The cosmetic surgery industry is currently worth a staggering $20 billion, and is predicted to more than double over the next six years.
The beauty industry is currently worth over $500 billion, and the fashion industry is worth over $1 trillion.
And women always make up the biggest market share percentage of sales in all of these industries.
Collectively, the fashion and beauty industry is growing rapidly; marketing and selling us products every day, promising to help us look more “attractive,” and feel happier with our physical appearance.
The underlying message of cosmetic surgery is that we are not attractive enough as we are, and the key to our confidence, self-esteem, self-worth, happiness, and success lies in constantly “improving” ourselves on the outside, while blindly ignoring everything that’s going on inside ourselves.
If you’re someone who is currently battling to love your body as it is, ask yourself, why do you want to change the way you look?
Why do you feel inadequate the way you are right now?
Why do you believe your life will be better when your nose is smaller, your lips plumper, or your belly is flatter?
And why do you think you’ll feel sexier when you’ve waxed every single hair off your body, spent hours contouring your face, or gone under the knife to go up a couple of cup sizes?
Even after going through with all of the above, why do you still wind up feeling inadequate, and continue to find more parts of yourself you want to edit and fix?
Why are so many women addicted to cosmetic surgery?
Often, they’ll have one procedure done, thinking they’ll be happy when it’s complete; but then they have the new nose/ass/boobs and are left wondering why they’re still not truly happy. So they go and get something else cut, sewn, or lifted. And this cycle repeats itself over and over again, because we’re not dealing with the root cause of why we’re unhappy in the first place – which unbeknown to most of us has nothing to do with our physical appearance.
What’s deeply disturbing is that getting surgery – particularly breast implants – has now become totally normalised; and nothing more serious than going shopping and purchasing a push-up bra.
A few years ago I was at home in England, relaxing on the sofa watching some daytime TV. During an ad break, an advert caught my attention.
There was a group of conventionally attractive, young women, hanging out in a private villa together. It was the summer, they were in their bathing suits chilling out by the pool; smiling, dancing and laughing. At first, I naively thought it was an advert for a women’s getaway, but sadly, it wasn’t.
It was a cosmetic surgery advert by MYA surgery for breast enlargement, featuring actresses who I would estimate were all between the ages of 18-30, all of whom had implants.
The message this advert conveyed was that if you want to be a happy, attractive, successful woman like this, then you need to have a big breasts.
Oh, and did I mention it was on a mainstream broadcasting channel, and it was the middle of the afternoon? Anyone could’ve seen that. And these same adverts are now regularly played on multiple Sky TV channels.
A recent one chose to manipulate women a step further by focusing on each woman individually, with voice overs including: “(name) is a feminist,” “(name) loves her body.”
It’s not surprising that girls as young as 12 are saying they want breast implants, when you take a glance at what they’re being exposed to and learning about their bodies as a result.
Many women struggle with the idea of disagreeing with other women and calling them out on things, because we’ve been led to believe this goes against woman code. This is why you’ll see so many female celebrities, as well as leaders in the self-help space, saying they think it’s okay if a woman wants to have cosmetic surgery.
They’re either too afraid to give their real opinion, they’re brainwashed by the Patriarchy, or working as double agents for them.
Calling other women out on the lies they’re feeding themselves and other women doesn’t mean you’re breaking woman code. It actually means you’re one of the only women who truly gets what it means to be for women, and you’re not afraid of the repercussions of speaking the truth.
I’ve witnessed self-love and body image experts openly say, just like you might want to give your car a new paint job, you might want to similarly have some “work” done on yourself.
I am filled with rage when I see women speaking and teaching about self-love, while simultaneously spreading the message that it’s okay if you want to cut, sew, or inject your body with plastic – which is both physically and mentally damaging – just do what makes you happy.
Do we genuinely believe strapping lumps of plastic to our chests, equals happiness for a woman?
I call bullshit.
The choice is absolutely yours – it’s your body – and I never want you to not have total control and freedom with your body. However, I’m not going to sit here and lie to you, and tell you what you want to hear, instead of what you need to hear.
All I can say is I’ve been there, and I can empathise more than you know.
I’ve been the teenager who was bullied for the way she looked, and learned to hate herself for over a decade after as a result.
I’ve been the woman who looked in the mirror, and struggled to love the reflection staring back at her.
And I’ve been the woman who wanted to make her nose smaller and straighter, and believed that a boob job would help her feel more confident within herself.
I get it, I do, and I feel your struggle and your pain.
We desperately want to believe them when they tell us it’s that easy to feel empowered, boost our inner confidence and self-esteem, because we’ve spent our whole lives in lack, searching for the “fix” to all our problems.
But where did they originate?
Who made us feel dis-empowered and crippled our confidence in the first place?
The tobacco tycoons of the past, the creators of pornography, the PR and marketing geniuses, the TV and movie producers, the cosmetic surgeons, the magazine editors, the celebrities of today endorsing harmful products, and so on.
Our society teaches us to hate ourselves, convinces us we are all flawed and broken to the very core, then sells us copious products and services that will fix us.
I understand what you’re going through, and I know you desperately want there to be a magic potion you can drink, that’s going to make all those not-good-enough feelings vanish.
It’s much easier to throw money at our problems, instead of figuring out the real cause.
