THE PSYCHOLOGY OF PLASTIC SURGERY
By Cie Ann Scott PH.D
Opinions on plastic surgery differ greatly. It seems that in big cities and in the southwest regions,
such as Texas, Southern California, and 'big' little towns like Scottsdale, Arizona, people are more
likely to go under the knife. The reasons are many; however, with more than 20 million Americans
experiencing clinical depression, we must consider what simple procedures and elective surgery
can do to improve self esteem.
We are programmed to react to stimuli, like images that are delivered by our senses, such as sight
and hearing. Circumstances are processed through our conscious and subconscious minds and
we form our opinions, based on past experiences, and all we have seen and formulated. When we
see ourselves in the mirror, we form an opinion of that image. Self esteem can turn for the worse if
we don’t like what we see.
As many people pick themselves apart, they consider some form of transformation, in order to
become ‘easier on the eyes.’ Those who have gathered favorable information or even positive
results from beauty-enhancing procedures are usually more likely to want to try these options.
Because the brain spends more time defending the body it resides within than learning, enjoying,
and creating, many of us wish to ward off aging and other displeasing physical characteristics. Many
people find that it is not worth the effort, money, or time to enhance their appearances--- some of
which have high self esteem, but most of which have very low self esteem.
Knowing that the brain will react to visual imagery and form positive or negative thoughts, it’s easier
to see why people are choosing to create a better appearance. Statistics and studies show that
attractive people are more likely to be chosen in job interviews and will be appreciated more by the
opposite sex. It is also common for pretty women to want to spend time socializing with other pretty
women in order to feel more at ease relating, or to attract more men.
All of this considered, plastic surgery may be an option for most individuals. Psychologically
speaking, it protects us from ourselves and negative reactions of others.