Beauty is the Beast

Delta Winds cover 2008Delta Winds: A Magazine of Student Essays
A Publication of San Joaquin Delta College


Beauty is the Beast

Kellie Corber

Have you ever thought cosmetic surgery might not be so bad? Each year Americans spend millions on cosmetic surgery to fix the imperfections that make them unique. Americans not only allow the media to tell them what is beautiful, but they hang on every word. Brittany Spears appears with a flat stomach in a music video, and women rush to get liposuction. Angelina Jolie does an interview on Access Hollywood and suddenly women everywhere are making appointments for collagen injections. Let's face it. If I, as a woman, received every procedure to correct what society deems as unattractive, I would look atrocious. Cosmetic surgery does not produce a beauty; it produces a beast.

We have all seen the talk show with the woman who received the botched surgery. This poor woman went in for breast augmentation. She bought every word of garbage the doctor said in the consultation and went in for surgery the following week. Two weeks after her surgery she noticed something was wrong. She was not healing the way she should have been. One of her nipples turned black and lost all feeling. When she consulted her surgeon, he denied all liability and accused her of not taking care of herself properly. Soon after, she lost her nipple entirely. With the tissue completely gone and her history of a botched surgery, no other surgeon would attempt a corrective procedure. She was left disfigured and more insecure than ever before.

People who subject their bodies to cosmetic surgery are putting their lives at risk. In 2004, bestselling author Olivia Goldsmith died in New York of complications resulting from a facelift. She was successful and established, yet she still fell victim to the pursuit of perfection. When we see advertisements for facelifts, do we think death is a possible outcome?

Nigeria's first lady, Stella Obasanio, died in a Spanish hospital due to complications of a cosmetic surgery to drain fats from her body. Anesthesia and sedation risks include abnormal heartbeat, heart attack, brain damage, nerve damage, stroke, blood clots, blood loss, and airway obstruction. Furthermore, infection, skin death, asymmetry, numbness, irregularities, puckers, scarring, and fluid collection after liposuction can result from the surgery itself. Stella Obasanio died from multi-organ failure. She was 59 years old.

When will we stop listening to outside opinions of beauty and start creating our own? When I smile, I get wrinkles on the outside corners of my eyes. I used to be self-conscious about it, due to a cruel comment spoken by a boy in high school, but now the wrinkles remind me of my dad's smile. I want my children to look in the mirror and see me in their reflection just as I see my dad's smiling eyes. If more people thought like this, we would have fewer botched surgeries and more confident Americans. Then, we would have true beauty through diversity. Instead of striving to fit one mold, people would make their own molds of what is beautiful.

One universal interpretation of beauty is an insane idea. If this pandemic continues to spread, we will be left with nothing of natural beauty. The world will be landscaped with insecure, penniless morons who all look like each other. Our natural essence will be lost, and our innocence along with it. Americans will be exploited, criticized, and judged solely on physical appearance. Twenty years from now we might live in a world where a photo is a mandatory accompaniment to a job application. This will be a world where we are not judged by our qualities or qualifications, but rather by our very thin outer shell.

Human beings need to step up and say no. Say no to implants. Say no to liposuction. Say no to face-lifts. Say no to nose jobs. Say no to losing our loved ones. We are already beautiful, with our dads' smiles and our mothers' eyes. We are beautiful to our parents, to our children, to our friends, and to our spouses just the way we are. Without alteration, we have attained beauty through the eyes of the only people who should matter to us in this world.