It’s much easier to believe that we can buy confidence, bottle self-love, and make all our fears and insecurities disappear by altering our appearance.
And it’s easier to believe those lies people tell us, because we want to believe them. But it doesn’t work that way, and cosmetic surgery is not the answer you’re searching for.
Deep down, the wise woman within you already knows that.
“I’m doing it for me.”
That’s what we tell ourselves.
That’s what every woman says, who has ever cut, sewn, or sculpted her already beautiful body to make it “better.”
You see, part of the conditioning of the patriarchal ideal is to make us women feel empowered by products like cigarettes, flat tummies, and fake boobs on our own terms. They cleverly manipulate us into believing the whole thing was our idea. Our choice. Our desire.
And this false empowerment keeps us from real empowerment, which they don’t want you to ever discover, because then you’ll be a powerful, threatening, uncontrollable force of nature.
It’s genius when you think about it because this way, every time a woman critiques an unspoken requirement of women, we’re also forced to critique something women have seemingly chosen for themselves. If you’re a woman today and you speak out against cosmetic surgery, other women will tell you you’re disempowering them.
Women like me are labelled anti-feminist or anti-women for trying to help women wake up and see that contrary to what they believe, they are not cutting, sewing, and editing their body for themselves.
For the people who have ever called you names.
The people who have ever put you down, and made you feel small.
All the times you’ve looked in the mirror and felt ugly.
For the people who have made you feel like who you are right now isn’t enough.
The people who continually try to tell us women what beautiful is, and what it’s not.
The adverts, magazines, and movies filled with women’s bodies that look nothing like your own.
And for all times you’ve watched porn, and been made to feel your body isn’t sexy enough.
Because you crave men’s attention and approval, and don’t realise it’s not worth a dime.
And because the women you look up to and aspire to be like are doing it too.
At the root of all of it, we take (often drastic) action to edit and improve our physical appearance, because we’ve learned to dislike or hate it, and we’re led to believe that is what is holding us back from finding true happiness and inner peace.
Because that’s exactly what they want you to believe.
You’ve been deceived into thinking you’ve chosen this on your own terms, and that the choice you’re making is empowering you, and other women.
I used to believe this too.
You know what would be for you; what would be truly empowering?
Facing those monsters and shadows in your closet that have been keeping you from your real power.
Learning to deal with your deepest fears and insecurities head on, instead of ignoring them.
Learning to embrace your body as it is today, and realising that your beauty and self-worth are not tied to your appearance.
Choosing to love every part of yourself, no matter how many times you’re told not to; and encouraging all of the women in your life to do the same.
I urge you to think deeply about this – really allow it to sink in to your soul.
And the next time you, or one of your friends tells you she’s thinking of getting some “work” done, I encourage you to help her get to the root of why she wants to edit herself, and believes she needs to.
Show her there’s a different way. A tougher way, yes, but the only way to real confidence, and true empowerment that lasts.
I promise you’ll make it through this.
You’ll make it through without those new boobs, that straighter nose, and that peachier bum.
And those women who are telling you otherwise? They are not your friends. They don’t have your best interests at heart, and they are not someone you should be looking up to, following or taking advice from.
Don’t be afraid to call anyone out on their bullshit. Because that’s what it’s going to take to help us all fully love and accept ourselves as we are, and rise together as women.
It’s going to take women like me and you who aren’t afraid to speak their truth; who aren’t afraid of doing a lot of inner soul work; who aren’t afraid to not conform with society, and beat to the rhythm of our own drum.
New boobs are not for you.
They’re for them.
And fuck them.
Remember, everyone in the cosmetic surgery industry has an agenda, which circles back to one goal: money. Don’t forget that it ‘s a business first and foremost.
They have everything to gain by promoting such products to you, and nothing to lose, because they don’t care about your health, happiness, or well being.
I know I’m a stranger, but I do care. More than you know. It would be much easier for me to stay quiet on issues like this and sit on the fence, but I don’t believe that’s in our best interest as women.
Thousands of women have already shared their personal stories of health deterioration as a result of their implants. It is widely known that surgeons play-down the risks and harmful side effects to women who come to them wanting implants, and they also fail to mention that they are not a lifetime product and will inevitably need to be replaced.
Some of the complications of getting implants can include:
Capsular contracture (when the scar tissue around the implant (inside the body) gets tight and hard
Changes in nipple and breast sensation
Rupture with deflation of saline-filled implants
Rupture with or without symptoms of silicone gel-filled implants
Persistent flu-like symptoms
There are no breast implants on the market that never cause side effects or complications. In general, breast implants filled with saline are less likely to cause serious injury than those filled with silicone gel, but we know many women who have become ill because of saline implants.
– Dr Diana Zuckerman, Ph.D & President of the National Centre for Health Research in the U.S.
I want to be clear, this is not an attack on any woman who has decided to go through with cosmetic surgery. I understand the thought process that led you there, and I am in no way judging you for the choices you’ve made, or will make in the future.
We’re already judged endlessly as women, and none of us need more of it, what we need is more love and compassion.
So, instead of feeling guilt or shame or regret towards yourself or your body – now or at any point in the future – I invite you to learn to love your body as it is today.
And if you feel called to remove your implants, honour that, explore that; but also know that’s not only way to discover self-love.
There are always endless ways, endless paths we can take in this life, which all lead to the same destination.
Make a choice to love yourself as you are today.