The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Dying to look good too realistic

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

People are so preoccupied with getting healthy they are killing themselves.

Society glorifies being skinny and fit, but according to the American Sports Data Weight Control report, one out of every three Americans is obese. How can a country so obsessed with being thin have a population of predominately overweight people?

Maybe Americans do need to hit the gym more often, but the image often portrayed in pop culture sets the bar forattractive ridiculously high and unhealthy.

This unrealistic perception of beauty has created a nation full of self-conscious, diet-addicted and health-phobic people who cannot look in the mirror without a negative thought invading their psyche. Insecurities have opened up a plethora of new business avenues.

One such business is cosmetic surgery, a multi-billion dollar industry fueled and advertised by Hollywood. Fox has an entire show, Nip/Tuck, centered around, and often promoting, plastic surgery. Plastic surgery in itself is not the problem; instead, it is the cavalier attitude toward plastic surgery. It has become an alternative to dieting, a simple short cut to a perfect body. But this short cut can end in death.

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery reports a 444 percent increase in the number of cosmetic procedures since 1997. The ASAPS also reports 11,326 breast augmentations were performed on women 18 and younger in 2003, a three-fold increase from 2002.

This information is a blatant red flag. 

Getting plastic surgery, for some, is like shopping for a new car, just another investment in something wanted. However, this purchase comes with a strict no return policy. That is the heart of the problem: plastic surgery is a serious decision with serious dangers.

Many young women do not understand the possible repercussions of plastic surgery such as irregular growth and health complications.But the risk is not isolated to the young.

Even still, a recent poll by Parenting magazine and America Online showed that if money were of no influence, 77 percent of mothers would endure cosmetic surgery in order to bring back their youthful days.

An alternative to cosmetic surgery, Botox, an anti-wrinkle drug, has become a cultural phenomenon. The craze is nearing critical mass with Botox gift bags and even Botox parties (think Tupperware party, but with syringes instead of plastic). For many, getting Botox is on a list on the fridge below get haircut.

People assume Botox is safe, but just because surgery is not involved, they are not out of danger’s way. Misuse or overuse of Botox can cause irregular growth and even result in botulism. The FDA is investigating 180 cases of severe sicknesses, including 16 deaths.

Our vanity is a danger to our health. Drastic operations are done daily on people convinced nature made them inferior. Plastic surgery has its place, but a human being is not a car, so let us stop “upgrading” before another person dies as a victim of vanity.

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