IN defense of plastic surgery :
Like many of the things that millennials dive into, plastic surgery has been oversimplified, as unnecessary, self-obsessed and harmful. But conventional plastic surgery is remarkably safe.

Still horror stories of women left disfigured or dead after undergoing black market surgeries occasionally go viral; people latch onto them as cautionary tales exploit them in an effort to publicly shame others.

Rather than to encourage women to choose only safe options for surgery, those who oppose these procedures condemn women for wanting to pursue them in the first place.

I don't think that women who are staunchly against plastic surgery are worried about women's health or self-esteem; I think they are motivated by fear that their pretty privilege - the benefits they get to enjoy for meeting those standards without the help of a doctor - is at risk.

If beauty become democratized by more people simply paying surgeons for it, proverbial finish line gets pushed further away. But upholding a limited body ideal and rewarding the cluster of folks closest to it isn't the solution. Embracing autonomy and a variety of body aesthetics is.

The notion of beauty is fueled, in part by exclusivity. Those relatively few who have it are revered. Whether we like it or not. we are subject to privileges and disadvantages based on our appearance.

We enhance ourselves with makeup, hair extensions and fake nails because we are all under pressure to achieve the unattainable standards Beyonce and Kardashians. We adjust our bodies with shapewear and strategic clothing choices. Singling out plastic surgery as both unnecessary and unnatural is missing the bigger picture.

People with marginalized bodies are acutely aware of the consequences of not meeting the standards of physical beauty. Black women's body's are constantly policed, targeted for violence, marked as deviant or excessive for cultural appropriation.

Fat phobia, transphobia and ableism are part of our daily realities, especially for women of color.

While some of us choose a path of radical self-acceptance and reject the beauty ideals that we've been told we haven't reached, many of us have instead found ways to leverage those standards for our own survival and success.

We adopt certain beauty practices, from fake lashes in order to pass, to survive and to thrive.

There is no shame in many of these choices, when the system of impression will always render black femme bodies less valuable than others. A natural body movement that doesn't include all of us is the real danger.

We need to make room for weave, highlight and contour alongside wheelchairs, fatness and full 360 liposuction and Brazilian butt lifts.

The World Students Society thanks author, Sesali Bowen. She is also the author of forthcoming book ''Notes From a Top Feminist''.


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