We all know the saying “Beauty is skin deep”, but do we really know what it means? And how did it come about?
Before sinking our teeth into the subject of surgical beauty, let us first explore the intriguing history behind those famous words.
A Brief History of Skin-deep Beauty
The person to whom this saying is credited is Sir Thomas Overbury, a powerful figure in 17th century England. The poem, in which these words appeared, played a big part in the ultimate death of Sir Overbury. In fact, it was later proven that the squire was poisoned while imprisoned in the famous Tower of London. And all because of the famous words he had written:
“All the carnall (Old English spelling) beauty of my wife, Is but skin deep.”
More to the point, the poem itself, called “The Wife”, was about the virtues that a man must look for in a woman before taking her as his wife. The poem was used against him to gain the disfavor of the Queen, and this was how Sir Overbury – once one of the most powerful men in England – found himself in prison, his days numbered by his enemies.
The sad story of Sir Overbury ultimately generated several editions of “The Wife”, as well as more than a few reprints that were published for decades after his death. But for our purpose here, it is useful to know that his version of these words indicated nothing more than the fact that physical beauty is only superficial, and no gauge of the true beauty of a person – man or woman.
What is Surgical Beauty?
This brings us to a version of outward beauty that medical science has been able to achieve. Surgical beauty is nothing but the enhancement of physical characteristics to obtain an esthetic result that is universally considered to be “attractive.” Put simply, it means changing your physical appearance through the use of surgery so you look better!
Plastic, or cosmetic, surgery is not a new development in the field of surgical medicine. In fact, it was in practice as early as 800 BCE in India, by Sushruta, who is considered the Father of Surgery. The early version of plastic surgery involved bone reconstruction, cataracts and other forms of reconstructive surgery. Today, however, this advanced surgical field is also used as a cosmetic enhancement method, made famous by Hollywood celebrities. It is still used for reconstructive purposes in accident victims and those born with deformities, but it is increasingly opted for by people who want to achieve surgical beauty.
Surgical beauty, therefore, can be defined as the use of reconstructive or plastic surgery to enhance certain physical features to make them more appealing. The more popular techniques are: breast augmentation, lip enhancement, rhinoplasty (the famous “nose job”), and other facial and non-facial cosmetic surgeries.
Is Surgical Beauty a Bad Thing?
Although cosmetic surgery is becoming exceedingly popular as a means of enhancing physical appearance, there is a school of thought that vehemently opposes the use of cosmetic surgery for anything other than correcting deformities or helping accident victims regain normal appearance or physical functions. The opposition camp mainly uses the argument that there is no replacement for natural beauty and, therefore, any artificial method is only superficial, and therefore without value.
On the other hand, there are those who claim that it is society itself which has driven some to opt for cosmetic surgery, and this is a point of view that cannot be denied. Glossy magazines and television shows – not to mention mainstream cinema – often espouse physical beauty as the only worthwhile pursuit in life.
Open any magazine or turn on any channel and you’ll see thousands of products supporting this view. From hair creams to skin creams to ab workout machines to ‘magical’ pills, consumers are constantly bombarded with something or other that tells them that they aren’t beautiful as they are. Isn’t it obvious, then, that someone with no point of view on the matter will soon be converted to their flock?
What Options are Open to Me?
Even herbal or organic products essentially advocate the same thing: that you aren’t beautiful as you are and you need to use something to be more beautiful, more appealing and more attractive. No matter where you turn, there’s something or someone telling you that you aren’t good enough as you are. It’s an unavoidable state of things, or so it would seem. So what are the alternatives? We can’t go back to Neanderthal times when personal hygiene only meant that you didn’t have a big piece of mammoth meat sticking out from between your teeth!
The right balance, therefore, is to stick with “standard protocols of hygiene”. Brush your teeth, wash your face, take a bath, comb your hair, wear clean clothes and try to keep yourself clean through the day.
It may be easier said than done to some people, but there exists people who do manage to go through life without using creams and salves and lotions and pills to make them look physically more attractive. The secret, then, is in your attitude.
How you feel about yourself has a big impact on how you look. Therefore, it follows that someone with high self-esteem takes good care of their physical appearance, but not in a way that involves excessive external agents.
Why Surgical Beauty is No Beauty
The point of this discussion is not whether surgical beauty is a bad thing, but whether you can achieve what you ultimately want to achieve.
If you think that your friends are going to like you better because you are beautiful, then you are sadly mistaken. The face that “beauty is only skin-deep” means that no matter how you look on the outside, those who know you best are only interested in how you are on the inside.
Being a considerate human being is far more important than whether you qualify for Miss World. External beauty only works with people who don’t know you. It works for movie stars because it is part of their profession – for the most part. But even among movie stars, there are ugly ones at the top; these are the ones who focus on their acting rather than their looks.
It’s the same with ordinary people: if you can work on your basic qualities as a human being rather than on your nose or cheeks or chin or whatever, that’s when the real beauty shines through.