Researchers Tie Plastic Surgery To Higher Self-Esteem

 (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)

It's a standard mistake that the word plastic in plastic surgery means fake, but this is simply not the truth. The word originates from the ancient Greek word “plastikos”.  Plastikos means to mold or give form. Plastic surgery is a surgical specialization concerned with both the improvement in a person's looks and the repair of facial and body tissue deformities produced by disease, injury, or birth defects.

Plastic surgery alters and recovers function, as well as looks. These improvements may also affect a person’s psychological wellbeing. It’s clear that the world today places a high value on physical attractiveness. Though this may take different forms according to culture, physical appearance affects other parts of our lives, leading persons to pay special attention to the way they look.

We spoke to a plastic surgeon, Dr. Chahal, who provided us with useful information about the people who decide to do plastic surgery. The patients have improved lives and functionality because of plastic surgery. However, every surgery has some measure of risk, but many people find it to be worth it.

The decision to go under the knife may vary from person to person as we may have different issues as well as ideologies. The popularity of plastic surgery has increased as the years go by, due to a number of reasons. But people mainly have them performed because they want to improve their appearance, or they would like to fix a condition that is affecting their lives.  

Recent studies have shown that having plastic surgery performed can boost the mood of patients who are satisfied with the results. This is because when we are satisfied with our looks, we tend to see ourselves differently overall, and we may even have different experiences when interacting with others.

Clinical Psychological Science published research showing that patients often experience greater levels of satisfaction, self-esteem, and joy because of plastic surgery. Participants of the study who had undergone plastic surgery also reported less anxiety and felt healthier overall. These people were not just happy with the work they had done but had a positive outlook toward their bodies as a whole.

Some of the most popular surgeries include liposuction, abdominoplasty, breast augmentation eyelid surgery, and rhinoplasty with women consisting of the majority of those who have these cosmetic procedures performed.

This would make sense as traditionally women are under more pressure to place focus on their looks as it has a greater impact on their quality of life. Physical attractiveness has been known to affect the marriageability of women across cultural lines. Even though many cultures have different perspectives on beauty, in the western world, greater emphasis is placed on the physical attractiveness of females.

Recent years have seen a rapid rise and cosmetic enhancements, as more and more people report unhappiness with their appearance. This increase has been noted in both males and females as greater numbers of people are making the decision to do plastic surgery.

The increase of social media and the media, in general, can be viewed as a possible reason for the decisions to do cosmetic surgery. Social comparisons inevitably occur with the use of social media. These also come in the form of advertisements that set beauty standards for the general public.  These beauty standards displayed by media can be seen as the driving force for the increase in plastic surgeries across the world.

Within the realm of psychology, self-esteem refers to a person's subjective sense of personal worth or value. It is the degree to which we appreciate and like ourselves.  Self-esteem is developed  through the beliefs instilled in us throughout our lives, which form the criteria by which we appraise our emotions, behaviors, beliefs, success, and appearance.

However, it should be noted that improvements in one area of self-esteem may affect other areas which do a great job of improving our self-esteem overall. Therefore, many people who seek cosmetic interventions to feel better about their physical attractiveness, often see improvements in other areas of their lives. With a renewed social confidence, patients are now able to address issues that had seemingly unrelated such as speech, intelligence, physical activity. 

Nevertheless, we should remember that for certain people, outward appearance makes no difference as they may be dissatisfied with the results of any procedure they perform. This is because of some type of mental illness that alters their perception. For the majority of people, improvements include a greater quality of life, increased self-worth, increased self-esteem, and distress and shyness.