I was interviewed awhile back for San Francisco's American Sexuality magazine which finally came to print. The article "Plastic Surgery and the New Standard, Unnatural Beauty" can be read by clicking here.
My contribution to this had to do with the question of:
- Whether we're becoming a society of have & have-not's for plastic surgery along class lines
- Whether we're in an era of unprecedented beauty standards
I made two observations.
One - that rather then becoming more exclusive, the access to cosmetic plastic surgery has never been more readily accessible to the masses. Decades ago, there were only a handful of providers who catered mostly to the very well-to-do. Now we have many different kinds of doctors doing "cosmetic medicine" of all types at historic discounts with low-interest financing available from multiple sources. The cost of theses procedures is historically low and are frequently offered in convenient retail-like environments.
Two - "unnatural" standards of beauty have always existed and I'm not so sure that what passes now (BOTOX'd foreheads, laser "Brazilian" hair removals, breast implants, etc...) are more radical things that have been done since time immemorial (infant head molding, feet binding, corsets ("wasp waists"), neck stretching, tattooing, ritual scarring/piercing). In fact, there's kind of been some pushback towards less radical surgical and non-surgical treatments towards less obvious and more natural results.