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Should cosmetic surgery be freely available on the NHS?

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Introduction

Should cosmetic surgery be freely available on the NHS? Cosmetic surgery is an individual's choice and if you want to have it done and you have the money then go for it. However, having it done on the NHS should only be available if it is for `medical' reasons, which can include psychological ones. I don't agree with people who have, for example, breast reduction surgery on the NHS just for cosmetic reasons. Opting for a surgical procedure is a serious matter. While many celebrities are having the procedures to appear youthful in their very competitive job market, others are doing it to simply feel better about themselves or to feel more attractive. Why are more and more young women opting for cosmetic surgery? In this society teenagers' having cosmetic surgery is not new. It's been happening in the USA for years. In the richer American cultures for their 16th birthday, boys get a car, girls get a nose job. Even over here the issue is old news. In 1998 the BBC investigated younger and younger girls having cosmetic surgery, and plastic surgeons willing to offer it to them. ...read more.

Middle

I find it appalling that doctors are performing surgeries to make people feel better about themselves. To my mind, doctors who perform these surgeries are simply contributing to a society which feels the need to have surgery to `fit in'. As more people are cosmetically enhanced, so there will be more teenagers suffering from low self-esteem, bulimia or anorexia - because they can't afford the liposuction which makes celebrities look so perfect. If we're unhappy about our bodies, we should change it. And, women are changeable creatures. Plastic surgery was originally developed thousands of years ago in India for treating injuries and birth defects. Then just over a century ago in 1885 when local anesthetics were invented, surgeons began performing various cosmetic operations. In 1901 the first face lift was done by Eugene Hollander of Berlin. The wealthy liked face lifts. A face lift meant they could actually buy some youth, even though the body cells were ageing. If you think there's something wrong with your body, change it. If your lips aren't the right shape, fake it. If your hair is the wrong colour, dye it. ...read more.

Conclusion

Its not jus natural teenage insecurity either. In our society, adult female bodies are treated like mistakes that continually need correcting. It's too hairy, it's the wrong shape, and it's the wrong colour. We're seen to be badly designed somehow, needing extra stuff to make them okay. Cosmetic surgery is just a type of makeover for girls who want to look normal. Nevertheless, some women claimed that getting a boob job is a feminist act. All the women who get breast enlargements will claim they are doing it for themselves. Who else would they be doing it for? But the fact is, they're doing it so they'll be happy with their own body, in a breast obsessed society. So, I think this is what's behind cosmetic surgery. The underlying expectation that women hate their bodies, which becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. And the idea that women are changeable, able to make ourselves over in a few hours, or by a team of make up artists and hair stylist, or indeed by a few days spent having cosmetic surgery. I think we all need to take responsibility as a society, and reject the notion that we should strive to look like unnaturally enhanced beauties. I think surgery for purely `cosmetic' reasons is morally and ethically wrong. Natasha Karidza 1 ...read more.

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