Why are We So Quick In Wanting To Change Our Unique Physical Landscapes?


tumblr_lc0ifm02dJ1qdm8oso1_500_large-insecure Why are so many people, especially women or young people, jumping at the chance to change their unique faces, bodies and/or physical landscapes? Are you doing this for your self or for someone else? We are born in this world a unique physical entity with basic similarities to others, yet fine tuned into our own individuality. Within that individuality are our ties to our past ancestry, composed of genes from many other unique individuals. Are these facts discussed when making decisions to change what we are born with? Do we realize that each bump, wrinkle and/or scar tells a story of our lives? Are we eliminating our sense of who we are when we alter our personal landscapes? Do you also realize that our unique life experiences, including scars, wrinkles etc., all a part of who we are, can’t be bought?

Life is full of surprises, including hurdles with doors to go around. Along the way, we  all experience many defining events that add ‘character’ to our bodies that we were born with. To expound upon defining events, this can include such things as accidents, birth deformities, disease, gaining/losing weight and/or the normal aging process. These aren’t always something we choose but something most of us will experience at one time or another. Most of these are the realities of life.

The side effects of some events can change our physical landscapes or bodies, thus leaving us (when an option) the choice to fix or leave as is. There are also things out of our control that we are sometimes born with that need to be altered in order to experience quality of life. The fact we can’t control when fixing our bodies and which most people aren’t aware of, is how we each individually heal, which can effect the final outcomes. Youth is a positive factor in the healing process and can bring about positive results without much intervention. As we age, the body doesn’t heal as well secondary to many factors, including, the long-term effects of the elements on our skin.  Fortunately, we do have talented individuals/specialists who can intervene for those with need but must realize that the physical results might not match what we perceive in our minds.

The concern I personally have, is that of young individuals changing their faces, bodies etc., at an age where they aren’t yet fully developed and/or even know who they are. I see parents who go along with these permanent interventions just to please their child and not fully well realizing that this only reinforces the child’s insecurities, thus leaving the door open for life long scars. The sad part of this is that the uniqueness of that individual is being taken away or altered, for reasons not fully thought through. Living with our imperfections is a life learning event that teaches us who we are, what’s important and who are friends really are. Striving for man-made perfection is an illusion that will do nothing but create questions in regards to who a person really is.

American Psychological Association article by Melissa Dittmann, ‘Plastic surgery:Beauty or beast?’ (September 2005, Vol 36, No. 8), “states that cosmetic surgery is booming, but what’s the mental cost of changing your appearance? Psychologists look to fill in the research gaps.”  “How do such procedures affect patients psychologically? A recent analysis of 37 studies on patients’ psychological and psychosocial functioning before and after cosmetic surgery by social worker Roberta Honigman and psychiatrists Katharine Phillips, MD, and David Castle, MD, suggests positive outcomes in patients, including improvements in body image and possibly a quality-of-life boost too. But the same research–published in the April 2004 issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Vol. 113, No. 4, pages 1,229-1,237)–also found several predictors of poor outcomes, especially for those who hold unrealistic expectations or have a history of depression and anxiety. The researchers found that patients who are dissatisfied with surgery may request repeat procedures or experience depression and adjustment problems, social isolation, family problems, self-destructive behaviors and anger toward the surgeon and his or her staff.”

I personally have undergone reconstruction post Breast CA, some of which has changed my personal physical landscape, as a result of. Having gone through such events at a later stage in life, the sense of who I am  has not been altered, but rather made me more secure secondary to what I had gone through. I also turned the event into something positive and volunteered to help others going through the unique research/procedures after me. I remember telling the nurses in the plastic surgery Dept at a local university hospital, a joke that came to mind while going through all the changes; “what do you call an old person going through plastic surgery and/or reconstruction?” They concedingly looked at me without a clue and I answered, “old.” You can change the physical body but you can’t change reality, time or the mind. When contemplating ‘elective’ changes in one’s physical landscape, make sure your mind and body are treated equally as you will not have balance treating one and not the other.


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