NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Sept. 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — In 2013, 15.1 million cosmetic procedures were performed in the United States, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. That’s nearly one procedure every two seconds. And, in January 2014, First Lady Michelle Obama, about to turn 50, made headlines by telling People magazine she isn’t ruling out plastic surgery or Botox as part of her beauty routine in the years to come.
So why is cosmetic work still such a taboo topic? People feel they have to hide from what’s now known as “cosmetic surgery shaming.”
“Beauty is such a highly personalized and individualized matter,” says Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton. “Yet it’s also a matter of intense scrutiny, for people of all types and ages. It’s no more acceptable for a celebrity to have plastic surgery, for example, than it is for an everyday person. But, the fact is, people from all walks of life are having it done.”
The effects of cosmetic surgery shaming, says Dr. Lawton, are unfortunate. People hide their work from the ones they love, even their spouses in extreme cases, and from the world at large. All in fear of being judged harshly and unfairly.
“Society has come a long way in celebrating different types of beauty and individuality, but that doesn’t yet apply to cosmetically enhanced beauty,” says Dr. Lawton. “It’s a shame. People who are 60 and feel youthful may choose to have a neck lift, for example, in order to bring their looks in closer alignment with their vitality, and that’s a personal choice for them. It’s a way of celebrating themselves, and they shouldn’t be shamed for that.”
With cosmetic procedures showing no signs of slowing down, the practice will become more and more acceptable, especially as more people talk openly about it.
“It’s only a matter of time before more people feel more comfortable talking about their cosmetic procedure choices,” says Dr. Lawton. “Whether they choose to be open about it or to keep it private, they shouldn’t be judged either way. Let’s accept all forms of beauty, and the personal choices that take us there.”