Last week I had many, many conversations about beauty. Most of them happened as a result of this post. Go ahead and read it, I’ll wait.

I’ve always been lucky in that I’ve always been pretty happy with my body. Could I stand to lose a few pounds? Hell yes! Do I want to lose those few pounds enough to get liposuction? Haha. No way. But just because I’m lucky this way doesn’t mean that there aren’t people whose bodies cause them anxiety every day of their lives.

Throughout a lot of human history people have been using any means available to them to modify themselves into whatever the local beauty standard is. This is not just a modern Western thing. Ancient China and foot binding, Victorian England and too-tight corsetry, African Kaya tribe and neck rings, lip plates. Invariably the standards have led to some very unhealthy results for many, many people. And that’s before plastic surgery became a thing that was available in the way that we understand it today. Some form of plastic surgery has been done since Ancient Egypt, mostly involved with setting broken noses straight again, rather than changing facial features or adding tits, ass, calves or anything like that.

Toronto Plastic Surgery by Arturo de Albornoz, on Flickr

I don’t actually know what I think of plastic surgery. I think it can be a tremendous comfort to people with a body dysmorphic syndrome of of any sort. And I don’t actually believe in banning things if it can be helped. That said, plastic surgery can be dangerous. Some estimates say that 1 in 10 000 elective surgeries end in the death of the patient. There’s no question for me whether or not beauty standards are harmful. But the question is, how many of the people having elective surgery would do that if there were no beauty standards? And I’m pretty sure it is not a negligible number of people, even though it’s very likely to be a lot smaller than the current number of people seeking plastic surgery.

And that sucks. People putting themselves in danger to find something that probably shouldn’t exist in the first place. Something that ignores the reality of so many people. But then again, making it impossible would ignore the reality of so many other people. And I’m not disparaging the women who get their tits done; if someone feels like they need it, who am I to say they don’t? Just as long as no one is pressuring them to do it.

I don’t know, I’m torn. Live and let live, I guess. What about you?

PS I need to cut down on my blogging for the foreseeable future because I just don’t have the brain capacity to do everything that I want/need to do. Which means that from now on there will be updates only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.