Comments of the Day: The Question of Plastic Surgery

Earlier today we wondered aloud why it is that people still get cosmetic surgery. Our question prompted a lot of debate among you the commenters. Here are some highlights.

Seerauber Jenny posed an interesting question:

A philosophical question:

If plastic surgery were truly "plastic," meaning that skin and bones could be molded like clay without scars or blemishes, if it were cheap, and most important, if it were nearly always very safe, would it still be objectionable?

Assuming more people elected to have it, would that be a positive development, or would plastic surgery lose its allure because it would no longer be associated with elites? Would beauty be redefined or would distinctions then be drawn on different grounds, e.g., being a totally "natural" beauty?

Just curious to hear your thoughts.

Commenter CJ4 put things in perspective with a sad personal story:

My sister died just shy of her 27th birthday from an infection developed after some seemingly minor liposuction. She was an adult and made her own decision, and it is pointless for me to second-guess that. I just miss my one and only sibling and have done so every day for the last three years.I think it's unfair to lump people like my sister or others who have minor work done with those, like Heidi Montag and Jocelyn Wildenstern, for whom surgery is indicative of much deeper issues. Although I thought my sister was perfect as she was, it was something she really want to do. Her appearance was important to her, but not an obsession, and she wanted to get rid of that one problem area. She paid for that desire with her life, but I don't think it was born of the same compulsion that resulted in a Catwoman any more than any of us who have one too many with friends can be equated with a homeless person huddled on a doorstep with a bagged bottle of Mad Dog. For that reason, I can't stand in judgment of those who decide - hopefully for the "right", or at least not completely illegitimate, reasons - to undergo cosmetic surgery. It's not for me - even before my sister's death - but I also don't think I have the right to tell you that it's not for you. I can only ask that any person who is contemplating it really examines why they are doing it. If you think it's going to make you a better person, magically instill confidence where none existed before, you will be sadly mistaken. Further, do your homework. At an absolute minimum, get third-party information about the procedure, its risks, and the doctor you choose. Lastly, understand that though the risks may be small, the risks are real. My family knows that better than any.

And anna.diolosa wondered what the fuss was all about:

Why do we do anything that could be detrimental to our health and well being (plastic surgery, smoking, drugs, junk food) in the name of personal gratification. I don't think I have ever met any single individual who doesn't care at all what other people think of them or how they are perceived by others either. None of us are saints, so why should we act like we are?

That's a wax version of Nicole Kidman at Madam Tussauds, via Getty