removed and replaced with dentures, and to achieve her tiny waist has worn a corset for 7 years as well has having a gastric bypass.

Can she really be scrutinised for taking things this far? We all have things that we like. Some people spend thousands of pounds on clothing, computers, cars, even books. We spend endless amounts on holidays, technology and hobbies. What makes plastic surgery any different? It’s definitely painful and it can be argued that lots of people don’t need it. When you factor in happiness, however, it makes some sense.

A person who is unhappy with their body should not necessarily be judged by others and forced to continue to be unhappy. There is a lot of buzz around social media lately about letting people be who they want to be in regards to gender, or no gender. Those who change their lifestyle and identity to be happier and relevant to the person inside are on a similar wavelength to getting plastic surgery.

If a woman wants exceptionally large hips, let her have them, as long as she can still sit down and walk. If a man wants to enhance his lips and grow his hair, let him. If a person wants to shrink or grow their breasts, tuck their tummy, lift their face, let them. We live in a world where virtually anything is possible and people can look like who they want to be, who they feel like they are inside.

The issue of vanity is pretty huge, and relates a little to Selfie Culture, which has been a pressing topic online lately. The idea that someone wants to look beautiful is frowned upon and a lot of botched and excessive surgeries have resulted in that stereotypical look with which we’re all familiar, meaning that as soon as we hear the words plastic surgery, we cringe and think ‘why are you doing this to yourself?!’. So, is it too far when someone’s waist is only 20 inches? Is it pointless, even though she is now happier in herself? Is it absurd because not everyone does it and looking different is an abomination?

overdone-lipsThe pain aspect is difficult to understand. Why someone would put themselves through self-inflicted pain and medication for their looks is curious; however, seeing the end results (ie. the happiness on that person’s face) makes it worth it. That’s why they’re doing it, that’s why they’re putting themselves through this. The only question that remains is; where does it stop?

Photography

Selfie Culture

There’s an awful lot of talk from the older generation and cynical youths about ‘selfie culture’ – in other words: lots of first world teenagers and young adults are taking continuous pictures of themselves with the convenient front-facing cameras on the latest smart phones. Selfies have bombarded social media, and you can find a sometimes too-close-up of anybody’s face on Twitter, Facebook or, more commonly, Instagram without looking too hard.

It’s difficult to ignore, and it’s difficult to accept, with the idea that it’s horrifically vain and unnecessary. People have screamed ‘Stop taking pictures of your face and your food!’ to no avail, meeting a noisy wall of camera shutters and satisfying digital *pings*.

We’ve had selfies for charity, selfies for good causes, selfies for no reason at all, and it’s been met with a red rage from many internet users.

It’s a different world to what it used to be, but people have always – always – had pictures of themselves. Are we taking into account the royal portraits that adorn the walls of stately homes and castles? What is the difference between a picture of somebody, standing alone and someone who has snapped a picture of their face because they are proud of their make-up?

I don’t look at selfies as vain, or inappropriate. We live in a world that has developed a second nature of putting people down behind the walls of the internet, with no fear. Both women and men alike are scrutinised for how they look and in the current state of things, it feels like nobody can say anything right. So why not celebrate how you look? Some days I wake up on a morning and really struggle to look in the mirror. Other people feel the same and on that one day that they feel good about themselves, they should be entitled to celebrate that online to their friends. They shouldn’t feel nervous about posting their face online because they are contributing to the horrible ‘selfie culture’. Let’s just celebrate people’s looks and their confidence rather than putting everyone down, inadvertently or not.

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