By Danielle,

Liposuction and Plastic Surgery: Ethical?

10/19/2012 DK 9 Comments

I was watching a Louis Theroux documentary on plastic surgery in LA, California. In the busy plastic surgery clinics, women get their breasts enlarged, tummy fat and love handles removed. Men get chest and biceps implants and also get liposuction.
Liposuction: before and after (Image source)
Without being cynical, I can honestly say ALL of the people in the documentary looked good - not much different - before undergoing the surgery.

The surgeons say that although they can see how their work promotes vanity and reinforces low self-esteem to a certain extent, they are changing lives by creating an external/body image with which the patients are happy. But is it really the case?

Half way through watching the almost 50-minute documentary, I googled "liposuction in Melbourne"; I was tempted! I felt like a fat slob sitting on the couch with my un-toned body with more fat than a perfect body should have. Of course, liposuction is expensive and I would also feel like a cheater if I were to ever get liposuction or plastic surgery so I would never do such a thing. But more importantly, I wouldn't want to give into society's pressure on women and men these days to have the "perfect" body and face, whatever that may be. Also, I wouldn't know who I am doing it for.

In the documentary, the patients would say that their decision to undergo such surgery was purely for their own self-esteem and happiness, not for anybody else. But aren't body images what others have created and forced upon others? Aren't our perceptions of a "perfect body/face" created by others? Isn't it others' approval we want by looking our absolute best?

Below is the video documentary in which Louis Theroux himself gets liposuction. It focuses on the procedures and the attitudes of the patients and surgeons more than the question of ethics regarding liposuction and plastic surgery. Judge for yourself whether this is indeed just a self-esteem boost or whether it is unnecessary and unethical.

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  1. absolutely unethical... People need to be encouraged to feel good in their own skin and appreciate their bodies instead of trying to look like some barbie or macho man on magazine covers and tv. The fact that these surgeons acknowledge the damage they're doing to society yet are still doing it shows how money-hungry they are.

  2. But what about self-esteem and confidence? I mean, yea, it's unethical if you look at it that way, but it's already gone too far. we can't change society. So if people with no confidence go and get surgery and then feel good about themselves it's still a good thing

  3. Usually people's self confidence increases when they are satisfied with their look or when others envy them for their appearance. This is why a plastic surgery that is designed to make us look younger and fix our defects is seen as a self confidence booster.

    For me having breast augmentation in Toronto was just a way to be a normal attractive woman because my breasts looked awful after the pregnancy. I'm not sure if having it change my life perspectives but what I can say is that I feel more beautiful than ever thanks to this surgery.

  4. Flory, you're missing the point completely...

    We GET that it is a self-confidence booster. But what we're debating is whether that self-confidence boost is doing more harm by reinforcing unhealthy and unrealistic body images. For example, why should you have felt ugly because your breasts weren't "attractive" in our society's standards? Why couldn't you just feel attractive anyway? Because you/we are all brainwashed by the media, putting out unreal plastic images as if they're "normal" as you say. But they're not! How many women do you know who are naturally born with perfectly round, perky and big breasts? Hardly ever, I bet.

    That is the point of this discussion, and the point of the author's post I assume, as well.

  5. The ethics of lipsuction and plastic surgery has been explained in the post ere

  6. It is unethical as liposuction is associated with a lot of unwanted consequences as heard from some of my friends who have undergone it. Also it is very expensive. It's better to lose your fats by exercising or gyming rather than such techniques.

  7. Plastic surgery is really make peoples attractive and presentable. Fats are removed during this procedure and peoples look confidant with well toned body. At Canada liposuction toronto is so much common surgery for all.

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