Summary: Plastic surgery and celebrities go hand in hand, at least as far as the news (and their less savory cousins, the gossip magazines) go. But, why do we care about celebrity plastic surgery? It’s a good question, and it’s not one I’m sure many have taken the time to answer. Until now, of course. In this article, we take a closer look at the relationship between celebrities and plastic surgery—and what that relationship says about us in general. It’s a good relationship, for the most part, as long as we know what we’re getting into. If you’re looking for a Ridgewood, New Jersey plastic surgeon, for example–how much should you care about what they’re doing in Los Angeles?
Wondering, Why do we Care About Celebrity Plastic Surgery?
As part of my job, I’m constantly looking at plastic surgery news. That means I regularly saunter over to my friend, Google, and type in the words: “plastic surgery news.” It’s not terribly shocking when I get a few stories about botched operations (the press thrives on the out of the ordinary—and botched plastic surgery definitely qualified). What is somewhat more surprising is that I will more often than not come upon a gossip column wondering whether this celebrity or that has undergone a cosmetic surgery procedure. In fact, I see gossip article far more often than I see any other type of news.
And there are definitely some certain celebrities which draw more attention than others. Kylie Jenner is one, Kris Jenner is another, and everybody is always talking about Kim Kardashian anyway. And then, of course, whenever a celebrity walks out onto the red carpet and looks slightly different—maybe more padding in the bra, maybe a little more makeup (or different make-up) and suddenly plastic surgeons are being consulted to discuss—on national television—what procedure a given celebrity has undergone or possibly undergone. I’ve said multiple times in the past, this seems a little unseemly.
The Way We Talk About Celebrities vs. the Way We Talk About Our Friends
After all, we would never do this to someone who is not a celebrity. We would never talk on Facebook about whether Jan had plastic surgery and then bring in our plastic surgery friends to compare images in front of everybody. Okay—maybe we would. But we would probably feel pretty bad about it afterwards. Because it would be unseemly and inappropriate. There’s something weird that happens with celebrities, where we don’t feel quite bad about behavior like that. It could be because we think their lives are pretty great—what, with the money and the fame and the fortune and the good looks. So, in a way, we let ourselves dehumanize celebrities—that is, they’re almost more objects than they are people.
So what does this have to do with cosmetic surgery? Well, here’s the other thing—we also envy celebrities. We want to know everything that’s going on in their lives the same way we would for a family member. And when a celebrity undergoes plastic surgery, it also means something else—it means we can have what they have. If a celebrity gets a breast augmentation, that means that we can also get a breast augmentation and, more important, look just as good as they do. We can have their fame, their fortune, their happiness, their attractiveness and confidence.
Why We Look to Celebrities as Idols
This helps explain why some on the fringes are interested in using plastic surgery to literally become a celebrity (those who spend tens of thousands of dollars to look like Kim Kardashian or Justin Beiber). They want everything that comes with celebrity—they want attractiveness and success. Most people aren’t willing to sacrifice their own identities, however. So, in many ways we look to celebrities simply for inspiration. So often, the bodies of celebrities seem out of reach—we might feel like we could never look that good. But when we hear that Uma Thurman had plastic surgery (she didn’t—it’s just an example), suddenly we feel like, with a little help, we actually could look that good.
I think this helps explain the focus on celebrity plastic surgery. Of course, there’s a predatory element to it and a generally mean element to it, but I don’t believe those are the overriding, majority aspects to celebrity plastic surgery news. Rather, it just seems to be that people are interested in celebrities, and want to be like them, want to use them for inspiration and as role models.
Inspiration Can be a Good Thing
So if you’re thinking about plastic surgery, don’t feel about looking to a celebrity to help guide you. Maybe you want the lips of Megan Fox or the rear end of Beyonce or the breasts of Kim Kardashian—whatever you want, if it’s in line with your own real self and your own identity, plastic surgery can help you get it. And, at the end of the day, you’ll likely feel like a million bucks. According to a lot of research, those who want plastic surgery and who then get plastic surgery tend to be quite happy, registering an increase in quality of life, confidence, and self-esteem.
So let the celebrities inspire you. Just remember, at the end of the day, they’re people too. So be inspired, just don’t be mean.