Could Plastic Surgery create a new kind of Beauty in the West?
In Ghana, no one is more familiar with the need to change oneself than Ghanaian women. You can see it in the popularity of false nails, eyelashes, and hair majority of Ghanaian women scrape their last pesewa to purchase and fix. I won’t even get into the ever-present popularity of bleaching creams..
I was taken aback when I came across this article, asking: could plastic surgery create a new kind of Beauty? Could it? What is it that you (as an individual) find beautiful and how do you cope when you strive to look that way, but it runs counter to what society accepts as beautiful?
Read the thought-provoking article below and let us know what you think..
“It’s a given that standards of beauty change. Across borders, across decades, and even across neighborhoods, what one group considers attractive and desirable, another does not. Girls in some African tribes spend weeks fattening up before their weddings, to demonstrate their womanly fertility, while American girls starve themselves to fit in size 00 jeans.
It’s also a given that in many ways, we can choose our beauty. We can choose our hair color, we can choose cosmetics, we can choose clothes, body art, and countless other things that can make us look and feel attractive.
So what about plastic surgery? As cosmetic enhancements become more and more ubiquitous—and less and less subtle—will the surgery “look” ever be perceived as truly beautiful? After all, what makes someone else’s choice to create a pillowy, collagened mouth any different than my choice to color my hair? Or the decision to get a tattoo?
In his series “A New Kind of Beauty,” photographer Philip Toledano took portraits of people who’ve gone to extremes with surgical procedures, in a project he says is designed to question how we define what is beautiful. “When we re-make ourselves,” he asks, “Are we revealing our true character, or are we stripping away our very identity?”
The haunting portraits reveal an interesting thing about plastic surgery…the more people try to modify their bodies to achieve perfection, the more they end up looking not like better versions of themselves, but rather just like each other. Instead of creating beauty, surgery has the potential to mask it with a face that looks too much like other faces. That suggests that real beauty lies not in conformity, perfection, or adherence to a standard—maybe the key to real beauty is some element of deviation, singularity, or uniqueness.Those are qualities that can’t be purchased or replicated by a surgeon, which would suggest that beauty is the most priceless commodity in the world.”