Cosmetic surgery is not “cosmetic,” and human flesh is not “plastic.” Even the names trivialize what it is. It’s not like ironing wrinkles in fabric, or tuning up a car, or altering outmoded clothes, the current metaphors. Trivialization and infantilization pervade the surgeons’ language when they speak to women: “a nip,” a “tummy tuck.”…Surgery changes one forever, the mind as well as the body. If we don’t start to speak of it as serious, the millennium of the man-made woman will be upon us, and we will have had no choice.
Over the years the enhancement of the human body has become big business, especially now that “image and looks” are everything. I get the concept of changing a few things to feel confident, but what I do not get is the often times grotesque addiction that comes with changing all your features simply because you want to be liked, you want to look like someone else or because of social media click baiting.
Right let’s get to it shall we? on today’s article of what could this woman be thinking, let us talking about going to the extremes in regards to body enhancement and upping the ante in body distortion.
CULTURE AND TRADITION
I have said this several times and I will probably say it again; I AM A PROUD YORUBA WOMAN. My father’s people in Nigeria come from the west and have always been known as the face branders or the line bearers. Yoruba people for years have always had their faces marked with different types of lines be it diagonal or the other. This can be in terms of position as a child, position in society, position of one’s lineage, a show of power, a show of profession etc. so many beautiful yet initially painful ways of display. As proud as I am of being a Yoruba woman (well half and half) I am also sooooooooo glad my dad’s family never followed the marking tradition. Please don’t get me wrong, it is not ugly, in fact I think it is a very beautiful thing, just not for me or mine. Traditions have always had a way of passing down various extreme body enhancements to different generations and as much as I want to applaud a lot of them, some are unfortunately very dangerous and extremely traumatizing and that is putting it mildly. For example, the circumcising of the female genitalia (ahh I cringed and squeezed my legs at the thought). For years many have practiced this horrendous and archaic ritual because it is seen as the preservation of a woman’s dignity (for Pete’s sake lock her at home not slice parts of her while she is fully aware of the pain while being held down: yeah, I really should stop watching some documentaries.)
This practice is not just done in African countries but is being carried abroad as well (tragically true). Bearing in mind that some make a spectacle of it, I mean invited guests, food, drinks, music, the whole show while laying plastic sheeting for the horrendous public display of cutting followed by cheers and eating amid the soul scratching screams of pain. Dear Lord. I understand the need to uphold traditions and the likes but why must it be so painful and heartbreaking? Even in today’s society where so much painkillers and the likes are readily made available…you know what scratch that (before I encourage God knows what) some traditional rites of passage should be scrapped. SCRAP IT. For me the notion that those still carrying out some horrific traditions are willing to put their children through such as if the memory of the pain as it wreaked havoc on mind and body can be easily forgotten. Ahh Lord, crazy right. I was honored to have watched a short documentary out of Nigeria before it was officially released to the public called Marked by Nadine Ibrahim, which discussed the reasons behind scarifications in Nigeria and how they merge with identity, spirituality, power as well as beauty through generations. You definitely should watch it in your own time. Many within and outside Nigeria will continue to practice traditional rites and the likes with or without laws and policies of today’s society to guide them, what I would humbly suggest is the tailored discussion around the need for it, the right of refusal and the effects on mental health in relation to the world we live in today (psst if you ever decide to do it because you read this article… do not forget to call me, would totally be up for being part of it). Oh, and well-done Nadine and her crew. Also in regards to this area I would also suggest spending more time learning via documentaries created for educational and informative purposes.
RELATIONSHIPS AND SOCIAL MEDIA CLICK BAITS
“Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.”
― Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
Oh dear, this sections never sits well with me simply because grew up in a household where your beauty was never measured by a standard or people’s thoughts. My parents always stressed (daily) that the way we see ourselves will always outweigh what others think or see of us. Is positive criticism needed, of course! What is not needed is when the supposed positive criticism becomes harmful to not just the target of it, but those around them. Social media has now gone beyond just sharing stories and amazing everyday people, their lives and businesses but now it is starting dangerously alter the way people see or view relationships and themselves. Gone are the days when your own opinion of yourself was all that mattered. Now bullying leading to body negativity as well as how relationships should be, which is borderline TOXIC.
