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Posted by AllK_Maknae Friday, February 5, 2016

[MVP OP-ED] Plastic surgery: unnecessarily vain or purely beneficial?


Recently, Super Junior's Henry has stirred up quite the discussion among fans as he addressed Z:EA's Kwanghee for his plastic surgery ads promoting a 'standardized beauty' rather than promoting the positive images Kwanghee original claimed! What Henry said holds some truth as plastic surgery, especially in Korea, has developed a new form of beauty (think V-Line, S-Line, etc) that simply can't be realistically obtained without the use of surgery. To make things clear -- Henry isn't outright stating anything against surgery itself, he is against the heavy burden of a superficial beauty that everyone can't easily live up to. Going off that, I find nothing wrong with plastic surgery for various reasons.

Plastic surgery is seen as vain and only pushing a select image, but I can argue otherwise. The surgery can be made into any image you want, not necessarily a conformed 'perfect image' everyone speaks about. If the patient willingly seeks to look like a carbon copy, that is their baggage. Plastic surgery promotions aren't wrong either. Many assume these ads are proclaiming you're not as pretty as you could be, so get a surgery like this-- but that is not always the case. It is suggesting an easier alternative to saving money and time rather than manifesting a complex morning beauty routine. For some people, wearing circle lenses and waist-thinning clothing and using using face-line shapers and eyelid glue pose more of a danger and expense than a simple procedure. Like Kwanghee stated, "I'm a man that knows my limits," and plastic surgery was a benefit. These procedures can be a selfless act that idols do because they know the image they must uphold towards fans. Think about being known to look good and having to look your best 24/7. 

Another prime example is 2NE1's Park Bom, who easily comes up as a surgery addict, but she herself never pushed her fans or members to get plastic surgery, and no one has to take ads in the same manner. For example ads for weight loss only catch the attention of someone who is overweight and looking to lose weight, even acne ads work that way. How are plastic surgery ads any different?

When it comes to creating this 'standardized beauty,' plastic surgery is no different than dying your hair. Humans want change and want to express a desirable image, it just depends whether you are willing to go semi-perm or permanent. We, as a society, incorporate and form new changes to our appearances on a daily basis, from tattoos and piercings to dental and lasik surgery, yet somehow it's shallow when a person wants a nose job or fuller lips. People have every right to make their outside as beautiful as their inside! There are enormous advances in medical procedures and technology that the over-the-top labels surrounding the surgery will, hopefully, fade away. Not trying to make 'Surgery Shaming' a thing, but wouldn't all those hateful comments about image just prompt self-conscious people to get surgery even more? Many will also point fingers at idols and people in general for spending their money towards something "useless, vain and self-centered" but that is basically judging anyone for whatever they decided to do with their spare funds. Do we really need those other beauty modifications?

Plastic surgery is just another thing anyone can indulge in but some still frown upon it in society. However, do they actually understand the benefits of plastic surgery or just quick to say it's wrong without hearing it out? For the most part, people against it aren't even in the predicament to necessarily want or need plastic surgery, making them completely one-sided and unable to understand why someone would get it done in the first place. Medically there are people who need plastic surgery in order to have a healthy and normal life. For example, people have reported issues with vision and require double eyelid surgery for more comfort rather than for a superficial change. Even jaw line surgeries are needed for people who have under/over bites, and the discomfort provides difficulties in their life that they would continue to face without the surgery. If you're already changing the jaw, might as well as get the jawline done! Not only that, people can suffer from an illness that goes unseen. Depression, low self-esteem, and lack of confidence can really put a damper on people's well-being. If surgery is a solution for them to start leading a life that they thought they could never make their own, aren't they entitled to it?

Are idols to blame for pushing these vain standards? Not necessarily, and here's why! Idols are often encouraged from the agencies themselves to undergo these procedures, typically not from their own will, and once completed, aren't pushing that same standard onto their fans or audience. It is often revealed that many people request looking like idols and base their looks on these idols' features without their knowledge. Idols like Kwanghee praise plastic surgery for its many benefits as it also helped him with his career. Even ZE:A's Siwan stated how during filming he suffered an injury and had to get a procedure done stating, "Medicine has really advanced these days, and it's really good. It didn't leave a mark. I understand why Kwanghee always praises it!" These are beneficially based statements, not shallow suggestions. Most, if not all, idols do it, and if they haven't yet, they may just give in to the knife at one point for some sort of need. Harsh criticisms come from all over, and although idols are flooded with compliments daily, the hate is a poison that stays in the mind forever. Style is what always remains the same since your face will always age, but if people want to get plastic surgery to enhance themselves, be my guest!  

Overall, plastic surgery has many negative connotations behind it but it shouldn't stop people from pursuing or feeling proud of getting a surgery done. In cases like Park Bom, it can be disheartening that she doesn't view it in the same light as Kwanghee and Siwan. Although, it is still her own choice! Even though she can't be free from judgement (because even I think she looked fine before all of it) she's entitled to plastic surgery. Plastic surgery reaps more rewards than people think and has crucial benefits beyond vanity. Plastic surgery isn't a bad issue or wrongdoing and can be simply left alone alongside the people who get it. Thoughts; Is plastic surgery something to be supported, or simply stopped and unencouraged? Let us know in the comments below!

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