Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vapid Vanity in America

What is up with America’s obsession with perfection? Recently, I have found that cosmetic procedures have gotten WAY out of hand and it is a symptom of a bigger problem.

I don’t mean your basic procedures – if you do not like the bump on your nose, have rhinoplasty. Have the tummy tuck if it makes you feel better after having children. (I admit I wish I could afford it at times.) If you have lost a great deal of weight, good for you! Now, go have that excess skin removed to finish what you started on the way to a healthier you.

I am talking about the excess of surgeries and the new procedures that take vanity to a whole new low. Sharon Osbourne has racked up $700,000 in plastic surgery in recent years. Elvis’ Priscilla (see above pic) has had so much face work done that she is unrecognizable. Last year, after appearing in a popular woman’s magazine declaring that she loved her imperfections, Ashlee Simpson showed up in Hollywood… after her plastic surgeon fixed her to look almost identical to her sister Jessica.

Now, new, and in my opinion disturbing, procedures are becoming commonplace. Hey ladies, if you think your genital region is less than perky, have labiaplasty. Want to “feel touched for the very first time” again as Madonna sang in the 1980’s? Vaginaplasty is the answer for you. If you feel size matters, sign up for phalloplasty. Think your derrière could use a polish – try anal bleaching.

I could go on and on, especially about how the age of people seeking out plastic surgery in decreasing, and not just for breast augmentation. My problem with this latest tread is two-fold. With all the hunger, illiteracy, and problems in our country alone (mid-West is under water and The Big Easy still has not fully recovered from Katrina for example), couldn’t people with means find a more meaningful way to use their money?

My biggest fear is what effect this incessant vapid vanity is having on our youth. Everywhere they look, they are being bombarded with images of medical perfection, chiseled good looks, and seemingly ideal bodies. Life is neither fair nor perfect (if it was, life would be called guilt-free, endless chocolate cake instead). This latest trend is one more step our country is taking into the vast wasteland of sheer ineffectuality. As my good friend here at 1% More Conscious talks about Chimpy and Cheerleader Joe dragging our country into futility, I am afraid, dear readers, that this rising obsession with perfecting ourselves is a vain masking of how far we have fallen from being that all important “Number One”. Worse, we are bringing the next generation with us.

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