As a plus size woman, I have heard it all where strangers try to tell me about my body, strangers try to convince me why crossing my personal boundaries should not up set me ( in fact some say I should be grateful for getting any attention because of my size: first of all…I am a complete package to be desired, adored and eventually worshipped, just like anyone else despite their size, yeah that nonsense does not work on me) some even go as far as outrightly being horrible by in regards to relationships with comments like “ no man would want you with your body”. In their heads there must be a stand an unreasonable non-realistic standard to be loved and explored via business, personal lives or click baits. I have heard horrible stories of men and women who went under the knife because of someone’s negative opinions of them for money or a relationship, a lot end up dying simply because they could not just see the beauty of being imperfectly perfect as God made. Even saw a story of a very handsome man who wanted more clicks on YouTube/ social media, he was so desperate that he would eat a deadly, unhealthy combination of heart stopping meals mixed in a blender, gorging himself for likes and God knows what. He went from six packed to obscenely obese and addicted to the nasty mixes and fame. I cannot imagine what runs through his mind each time or that of those who truly love him. Social media fame has become unfortunately such a dangerous trend in body modifications that one wonders…WHEN IS ENOUGH? I just wish people would just accept who they are physically and not hurt their bodies because of likes and another’s deadly views on perfection because the real concept of perfection is unattainable.
No one can or should tell you why you should consider plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons. You should be able to clearly define your desire to improve aging or to enhance facial or body appearance. Others may support you in your decision, but the decision to have plastic surgery should be yours alone.
LET’S BE HONEST
When most people think of complications from plastic surgery, they think of things like visible scars, asymmetrical breasts or infections. There is another type of complication, however, that can be just as painful as a medical complication. Psychological complications are often subtle and counterintuitive.
According to an online article I stumbled on via www.everydayhealth.com “For several weeks after getting their first tattoo, people often experience a boost in their self-confidence. That finding, however, reported in the journal Body Image in 2011, has to be weighed against the potential dangers of body modifications, which can range from skin infections to the potential loss of vision or teeth. Attitudes toward beauty might be increasingly distorted or extreme, said Rod Rohrich, MD, chairman of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern in Dallas and author of the upcoming book Navigating Your Beauty. Also, sometimes people’s choices aren’t appropriate over the long term. “The reality is that when you want to be in the workforce, you have to remove them,” he pointed out. And that’s not always possible.
Look whether you like it or not, people are embracing body modifications more, making it more commonplace and accepted than in previous generations.
It’s unfortunate that we live in such a panicked, dysmorphic society where women don’t even give themselves a chance to see what they’ll look like as older persons. I want to have some idea of what I’ll look like before I start cleaning the slates. I want my kids to know when I’m pissed, when I’m happy, and when I’m confounded. Your face tells a story … and it shouldn’t be a story about your drive to the doctor’s office.
With increased acceptance comes increased pervasiveness in effectively discussing body modifications. It is important we understand that this body we have is the only one we got, disfiguring it, through extreme enhancements isn’t always the best route in wanting to be liked or accepted by anyone, no one should even have that much power over you in the first place. Look I know we live in an age where tolerance and acceptance are a big deal so much so that even deviant sexual predators classify themselves are victims of hate, harassment and misunderstanding when called out but, there has to be a line drawn. You are free to do what you will but remember you also cannot force your will on others. Extreme body modifications can be very dangerous physically to the enhancer all the way to table death, to the doctors losing licenses, to mental and physical trauma caused to family members who may be or are being ostracized or mocked. In ones bid to be different caution should still be considered in the long run. Also note that extreme enhancements are not limited to have ginormous boobs or but the following below;
i. Fillers in face
ii. Reptilian enhancements
iii. Dying of the whites in eyes
iv. Disfiguring eyes, ear, tongue etc.
v. Waist training
vi. Magnet implants
vii. Body piercings
viii. Subdermal implants
ix. Tooth filing
The list is endless and very scary.
I want to make something very clear…I am all up for a tweak here, a tattoo here and one or two piercings, but extreme modifications are where I draw the line. Bear in mind that I am not forcing you to accept what I am saying, all I am saying is please always look both ways before crossing the modification street, because there will not always be a chance to turn back. So, while I keep looking out for what’s new, what’s hot and what needs to be discussed or is being discussed, I hope you see how beautiful you are, do not let anyone lead you down to death’s door in the bid of being different or accepted. So yeah, take care my loves and read you next time
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