Cosmetic Surgery Effects on Self-Esteem

Cosmetic Surgery Effects on Self-Esteem

Student’s Name



Cosmetic Surgery Effects on Self-Esteem

To most people, men are minds, power and the amount of money they have and no one cares about what face they carry or wear. Conversely, this is not the case for women; women are beautiful based on their bodies and their looks. Nowadays, people want to be perfect and beautiful, thus do anything to fulfill their needs. Cosmetic surgery is a modern variation practice that is committed to reconstructing facial as well as body flaws due to trauma, burns, birth disorders, and ailments. It is intended to correct some dysfunctional body parts (Negrin 2002, p.36). Well, this practice has been an issue of debate where some individuals claim that cosmetic surgery boosts self-esteem while other people argue that it hinders self-esteem; cosmetic surgery is a practice that hinders self-esteem as people fail to appreciate themselves just the way they are and seek for perfectionism.

Whatever the reasons are, many individuals than ever are reporting that they are not satisfied and happy with the way they look. Additionally, studies have proven that happiness is directly linked to people’s self-perception of physical attractiveness. Thus, it isn’t surprising that most people are pleased with the results they achieve after they undergo cosmetic surgeries and affirm that they feel much better about themselves. While some people argue that cosmetic surgery can help improve the self-worth, self-esteem and confidence, those individuals who expect total and complete transformation can be disappointed.

Cosmetic surgery undermines and hinders self-esteem and makes individuals not accept themselves as they are. If people loved and liked themselves, they wouldn’t feel the need of changing themselves. Women specifically are conditioned to look better. There is a lot of stress to be thin and beautiful, and this causes immense self-loathing amounts and emotional distress in women all over the world (Serpil & Uluşahin 2001, p.452). Cosmetic surgery makes people feel less confident as they always think that other people like a fake version of them. It is not nature’s true reflection as it is intended and leads people to feel less in tune with themselves.

Just like the prefix to the word self-esteem states, self-esteem is entirely dictated to one’s SELF. We have all heard the famous quote that states that” We should first love ourselves, and everything else around us falls into line.” In all aspects of life but as cliché as it might sound, most individuals have forgotten about it, and that is why most plastic surgeons’ advice their patients to never get any procedure for anybody but themselves.

Although several studies seem to support the issue of cosmetic surgery, it can, however, be detrimental to society as a whole in some ways. The drift in some precise surgeries is intensifying centered on the beauty standards the contemporary day society sets, and nonetheless, some of those standards have proved to be sexist as well as unrealistic. According to some recent studies, several patients that undergo cosmetic surgery have exhibited underlying psychological issues that frequently go unaddressed (Leary et al., 1994, p.465). Thus it hurts most of the patients who are mainly young women by causing feelings of low-esteem plus worth if they sense they cannot meet these standards.

The results of cosmetic surgeries may be unrealistic and may not reach the expectations of the individual undergoing surgery. The apparent risk of cosmetic surgeries is that it is not only characterized mostly by some complications but also there exists the likelihood of receiving lousy work at the end of the process. Indeed no individual might risk spending the enormous amount of money to undergo this surgery, and afterward look even worse than before or to be adversely affected by the side effects which arises after the cosmetic surgery. There are several cases whereby cosmetic surgery has been reported to have affected the patients negatively by changing their appearances from good to worse. In the case of these incidences, it is vividly that the patients will develop some low esteem. The adverse results from the surgery will hinder their self-esteem as they would wish to have not undergone surgery.

When the surgical procedure yields result other than those expected, the individual undergoing surgery may feel resentful or develop some anger towards their doctors. Those that did not feel contented by the operation might decide to go back and have another surgery where some additional improvements will be conducted. In determining whether to undergo another cosmetic surgery, it is apparent that the patient might have gone a lot of emotional challenges which hinders their self-esteem (Huser 2005, p.617). Therefore deciding in favor of cosmetic surgery is corresponding to oneself under testing for there is no a hundred percent guarantee of positive results from the surgery. Therefore it is always vital for the individuals not to risk themselves to improve their outward appearance to get mental pleasure at the end.

Moreover, cosmetic surgery can lead to an individual feeling less confident as they will always be thinking of what others and society perceive them. They might develop the impression that they are a fake version of themselves and this tends to lower their dignity. Thus this is not the right reflection as nature anticipated and hence it can result in an individual feeling even worse within themselves. These individuals are more likely to develop a sense of whether people would still like admire and like them if they tend to know them before the surgery. There are also some other risks involved in cosmetic surgeries for example scarring, excessive bleeding as well as bruising. Also, there exist other side effects associated with this surgery like swelling, numbness, pain plus limited mobility (Vargel & Uluşahin, 2001). These risks and side effects lead typically to some health problems which might affect the individuals in the rest of their lives. An excellent method of reducing the risk is having proper information and sound judgment before undergoing surgery as this will prepare the individual both psychologically and emotionally. Avoiding unnecessary surgery is also another remedy for preventing the above risks.

