Nip. Tuck. Or Else.
Why you’ll be getting cosmetic procedures even if you may not really want to.
This month, in his TIME cover story, columnist Joel Stein looks at the growing plastic surgery trend and finds that procedures like fillers, Botox, rhinoplasty, liposuction, and butt lifts have become commonplace. In 2014, U.S. doctors performed 15 million cosmetic procedures. One in five South Korean women has had cosmetic surgery. And Iran, a country where women cover their hair and bodies but not their noses, leads the world in rhinoplasty. After over a year of research and interviews with plastic surgeons, patients, feminist scholars, and cosmetic consultants, Stein concludes that “cosmetic surgery is the new makeup.”
He writes, “You’re going to get a cosmetic procedure for the same reason you wear makeup: Because every other woman is…. No, it’s not fair that—in 2015, with a woman leading the race for the Democratic nomination for President—in addition to dieting, coloring your hair, applying makeup and working out, you now have to let some doctor push syringes in your cheeks just to look presentable.… Then again, maybe it’s not fair that some women are born straight-nosed and full-breasted…. For nearly five decades … [Joan] Rivers was ridiculed as vain and tacky for her cosmetic surgeries. But about six years ago, people stopped mocking and started asking Rivers for advice…. Women, she found, had become as open about their Botox, fillers and mommy makeovers as she had always been. Not having work is now the new shame.”