It has been a decades long norm to shame women who get plastic surgery, as if society's unrealistic beauty standards didn't have anything to do with the insecurities that triggered some women's decision to go under the knife in the first place.
Celebrity tabloids have even dedicated pages to plastic surgery rumours all in a bid to "expose" the imperfections of the stars loved by many. And not that X-rays would actually reveal lipid tissue in a butt implant, but Kim Kardashian once even went as far as going for X-rays on an episode of KUWTK to quell all the plastic surgery shaming.
While baby boomers got Dolly Parton, millennials got the Kardashian Klan as a source of plastic surgery banter and jabs. Some unwarranted and some of it, making valid commentary on Kris' kubs appropriation of black women's features (a conversation for another day).
Going even further back, there was once even a particular faction of early 2000s pop culture centred around Jennifer Lopez' derrière, constantly posing the question "real or fake?"
The conversation that all of this sparked was usually that women who go under the knife are either superficial or have really low self-esteem - both unfair assumptions to make.
However, an article published on the Shame and Medicine Project's website touched on the fact that it is "widely reported in the academic literature on cosmetic surgery that women sometimes see cosmetic surgery as a means to take control of their bodies and lives, exercising their agency in order to alleviate psychological distress."
This article also added that "for some if not many women, cosmetic surgery is not about becoming beautiful or exceptional, but about merely ‘passing'," the socially accepted standard of attractiveness while also turning body shame into body pride.
And even when women go for cosmetic surgery surgeries for reasons not related to the layered topic of beauty standards and the psychology thereof, but merely because it suits them like buying a pair of shoes, they shouldn't feel a need to justify their decision.
This is why stumbling upon a screenshot of local model Rosette Ncwana's Instagram post detailing that she'd had a nip and a tuck here and there was rather refreshing.
In this post, the model shared that she went for a breast lift augmentation and got some liposuction done to get rid of her fupa (fat upper pubic area). And then she dropped her surgeons name too, much to everyone's appreciation.
The response on social media has been that of applauding her honesty, especially considering the fact that it's not unusual for people in the public eye to fabricate details about how they snapped back after having a baby or how they reached the destination of their weight loss journeys.
so glad she was honest about going under the knife. we've been gulping down green gooey smoothies and not getting results, now there you have it.— Ayanda Ngwenya?? (@Ayanda007) February 27, 2019
Her honesty is refreshing!— Lindiwe (@leendiwe) February 27, 2019
I love her for this honesty. We are tired of being misled by the drink water brigade— Empress Zinhle (@ZinhlePutin) February 27, 2019
The responses also show how more black women today are willing to go for aesthetic procedures should funds allow.
Also according to the article mentioned above, "cosmetic procedures are no longer the privilege of the wealthy or elite, procedures are increasingly more affordable and cosmetic surgery is now a pursuit of the middle and more affluent lower classes."
What this means is that the ordinary woman - not just the celebrity kind - is now also toying with the idea of implants, tummy tucks, face lifts and the likes.
"But why? Aren't we meant to be body positive and embracing our flaws and stuff?" you might ask.
Well, of course, the body positive movement has made massive strides towards changing the way we see and embrace different forms of beauty. And for that we remain grateful.
But it's also important to allow for choice in this movement - yes, our flaws are what makes us beautiful, but if someone feels that a permanently contoured nose will make them that much more happier, then they should do so without fear of being shamed for being "self-loathing" - celebrity or otherwise.
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