Friday, March 6, 2015

Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Big...Enough?

Not too long ago women were hoping items in their wardrobes were flattering in the sense that they did not exaggerate certain proportions.  A standard joke was about a husband searching for a truthful but diplomatic answer to the question, “Do these jeans make my butt look big?”

Now it appears the shoe is on the other foot, to mix metaphors.  According to NBC News:  Two doctors' organizations have tallied up the cosmetic procedures performed last year, and butt augmentation skyrocketed.”  Why would this situation change so drastically?  Those kinds of questions are getting easier and easier to answer.  For men the influence is usually professional athletes and for women it’s Hollywood.  The number of procedures to add silicone implants or to transplant fat from other parts of the body doubled from 2013 to 2014 driven by an increase in the number of pop stars celebrating their large rear ends in music, stage and television performances and on social media.

Apparently that’s good news for the doctors, but questionable for the rest.  One study in 2013 showed a 30 percent complication rate.  In a short comment back in August 2013, I pointed out that some of those complications could be serious, even fatal.  Having paid the money and taken the risk, what do they do in a few years when those pop stars are washed up and something new becomes the rage?

Here is a good example from a website called MEDPAGE Today from September 2012.  “The need for tattoo removal has burgeoned in recent years. Surveys have suggested that almost one-quarter of U.S. students have one or more tattoos, and that half of them subsequently seek a removal procedure.”  The article describes the success rate of using lasers to remove tattoos, but the point relevant to this bottom-enhancement decision is that the median age of the tattoos was only 4 years.  Certainly tattoos can be more personal and bring back unpleasant memories, but in both cases people are deciding to alter, more or less permanently, their appearance to follow a fad that will supposedly make them more attractive. 

Perspective reminds us to follow our core values, such as, wanting someone to love you for what you are.  It also reminds us about gratitude, being satisfied with what we have rather than yearning for something more or different.  Although little more than 20,000 have undergone this procedure last year, the fact that the trend is growing is disturbing.  It’s a small number relative to the population, but it is also a rather drastic step – both expensive and potentially dangerous.  Even those of us who would never consider such a decision can learn from these people and evaluate our own behavior when it comes to letting hype and pop culture overrule our better judgment.

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