THE BLOG

How Surgery Turns Women into Fembots

07/23/2012 05:02 EDT | Updated 09/22/2012 05:12 EDT
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I'm not telling you anything new when I say that we are enslaved by socio-cultural requirements when it comes to beauty, and that in the past few decades, we have begun to witness a normative change in human traits like never before.

All over the world, we're slipping towards uniformity. A new "perfect" face, born of the research of cosmetic surgeons, will become the absolute ideal of beauty. Doctor Rosenburg explains the subtleties of his scientific research: the angles of different parts of the face, its overall structure, its curved lines...the human face has become a construction site. We sculpt human flesh like we did the stones for Mount Rushmore.

Producers are saying actresses are beginning to all look the same. The Hollywood face is a perfect oval, with full, pouty lips, and without wrinkles. With their shining faces, standing side by side on the red carpet in Cannes, and looking like twins, one would think think that this is the only place in the world to find true beauty.

Whenever I hear fans exclaim how pretty an old actress still is after getting work done, I can't help but think to myself that they would maybe be more stunning if they weren't still lying on the surgery table. I truly believe that it's the energy, vitality, joie de vivre and work that makes these women so brilliant -- not their surgeries.

These are the rules of stereotypical femininity: plump mouth, hemmed nose, smooth forehead, high cheekbones, 36D breasts, round bottom, narrow hips, good thighs, lipo-sucked tummy, hourglass figure and acrylic nails. This is the dream body, the unreal body -- both unrealistic and symbolic. It's so depersonalized that you wonder if there's someone in there! Something that we fiddle with -- that we feed, dissect, autopsize, sculpt, renovate, discolour, or colour, that we pass under the laser, or pluck the hairs from, and deprive of food or make them vomit, or give dieting pills to. So much work for a body that's governed by aesthetics.

Driven by the illusion that beauty is power, we submit. Is it really offensive that our children get tattoos, or cut themselves? Is this body really that much more attractive? Does it make us happier? You think I'm exaggerating? Do the following exercise: Go where aging women hang out, and point out the ones you find most attractive. I'm ready to bet that those you find the most beautiful are the ones who have had work done.

We tend to forget that not only do we have one body, but that we are that body. What kind of sense of identity can we have with a body that has no link to the original me?

Anatomy and self-perception have a complex relationship. Certain parts of our brain -- notably the amygdala and hippocampus -- are critical to how we see ourselves, and how we encode our memories. Thanks to these small parts, our history is encrypted throughout our bodies, and our skin cells. We are our own skin.

So can someone please explain to me why celebrities have nervous breakdowns when they wear the same dress to a gala while the entire time, they're walking about with the same breasts, noses, lips, cheekbones and buttocks from the same surgeon?