Google Answers Logo
View Question
Q: Cosmetic surgery ( Answered,   3 Comments )
Subject: Cosmetic surgery
Category: Health > Beauty
Asked by: gemma-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 21 Aug 2002 04:47 PDT
Expires: 20 Sep 2002 04:47 PDT
Question ID: 56890
How do we explain the popularity of cosmetic surgery today and the
focus on bodily appearance in Western societies?

Request for Question Clarification by mvguy-ga on 21 Aug 2002 08:08 PDT
Would you be willing to accept as an answer one or two links to
articles on the role physical beauty in Western culture? If not, how
detailed of an answer do you want?
Subject: Re: Cosmetic surgery
Answered By: madsky101-ga on 13 Sep 2002 10:18 PDT

In order to explain the popularity of cosmetic surgery today, you have
to address the fact that cosmetic surgery can encompass many types of
body modifications from something as common as breast implants to
changes as extreme as tongue forking(splitting the tongue)and
castration.  It is always going to be based on each individuals
perception of what they consider their ideal physical appearance.

Each culture and individual have their own views of what is considered
desirable, as far as physical beauty is concerned, and many people
will go to great lengths to change their appearance to reflect that
perception of ideal physical beauty.

Some people make , sometimes drastic, changes to their appearance to
conform to what they consider to be the ideal beauty in their own
culture or society.  Breast enlargement, collagen treatments, nose
jobs, eye lifts, and facelifts, are many of the most popular choices,
and are usually performed as purely cosmetic procedures.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are others that alter their
appearance in an attempt to go against what is considered the social
"norm", and choose to modify their bodies in an attempt to use their
appearance to have an impact on people.  Nose, ear, eyebrow and body
piercing, tattoos, and  some people even go so far as to deliberately
scar themselves, in order to achieve the appearance of non-conformity.

I am including several links that will provide different several
different perspectives about the focus on bodily appearance in Western

It has been a pleasure to provide assistance.

Links of Interest:

United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization
The Body Jigsaw, article by Philippe Liotard

Best Start Resource Centre 
Promoting Healthy Body Image

Green Fairy Dot Com 
Cosmetic Surgery and Body Modification 
Originally written as a commentary for BMEzine

San Francisco Business Times
Article by James Temple   
Plastic surgery shows no paling in popularity

Forked Tongues
Tongue Forking Gallery
Cutting, Branding, and Scarification

Photo Gallery of Cosmetic Surgeries

Search terms:

bodily appearance in Western societies+cosmetic surgery
cosmetic surgery+western society
popularity of cosmetic surgery
tongue splitting
cosmetic surgery+gallery
cosmetic surgery+gallery
Subject: Re: Cosmetic surgery
From: michael2-ga on 21 Aug 2002 04:57 PDT
All that for just $2?
Subject: Re: Cosmetic surgery
From: politicalguru-ga on 21 Aug 2002 07:16 PDT
Lol Michael2, 

For $2, I'd say that we explain the popularity in the availability of
the procedure and our society's vision of beauty.

Oops, I just lost $1.5 and gave away an answer for free.
Subject: Re: Cosmetic surgery
From: knowledge_seeker-ga on 21 Aug 2002 09:34 PDT
Frankly I think, as a species we've always looked for ways to enhance
our bodies, through surgery, decoration, or other manipulation. This
is confined neither to "today" nor to the western hemisphere ...

nor to women for that matter ...

Maybe that'll add an original twist to your essay  :-)


Important Disclaimer: Answers and comments provided on Google Answers are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Google does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. Please read carefully the Google Answers Terms of Service.

If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by emailing us at with the question ID listed above. Thank you.
Search Google Answers for
Google Answers  

Google Home - Answers FAQ - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy