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Friday, February 28, 2014

Plastic Beauty: Young Girls Getting Booty Work and Thigh Gaps

Plastic surgery -- it's a miracle, a godsend for those who need it to fix deformities and to repair damaged parts; however, it's also a blight on humanity for those obsessed to have their conception of a "perfect body." Consider one positive plastic surgery: the rise in breast reconstruction surgeries that is especially encouraging for breast cancer patients seeking to advance their quality of life. But, also consider-nip and-tuck, cosmetic plastic surgeries performed for fashionable body modification. Young people, especially teen girls, now see a variety of procedures as necessary to look beautiful and to be accepted.

According to teen psychologist Barbara Greenberg, statistics show that 80 percent of girls dislike their bodies by the time they are 17 years old. That, combined with a tendency to over share, makes teen girls vulnerable to even the most subtle messages. And, the "message" of using plastic surgery to achieve the sexy body prevalent in the fashion of the day is quickly becoming more commonly accepted as an "instant" fix and a less stressful alternative to exercise and proper diet.

Even more frightening than the acceptance by teens of a singular, media-driven "image" of a beautiful girl is the view by plastic surgeons that any number of cosmetic changes to a patient's physical appearance are perfectly normal, good medical procedures that solve very serious psychological deficiencies. Let me expand this view.

Butt Augmentation

Butt augmentations are on the rise. Nearly 10,000 procedures took place in 2013, an increase of 16 percent from 2012. At a cost of $7,000 to $14,000 in the United States, girls are choosing to spend money to enhance their buttocks.

The rising popularity of butt enhancement operations coupled with an underground of unlicensed practitioners leads to people seeking budget ways to get bigger booties, and, to no one's surprise, these surgeries can and do often go awry.

The surgery is typically performed through incisions that run down in between the buttocks in order to hide scarring after surgery. Semi-solid silicone implants are strategically placed in the buttocks in order to provide a fuller, curvier contour.

According to Dr. Sydney Coleman, an Assistant Professor of Surgery at NYU and a specialist on fat-grafting cosmetic procedures, many off-license practitioners don’t have the skills or the time to do the procedure correctly.

“You really should know what you’re doing when you’re moving fat around,” Coleman said. “You can’t just squirt in a glob. You have to put in little amounts with each pass. If you squirt in a blob, the center dies and you get fat necrosis, which can lead to infection. For someone to do it properly it takes at least 2 and a half to 4 hours. People in a spa are not going to do that.”

The biggest culprit in post-augmentation illnesses and even death is industrial silicone injections. “This type of silicone’s never been approved for use for anything except injecting into a retina after retinal detachment surgery,” Coleman explained. “As used off-label, especially in the buttock, it’s extremely unstable.” Commercial-grade silicone injections aren’t approved by the FDA, and can cause permanent disfigurement and even death as the product migrates into the bloodstream and lungs.

And, to put it frankly, the surgery is a "pain in the ass." In post-surgery, you will need to wear a binder garment for three weeks to allow proper healing. You will not be able to lie down; however, sitting and walking is acceptable. You may return to light duty work in one week and resume exercise and normal activities in six weeks.

Why butt lifting and butt fat transfer? Plastic surgeons will say girls have procedures for "a shapelier, sexier, and more voluminous body contour." The results often prove impermanent and rather merely satisfy a short-term desire of the patient to remedy aesthetic shortcomings.

Thigh Gap

In humans, a thigh gap is a gap between the thighs when standing upright with both feet touching. Some women aspire to this for reasons of a perceived increase in attractiveness, with some considering it a sign of femininity and fragility. And, now some go as far as to say it symbolizes "the ideal body shape."

According to The Times of India, few women are able to form thigh gaps naturally and attempts to develop one typically involve unhealthy diets.

The phrase and subject became a topic of widespread news coverage in December 2013 after the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. As a result, hundreds of blogs, Twitter accounts and memes in the West were created, and images of thigh gaps featured in "thinspiration" blogs. There's even a Twitter account that someone made for super models' thigh gap. It has almost 3,000 followers.

(Barbara Greenberg. "The Thigh Gap -- A Disturbing New Trend Among Teen Girls." February 11, 2013)

The result? Many teenage girls have taken the view that the bigger the gap, the more beautiful the girl and have resorted to starving themselves in order to obtain it. We know teen girls are the group most likely to develop eating disorders and especially to develop anorexia nervosa.

Why are so many girls obsessed with the idea of a thigh gap? Psychotherapist Kimberly Moffit told The Toronto Sun: “It’s a way for young women to quantify their beauty and prove to themselves that they are attractive – especially if they don’t feel that way on the inside.” The thigh gap is a trend
that represents a potentially unhealthy way to appease young girls and their wishes to be skinnier or the skinniest.

The gap? The natural fact is that some girls have it and some girls don’t, and some girls, despite their efforts to achieve it, will never have it. Just because a girl doesn't have a space between her legs doesn’t mean she is overweight. Many thin girls don’t have thigh gaps. Girls trying to achieve a gap may be fighting genetics. Medically speaking, a thigh gap has more to do with a wide pelvis than with weight. Fat, muscle, and bone structure all can play a role in whether a girl has a thigh gap.

Some girls are not using diet to get a gap, but, instead, they are seeking surgical medical help.

A whole horde of young girls, not to mention adult women are turning to surgical procedures like Cool Sculpting to achieve the thigh gap effect. Here is the method used in this procedure: An ice-cold wand applied to the inner thighs basically freezes away the fat cells. Cool Sculpting costs $700 per thigh.

And, of course, some girls turn to thigh liposuction to achieve results. For inner thigh liposuction, girls can expect to pay between $2,000-$5,000. If they are considering outer thigh liposuction, they
can expect to pay between $1,600-$5,000 for the procedure.
My View

An unhealthy, misguided girl is not a sexy or a pretty girl. Insane efforts to achieve "beautiful conformity" that actually detract from natural, God-given beauty, which, by the way, is inherent in so many different physical forms and features, are fake, insincere, self-initiated escapes that prevent women from finding their greater beauty -- enhancing and intelligently using their own, unique sensual appeal. Unhealthiness can be frailness of body or weakness of mind. Both detract from beauty.

I've always believed a woman's outward beauty begins with a sweet smile, a pleasant voice, and warm, alluring eye contact. As far as breasts, butts, and gaps between the legs, different men are attracted to different body parts in every conceivable form for mysterious reasons no doctor can adequately contrive.

I content many of the "hot" women by today's standards present themselves as untouchable, painted and molded works of self-conceived perfection who merely display themselves without the slightest sensual knowledge or exotic appeal. To me, an attractive woman who exhibits heart, soul, and brains with grace, mystery, and innocence understands lasting beauty.

In a world of selfies, it’s easy for girls to compare themselves not just to teens in their high schools but to every other female on the Internet, making self-esteem issues more equal opportunity than ever before. Instagram and Tumblr provide plenty of material for comparison.

Having a thigh gap or a booty pop have become status symbols. So are money, power, and friends in high places. Those who demand status symbols have to live with the consequences. How much gap and booty and money are necessary to be accepted?

These symbols often require that a human must sacrifice to achieve them. In the case of cosmetic plastic surgeries, those intent on "getting cut" to gain phony acceptance inevitably lose more than just unwanted flesh in the process.

"I find it interesting that 16-year-olds are having plastic surgery. People in their 40s used to think, 'I'm aging, I have to do something about it.' Now, children are deciding they don't like the way they look."

--Jane Seymour

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