Feminism and cosmetic surgery

Having control over one’s own body is one of the basic human rights. This is one of those sensitive topics most people tend to avoid in conversations, but it makes me think time and time again about personal freedoms and important decisions. All those big, life-changing decisions we have to make at one point or another in our lives sadly make poor conversation starters, and I’m forced to think them through on my own or talk with a few of my close friends. Recently, I have been thinking a lot about cosmetic surgeries, about what lies beneath and behind them, and about reasons women may have to undergo a procedure.


Feminism and cosmetic surgeryReason for choosing to have a cosmetic surgery are many and they vary from some physical defects women are trying to get rid of, to desire to stay young and look as good at the age of 50 as they did at 25. While the former ones are easy to understand, the latter are the target of people who believe their decision is motivated by all the wrong reasons: norms dictated by society and standards set by celebrities. While everybody thought that Angelina Jolie’s breast reconstruction after double mastectomy was justified, many judge Miley Cyrus’ new implants. It got me thinking – why do we judge one and justify the other?


Don’t be forced into thinking that you are less beautiful because you don’t look like celebrities on TV and that you need to be skinnier or look younger to be considered beautiful. They are people who make a living out of their looks and it is not at all surprising they make the extra effort to stay young and skinny. Sadly, this sends the wrong message to millions of girls and women out there who suffer because they don’t look that way.


Among my friends there are many women who have altered their physical appearance in many ways: they have piercings, tattoos, had laser eye surgery to stop wearing glasses, and had cosmetic surgeries too – nose and boob job. I can honestly say that I understand and support the choices they had made, because they did not feel comfortable I their own bodies and wanted to change it. For some of them, the only way to do that was to undergo a procedure, so they did it. A friend who was bullied for years because of her crooked nose had a rhinoplasty procedure and never regretted the decision. Also, my other friend who always felt like a boy because she had small breasts says that breast augmentation has changed her life for the better. She has spent countless hours gathering information about the breast implants, read and re-read articles on the post-op period, before she decided to do it.


I don’t deny the fact that there are many people out there, girls, women, boys, and men alike, who want to change the way they look so the others would find them attractive, so they could get more dates and look like a celebrity they admire. These are the people whose choices I question and disapprove. Nevertheless, there are others out there who suffer because their own body feels like a prison and who are looking for a solution. Them I understand and support their decision to alter the bodies they live in. After all, it is their choice.


Can we honestly call ourselves feminists if we alter our bodies for whatever reason? Have we let the trends and society dictate the norms and rules? Or have we bravely took the matter into our own hands and decided to change our own bodies out of free will and our own needs and desires? Can we all stand up for ourselves and justify our decisions? Or better yet, why do we even feel the need to justify ourselves and our choices to anyone?


I am fortunate enough to have people with very different opinions among my close friends and o I am given an insight into different angles of a same case. Some of my friends have had cosmetic procedures done on them while others claim that they would never ever do that. I have reached a conclusion that it all comes to this: if you and you alone, have the need to change something about yourself, there is no reason not to do it. Who you are will always be more important than the way you look.


Photo credit: Eugenia Lolli


  1. Whatsup Guy

    Quite an interesting topic. While I like your conclusion, I wonder how many people actually know what they really want and what they want because society wants them to.

  2. wartrol

    I love this blog.

  3. pet shop

    Great informative article on cosmetic surgery, But my views are slightly on the other side. In my view, one should love the way there are, If you don’t like yourself the way you are how can you except the world to love you.

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