Airbrushed, filtered, toned, tanned, perfectly sculptured, people claim that they never want to be perfect but everything else says otherwise. There have been some amazing body confidence campaigns in the past couple of years encouraging women to love each other and more importantly love themselves just the way they are. But every day you still see girls with over plumped lips, over whitened veneers, ballooned breasts and stupidly insane butt implants. I am not going to lie though; I have thought about it very often since I was 13/14 and even now, I am striving for my vision of perfection but why? Why can’t I just be happy the way I look?
In the Beginning
Even before the likes of TOWIE, Love Island, Selling Sunset and Real Housewives came along, women have always been obsessed with how they look or how they are perceived by other people and some women have even strived to be stereotypical. I wanted to be a blonde bimbo at one-point, big boobs, long blonde hair with extensions, talon nails, tiny waist, perfected eyebrows and trout pout lips. It seemed to me that they always got the hot guys, genuinely had more fun and got away with a lot more things than normal average girls did. Then again, I did not have the money to become these girls that I was seeing on the Playboy Mansion or in the music videos and to top it off I was only 14. I was bullied a lot at school, mainly for being ginger and not having SuperDry clothes or a Juicy Couture handbag as my schoolbag. Luckily, my mates were just like me, and we did not care about how people looked at us, even though deep down I wish I were someone else. A line from “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” (Bon Jovi), was “I wish that I could be in some other time and place, with someone else’s soul, someone else’s face”, that line has always stuck inside my head. At the same time, I discovered rock music of the 80’s and that definitely made me want to be a video girl but yet again it was the same thing. Boobs, lips and all about them fingertips!
Love Island Affect
With the invention of social media, everyone has become more self-conscious and then along came filters! Giving you perfectly smooth skin, which angled jawline and the big beautiful eyes with that pout and one tap. There has in recent years been a thing called the “Love Island” effect (aka “Social Comparison Theory“), leading to impossible comparisons to other people on programs and social media. Girls and young women have flocked to local surgeries to get plumper lips, fat sucked out from their thighs and had their boobs hauled up to under their chin and blown up. Back in 2019, Liposuction rose by 12% and face lifts by 9%, then in 2021, just over 15,000 cosmetic procedures were performed in the UK. Cosmetic Surgery has become so much more easily accessible and more affordable with companies such as MYA supplying affordable finance options that you can afford any procedure that you want. Some girls do take the huge risk with choosing to have their cosmetic procedures abroad, something I would never do, no matter how much research or how much cheaper it would be.
“You’re perfect just the way you are girl” my friend Sydnee always said to me. I mean, she is perfect in every way! Gorgeous luscious lips, perfect eyebrows (she spends most of her make up routine doing them), her skin glows, she is thin with lovely long legs. Every time when we would go out, she was always the one who was chatted up (she is in a happy relationship boys, sorry). I was told by my doctor when she diagnosed me with depression that I display all the symptoms of having Body Dysmorphia (that is a different topic for me to talk about at a later date), but I’ve always wanted to change things about how I look. Later down the line, the doctor said I had a mild form of Dysmorphia, my brain is a house of mirrors and I clearly do not see what others see. I do not go to the extremes to alter my appearance or clothing, but it is always a nagging note in my head. Are you sure that looks alright? You look a bit stumpy in that, maybe tuck that in a bit?
A Little Bit Here, Just a Touch There
I will admit that I would have some procedures done as there is parts of me that I want to improve. One of my ex’s said that my boobs were a bit saggy for my age (hence why I wear a bra most of the time and I was only 24 when that gem emerged from his mouth), so I would get them hitched up and possibly go up a cup size. My lips are a little on the thin size considering the size of my face (I have huge hamster cheeks with no cheekbones), so I would get them plumped just a little bit, but I would definitely have liposuction on my thighs, and my hips. My hips mainly just to make my jeans fit better and to not have love handles… nobody hangs onto them anyways so what is the point in having them? I would get my butt lifted a bit too, nothing worse than being short and not having a good bouncy round booty at the top of those stumps. But one thing I will never get done is Botox. When I was 23, I had Bell’s Palsy, a temporary paralysation of the muscles in your face caused by an infection (it has not been confirmed by scientists yet) that already existed in your system which then attacks the nervous system which controls your facial muscles. I have no desire to not be able to express myself again, my eye still twitches and droops even years later. Botox takes away your self-expression and I would never want to risk not being able to feel or at least move my face, I like to express my disappointment and sarcasm.
It’s So Easy
Most of the procedures I want done I can easily achieve through diet and exercise, boob lift press ups, bum toning lunges, side splitting crunches and basically looking after myself, (which in the past six months I have done), but if I want to be lazy and pay it off over time… I can just go and grab finance! Through my research I also found that discount websites like Groupon have vouchers towards cosmetic surgery! I was astonished that it could so easily be thrown out there as if it is completely normal. It is entirely possible that I am just being vain. I’ve allowed my vanity or some may call it insanity, to overtake me and my mind. Maybe my thought process is clouded by the insane criteria of my own mind, and the lopsided obsession of others perceived conception of perfection.
One of the big questions is, can plastic surgery be classed as a form of self-love? Is getting surgery a way of feeling more empowered? More comfortable in your own skin? Is going under the knife worth it for you to be ultimately happy about yourself? In the coming months, I will continue my research to see if all you can be is down to a skilled surgeon, or just good old fashioned self-love.