November 21st, 2013

There are moments in life where every decision you make is criticised and polarised and choosing cosmetic surgery is one of those topics. To some, cosmetic surgery is an act of empowerment, being able to choose what your body should look like, while to others it’s a mark of weakness, of egotism.

While I have not considered cosmetic surgery for myself, despite parts of me I may not like, many men and women would undergo it in order to feel confident, sexy, and fix imperfections that have perhaps held them back. Is there anything wrong with this? Of course not, it’s your body, it’s your money, and you can do whatever you like, if it makes you feel better.

Your decisions to undergo a procedure can be one person’s idea of betterment or another person’s idea of vanity or vacuousness. Whatever the case, there is nothing you can do about it. Too often media likes to throw in words like ‘empowerment’ and ‘acceptance,’ but at the same time pull the rug underneath us and turn us into judging those who display empowerment and self-acceptance.

Of course you hear about the horrors of cosmetic surgeries: scarring, botched surgeries, infection and possibly looking like the Elephant Man, but at the same time is society inadvertently urging us to undergo these processes? We all know that celebrity mothers in bikinis did not really lose all that baby weight from breast-feeding and we know a 48-year-old can’t have such luminous skin just from sunscreen.  The double-edged sword is we are being fed impossible standards in beauty, while at the same time we are forced to condemn anyone who seems to be comfortable in their own skin.

Kim Kardashian is always either too fat or thin. Plus-size model Robyn Lawley who is redefining the idea of beauty and the female body in the fashion industry in still branded as ‘hefty’, despite her very natural frame. French icon Brigitte Bardot, who is now in her 70s and has aged without cosmetic surgery has been heavily taunted for aging ‘ungracefully’ or ‘letting herself go.’ On the other hand if a woman of Bardot’s age and status was to look twenty years younger because of a cosmetic procedure, she would be branded as ‘desperate,’ ‘plastic,’ or ‘obsessed with youth.’

At the end of the day, there is a beauty in grey hair, scars and wrinkles. They demonstrate experience and the fact that you have been lucky enough to see your body age or endure. Learning to love those little flaws may not be easy, but it’s not impossible. Yet, if for whatever reason you choose to alter your breasts, lips or stomach, the choice is yours and it does not demand justification.

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