For many people in the world, the late 20th century was an era that stigmatized those who sought plastic or cosmetic surgery, almost regardless of the purpose. Today this is largely no longer the case: good news for anyone seeking anything from reconstructive surgery to purely cosmetic/aesthetic body alterations. It’s a different day in age, and the change in attitudes is due to many different circumstances. For children growing up today, cosmetic surgery is likely to be almost totally normalized when they reach adulthood. Here’s why.

The internet has broadened everyone’s experience of the world, both in the images taken in and the thoughts to which we are exposed. The internet has risen during a time of closely related technological developments, which run peripherally to the development of the web but which aren’t directly involved in its evolution or culture. In the days before the modern web, people only saw as many people as lived within a close area in which they spent most of their time. These people, bound by cultural and social conventions, tended to resemble one another, and any differences were noticeable.

Today, anyone who Googles “Cosmetic Surgery Belfast” will be able to find images representing a much more diverse set of appearances than a casual visit to Belfast would reveal. The internet gives us a more representative cross-section of society, as it exists as a whole and in much smaller regions. Today, we’re used to seeing extreme examples of body modifications, including facial tattoos, piercings, and subdermal implants. Simply put, today we are exposed to the extremes of cosmetic surgery, making the most conventional examples like tummy tucks, breast augmentation, and facial alterations seem much, much more normal. We’re no longer as naive or sheltered.

This is a much more agreeable social climate for anyone who wants to seek out cosmetic surgery for any reason. In an age where gender norms are no longer set in stone, people are free to look as they please, for reasons that are their own. Though this post has focused on unusual procedures, the above makes it a lot more comfortable for people who want everyday operations like liposuction, eyelid surgery, Botox, or facelift. As society has gotten more comfortable with these procedures on an individual basis (everybody knows someone who has had one of these things done), insurance providers and policymakers have become a lot more supportive when it comes to helping people pay for this stuff.

Depending on where you live, some of these procedures will still have to come out of pocket. But as employers try to woo ever better employees in the time of a talent shortage, this may be a time when people like yourself can negotiate better insurance agreements for the purpose of making procedures like these possible without depleting personal savings or going deeply into debt. Whatever your means of paying for this kind of thing, the social climate in which you find yourself will likely make you feel much more supported. It’s a great way in which our society is growing up, accepting each other as we are, whatever that looks like on any given day.

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One Comment

  1. Robert Jones says:

    Hang on … because extremes of disfigurement are now, according to you, accepted, this makes cosmetic surgery more acceptable in turn? And “as employers try to woo ever better employees in the time of a talent shortage, this may be a time when people like yourself (who dat?) can negotiate better insurance agreements…” – what? With whom, how? Are you implying that employees should mould their features into comely configuration in order to please employers looking for talent – literally making the face (or whatever) fit? Because if you aren’t, you’re coming as near to it as you can get.

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