The Importance Of "Botched" In The Body Image Conversation
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The Importance Of "Botched" In The Body Image Conversation

Yes it's on the same channel as the Kardashians but could it be questioning society's understanding of perfection?

The Importance Of "Botched" In The Body Image Conversation

Hi. I'm Jordan and I watch 'Botched.' For all of those itching to judge me go ahead because in this case I am not ashamed. As fun as it is to watch 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' or any show on Bravo, I think that 'Botched' tends to be lumped in with its reality television peers when it really shouldn't. With the rise of social media and the ever-present bombardment of "perfect" ideals, 'Botched' shows audiences the failed ideals and the dangers that follow plastic surgery and our societal quest for perfection.

As a person who suffers with confidence and body image issues, sometimes it is quite easy to fall into the mental process of "if only I could straighten this or tuck that" but I think the emotional stories and physical problems behind 'Botched' bring this process to a screeching halt. According to the 2015 Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Statistics by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the total number of cosmetic procedures for 2015 were 15,908,330 with the top 5 surgical procedures being Breast augmentation (279,143), Eyelid surgery (203,934), Liposuction (222,051), Nose reshaping (217,979), and Tummy tuck (127,967).

That's almost 16 MILLION procedures...

Which means the cost for those procedures is more than Dr. Evil could ever dream of.

For reality television doctors, Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif, make a point to explain the risks to their patients and the audience. This coupled with images of scarred bodies made me take a few steps back. It raises the question: Is it really worth it? For some the answer may still be yes and that's okay.

However, I think many youths can find comfort in stories like Candace, who was never told she was beautiful by her parents, who also helped her pick a surgeon at the age of 12 according to the show.

Candace never felt beautiful and wanted to fit in at 12. I'm sure this is just one of many stories of plastic surgery and self-confidence. Which scars run deeper: the emotional/psychological or the physical? Does getting plastic surgery eradicate the psychological effects of bullying or insecurity or just hide them?

Despite the more theatrical potential patients like Vinny, who wanted to alter his nose structure to achieve "alien realness," the show turns even spectacle patients' stories into lessons about one's health and offer tips about what to look for if you do chose to go this route.

Sure this is an exaggerated case, but when the doctors basically say that if you change your nose structure it will hinder your breathing and will look unnatural so we can't help you... It resonates with you. They refused to operate on Vinny for these reasons even when he was willing to pay them thousands of dollars to get the look that he wants despite the risks. There are concerns about what one defines as "natural" and raises the question: can one person distinguish what "natural" is? This is scary when you think about how these two doctors turn patients away while others will unethically operate on patients over and over again which you see and hear about on every episode of the show.

On the topic of realness and naturalness, it is very clear that perfection is a stems from a negotiation between individual and societal definitions of the word. If we go by media standards natural and normal look, I would be considered not normal or less beautiful than other people. If 12 year olds are feeling the pressure to change their appearance due to bullying and lack of confidence, there is something seriously messed up in our society which needs to change fast. Otherwise the amount of surgeries per year will keep going up.

No offense to Dr. Dubrow and Dr. Nassif but I don't want some older middle aged man telling me how I should look and whether or not I am beautiful. Words like beautiful and perfection are subjective even in the medical field of plastic surgery. So before you say "I wanna be perfect" (like the intro of the show), watch an episode of 'Botched.' I won't guarantee that it will change your mind but it will inspire questions and further reflection before moving forward.

If you are looking for your inspiration to feel comfortable in your own skin watch "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" and take note from Titus Andromedon.

You are all beautiful to me. Please keep combating and challenging media stereotypes of beauty and perfection in your everyday life so that there are less stories like Candace's on and off television.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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