Plastic surgery, poverty and a different perspective on my body

A few weeks ago, I was on the elliptical machine at my gym, watching Good Morning America. They featured a segment entitled “Pippa’s Posterior.” Apparently Pippa Middleton’s rear makes a lot of women envious. So envious, in fact, that they are getting plastic surgery to look like her.

Seriously? I was incredulous. But GMA continued on, showing lots of closeups of famous celebrity rears (J.Lo, Beyonce, etc.) that women want.  “All women want a great rear,” one plastic surgery candidate proclaimed. She had contemplated this surgery before, but seeing Pippa’s rear at the royal wedding sealed the deal. She’ll have tissue taken from her thighs and put on her rear end; she was terribly excited at the prospect of wearing clothes to show off her new body.

The segment ended with a poll. “Would you get plastic surgery to look like a celebrity? Go online and vote.” I didn’t. I was too disgusted.

photo by Filipe Moreira

Meanwhile, we have people starving to death in various parts of the world.

Do they care if their bodies look like the celebrity de jour, or do they just want to live?

And those people caught in sex trafficking, treated brutally for someone else’s twisted pleasure. What do they think of their bodies?

Photo by Sokwanele

Look, I’m not down on plastic surgery. I think there are many legitimate reasons for it: breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, a tummy tuck after losing seventy-plus pounds, and others.

I also understand wanting your body to look different. I’d love to get rid of the stretch marks that have resided on my arms and legs since adolescence. I’d also like to add two inches to my height, add a bit more oomph to certain areas and less in others, and change my nose.

And I’m not dissing Pippa, either. I’m sure she works out to keep her body in shape. (Either that or she’s had plastic surgery to look like herself.)

But getting plastic surgery just to look like a celebrity . . . just because you’re dissatisfied with an area that’s perfectly satisfactory already . . . just because you can’t see how abundant your life is, how blessed you are to have adequate food and freedom.

It seems obscene to focus solely on our own bodies.We run the risk of being consumed with our workouts and weight loss plans and hair color and clothes, and turning inward until our world revolves around ourselves.

We aren’t meant to live only for ourselves.

We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. –Herman Melville


8 thoughts on “Plastic surgery, poverty and a different perspective on my body

  1. Looking around at most of the people around me, it seems they all have very topical life styles. People who all they care about is having the newest fast car, the largest McMansion on the block, and spending thousands on plastic surgery when there was nothing physcally wrong with them to begin with.
    Where did this “me first” mentality come from?
    I think that we as a scocity would grow so much stronger and healthier if those topical people would focus on real issues at hand like poverty or the earth, or just simply start being more true to themselves.
    What are your opinions?


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