Over on Dr. Rob Oliver's blog, Plastic Surgery 101, the physician answers questions posed by San Francisco's American Sexuality magazine. Dr. O (heh) has an interesting perspective on today's beauty standards. He writes:
"Unnatural" standards of beauty have always existed and I'm not so sure that what passes now (Botox'd foreheads, laser "Brazilian" hair removals, breast implants, etc...) are more radical things that have been done since time immemorial (infant head molding, feet binding, corsets ("wasp waists"), neck stretching, tattooing, ritual scarring/piercing). In fact, there's kind of been some pushback towards less radical surgical and non-surgical treatments towards less obvious and more natural results.
Uh, yeah, but didn't foot binding, neck stretching and corsets make women miserable? Do we really need to perpetuate that? Some cultural, ritualistic body modifications — scarification, tattoos, circumcision — have roots in religion and spirituality. Where is the divine, holy inspiration in Janice Dickinson's face?
While it's true that foot binding and severe corsets are about beauty and attracting the opposite sex, don't we consider them to be part of our less-enlightened past? And these days, neck-stretching women do so for tourist dollars more than anything else.
Dr. O In American Sexuality Magazine... Mom Will Be So Proud! [Plastic Surgery 101]