The hefty cost involved in performing the cosmetic surgery to a patient may discourage a patient for example with a specific facial disorder which might need to be fixed. If the patient is not monetarily secure as well as emotionally steady, the outcomes can be devastating. An individual who is already insecure concerning an aspect of their look might undergo a severe blow to their self-confidence if the surgery turns awry (Askegaard et al. 2002, p. 803). Moreover, the patients may tend to borrow some money for the primary surgery, and if they need an extra procedure, follow-up costs can distress their financial lives. This method, therefore, alienates those with the capability of undergoing surgery from those who are unable to experience it due to financial constraints. Thus this may lead to the development of emotional challenges like stress and pity which eventually results to lower self-esteem among individuals with financial problems.

A recent examination of 37 studies on patients undergoing cosmetic surgery proposes positive results in patients, like improvements in body image and probably a quality boost in life too. However, the same research published in April 2004 “issue of Plastic plus reconstructive surgery” similarly found numerous predictors of poor effects, particularly for the individuals who hold unrealistic expectations or have a history of depression or as well as anxiety (Huser, 2005). The researchers also found out that the cosmetic surgeries contributed a lot in improving and even hindering the self-esteem of an individual.

In contrary cosmetic surgery can help improve self-esteem in some ways. Through cosmetic surgery, individuals have an opportunity to make themselves appear better and also improve their moods. There has been a debate about whether cosmetic surgery can help improve self-esteem among the patients and it is evident that in most cases undergoing surgery can drastically improve their self-esteem. Some of the advantages of having the surgery are that the individuals will habitually experience some positive effects, for instance, the improvement of how they view their physical look as well as reinstating the appearance of youth. Consequently, those who undergo the cosmetic surgery will correspondingly have the chance to remove some unwanted blemishes and thus stimulate them to be more socially lively. The outcomes of the cosmetic surgery can activate an individual’s mood by consenting them to fit into their favorite clothes as well as advance their job performance. Therefore getting a cosmetic surgery exhibits some positive effects on an individual’s life.

However, all these are not satiable to encourage the extensive use of cosmetic surgeries for beauty purposes but should be applied in case of eliminating, for example, some unwanted physical blemishes. According to the Bible, God created man in his image, and therefore his creation should not be rectified. Thus should accept themselves as they are as cosmetic surgery tends to undermine and hinder individuals’ self-esteem.

Undergoing a cosmetic surgery to advance the looks can lead to the emotional outcome. Several potential cosmetic surgery patients typically fail to reflect on the emotional traits of cosmetic surgery. They tend to overlook the possible psychological implications of undertaking the major surgery to advance one’s looks. The main problem characterized with the surgery is post-surgical depression among the patients (Vargel & Uluşahin, 2001, p.476). This occurs as a result of the remaining of the traces of chemicals in the body tissues after the surgery. The chemicals can affect the individual both emotionally and physically. The residual effects can comprise lethargy as well as depression, and also some bouts of unexplained weepiness which results finally to lower the self-esteem of the individuals.

In conclusion, cosmetic surgery has proved to have both significant and detrimental effects to an individual although it exhibits some advantages like repairing some deformities. The cosmetic surgery shows lack of self-acceptance as one tries to change his or her looks and it shows that the individuals are undergoing it tend to have some lower esteem. However, there are circumstances which can attract the use of this surgical method, and in some cases, the selection of a surgeon of reasonable character is crucial in undergoing this surgery and attaining the most exceptional results. A good surgeon will always give sound advice about what procedure needs to be performed, and if the problem can be solved without surgery, he is expected to suggest it as well. The surgeon is supposed to look into the emotional outlook of the patients before conducting the cosmetic surgery.


Askegaard, S., Gertsen, M. C., & Langer, R. (2002). The body consumed: Reflexivity and cosmetic surgery. Psychology & Marketing, 19(10), 793-812.

Leary, M. R., Tchividijian, L. R., & Kraxberger, B. E. (1994). Self-presentation can be hazardous to your health: Impression management and health risk. Health Psychology, 13(6), 461.

Lowery, S. E. & Kurpius, S. E. R. & Befort, C. & Blanks, E. H. & Sollenberger, S. & Nicpon, M. F. & Huser, L. (2005). Body Image, Self-Esteem, and Health-Related Behaviors Among Male and Female First Year College Students. Journal of College Student Development 46(6), 612-623.Johns Hopkins University Press. Retrieved November 5, 2018, from Project MUSE database.

Negrin, L. (2002). Cosmetic surgery and the eclipse of identity. Body & Society, 8(4), 21-42.

Vargel, S., & Uluşahin, A. (2001). Psychopathology and body image in cosmetic surgery patients. Aesthetic plastic surgery, 25(6), 474-478.

Vargel, S., & Uluşahin, A. (2001). Psychopathology and body image in cosmetic surgery patients. Aesthetic plastic surgery, 25(6), 474-478.