“I want the nose of this celebrity, and the lips of this model!” This is a common phrase that plastic surgeons consistently hear. Holistic plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Youn, describes how he probably turns down every 1 in 5 patients who comes to see him because they have unrealistic expectations. “You can’t change your body into someone else’s. That’s why I say that plastic surgery is not a panacea or a fix-all for all of your problems,” he says.
There’s only so much one can change. For example, according to the NIH, rhinoplasty or a nose job “is the most individualized operation in plastic surgery. No two noses are alike, and no two will need exactly the same procedure.”
And concurrently, no two people are alike. So, regardless of whether you’re looking to get plastic surgery or not, self-acceptance is a very important part of your quality of life. Remember though, sometimes acceptance just means making peace. Because when you’re constantly grappling with your reflection, moving forward is very difficult. So, it’s often inward work that needs to be done instead of outward work.
In a2014 study, “83.2% of participants reported wanting to change their appearance in some way, one of the 3 most evoked reasons for this was body dissatisfaction.” And in such a visually driven, it’s especially all around us. Every time we get on our phone, we’re confronted with images that may remind us of our body dissatisfaction whereas before it may have been easier not to think about it.
So, how do we work on our body dissatisfaction without letting it consume us? Well, other reasons people report wanting to change are health and well-being. Well, if you’re healthy or your physical appearance is not hindering your life in any way - ask yourself - why isn’t that enough? Why?
It’s important to think about the reasons you’re experiencing body dissatisfaction. You don’t have to feel guilty for feeling like you need to change, but it’s important to wonder why. Of course, it’s natural to desire attractiveness, but it’s important to understand where your ideas of attractiveness are coming from too. Is it coming from social media or TV? If so, these ideas are not necessarily real beauty. They’re images that pop culture is labeling as beauty. Beauty is relative, and it means different things to different people. So, it’s important to invent what beauty means to you because as long as we let people do it for us, there will always be that level of dissatisfaction. And body dissatisfaction is something that we can only work on for ourselves.
No one is going to make you feel truly worthy but yourself.