The Pros and the Cons of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery from a Psychologist’s Viewpoint

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Mandy has been working in the mental health field for more than eight years and has worked with a diverse group of clients. These range ...Read More

One thing is clear. Cosmetic surgery stems from low self esteem and non-acceptance of ourselves. If we truly liked and loved ourselves we wouldn’t feel the need to change anything. Women especially, are conditioned to look good. There is so much pressure to be beautiful and thin and it causes emotional distress and immense amounts of self loathing in women all over the world.

We are bombarded with perfect images of women on a daily basis. Just look up at an advertising billboard or read a magazine and perfection stares back at you. It is easy to forget that the image you see is probably the best one of a hundred photos taken and has more than likely been airbrushed as well. Yet, these pictures of slim attractive women trigger our insecurities and self doubt and usually cause us to reach for the first doughnut we can lay our hands on…and so the self loathing continues.


The cosmetic surgery industry is booming and is likely to continue doing so. Yet it seems there is not enough being done to educate people from the inside out. We automatically assume that beauty on the outside will transform us within but this is wrong. Most women do not adore themselves overnight once surgery has taken place. Many find they are still stuck with the same old insecurities as before and they still compare themselves unfavourably to other women. Surgery can help individuals with deformities and obvious flaws but those women looking for superficial changes – such as breast enlargements, will more than likely find that they don’t miraculously change into this fictional women they always hoped to be. They still live with the same attitudes and beliefs as before.

What are the pros and cons of plastic surgery?

There are numerous pros and cons associated with cosmetic surgery. Pros can include increased self-confidence, improved physical health (for instance, rhinoplasty can help with breathing problems), and even improved mental health by reducing anxiety and depression related to one’s appearance. However, there are also cons to consider. Cosmetic surgical procedures can carry the risks of complications such as infections, scarring, and even life-threatening problems like blood clots or anesthesia complications. There may be dissatisfaction with the results, potentially leading to the need for additional cosmetic surgeries. Furthermore, these procedures can be expensive and may not be covered by insurance.

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I have given it some thought and here are the pros and cons to cosmetic plastic surgery procedures from a Psychologist’s viewpoint:

The pros of plastic surgery

1) Cosmetic surgery can improve body appearance and benefit a person on a superficial level

2) Confidence can be improved by altering the attitude of the person having the cosmetic and plastic surgery done. Some people need very little to jump start their image of themselves in a positive direction and tweaking their physical appearance with certain procedures can be the boost they need in order to see themselves differently. It is not just about the surgery in itself though, there is a change in attitude that helps the transformation

3) Cosmetic surgery helps people to feel more accepted by others and less inferior to some degree.

The cons of plastic surgery

1) Cosmetic surgery can make someone feel less confident as they will always be thinking that others like a ‘fake version’ of them. This is not the true reflection as nature intended and it can lead to a person feeling even less in tune with themselves. They are likely to wonder whether people would still like them if they knew them pre-surgery.

2) Cosmetic surgery deals solely with aesthetics and does nothing for the emotional and mental aspects of a person. This can leave a person feeling even more lost than before they undergo the surgery.

3) Complications of surgery. There is always a risk of pain when undergoing surgery.

Ultimately, there is no right or wrong here. Cosmetic surgery is an individual choice. Some people swear that it has changed their lives for the better whilst others feel that they had unrealistic expectations of how cosmetic surgery could change their lives. It won’t make people love you anymore than they already do (and if it does then those people are incredibly shallow) and it won’t make you the most popular person at the party. Make sure that you are doing it for the right reasons – to please yourself and improve upon yourself not to fit in with others or fit the ideals of others.

A Plastic Surgeon

Is cosmetic surgery good or bad?

The evaluation of cosmetic surgery as “good” or “bad” is highly subjective and depends on various factors including the individual’s motivations, expectations, and the potential risks involved. For some people, cosmetic surgery may lead to improved self-esteem and improved quality of life. For instance, someone who has undergone liposuction might feel more comfortable in their skin and experience reduced anxiety about their appearance. However, like any surgical procedure, cosmetic surgery comes with risks, including complications during surgery or dissatisfaction with the results. Therefore, it’s crucial for individuals who undergo cosmetic surgery to thoroughly research, discuss with medical professionals, and carefully consider their decision before undergoing such procedures.

How does plastic surgery affect relationships?

Plastic surgery can affect relationships in a variety of ways, both positive and negative. On the positive side, if an individual feels more confident and comfortable with their appearance after surgery, this can potentially improve their interpersonal relationships. However, changes in appearance may lead to issues within relationships. For instance, a partner or spouse undergoing cosmetic surgery may have difficulty adjusting to the change, or might feel insecure or threatened. Furthermore, if the surgery was done to meet unrealistic expectations or without the full support of a partner, it could potentially strain the relationship.

Why are people against plastic surgery?

There can be multiple reasons why people are against plastic surgery. Some individuals may hold a philosophical belief that one should accept and value their natural appearance rather than altering it surgically. Others may have concerns about the risks associated with a plastic surgery procedure, the potential for complications, or dissatisfaction with the results. There is also a societal debate around the pressures placed particularly on women to conform to certain beauty standards, which can be perpetuated by the availability and normalization of cosmetic procedures. These individuals may argue for a focus on boosting self-confidence and promoting beauty in all forms, rather than resorting to surgical alteration.

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