Upgrade Me: A Debate on Plastic Surgery

Shania MIles, Writer

Picture a girl walking home from a tough day at school, head and body heavy from the day’s exertion. Once home, she turns on the television to see a group of girls in a room talking, and she’s sad. Sad that, in her mind, she can never have flawless skin, a skinny waist, high cheekbones, and big eyes; she can never be “perfect.” Ten years later, she doesn’t hesitate to be just that, and in this instant, she is happy. She begins to smile as the plastic surgeon injects silicone into almost every part of her body.

Many of the students at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy looked at the pros and cons, and they had their own opinions: either feeling plastic surgery is not a problem, completely against it, or simply “on the fence” about it.


Some of those in favor were…

“I mean, what is the difference between something like losing weight and getting plastic surgery? They both have to do with changing your appearance. I personally would never get plastic surgery, but if anyone wants to change their appearance a little bit, they should not be judged for it,” said Mariam J., a student at HMSA.

“I think people should have the option to modify their bodies as long as they aren’t hurting anyone else,” said Diego, a student at HMSA.


“On the fence”…

“I think people [should] just accept their body and accept themselves, but I understand that people are insecure and plastic surgery might make them feel better about themselves,” said Fatima, a student at HMSA.



“With the fact that plastic surgery’s disadvantages outweigh the advantages, I am against plastic surgery,” said April Joy M., a student at HMSA.

“Personally, I’m against it, but if people wanna do it, then they can,” said Eynar L., a student at HMSA.


This story is not far off from many others, who are greatly influenced by what they see and hear on the internet, social media, or in some cases, from their own family/friends, to do what some may say the unthinkable, alter their imperfections under a knife, to be as inauthentic and ungenuine as what they are seeing in the media. To be apart of the artificial society they have been culturally conditioned to believe in.

“[People] feel the need to be the ‘perfect’ them,” said Jasmine A., a student at HMSA.

“Many people take those [hurtful] ‘comments’ personally, but it’s a choice that they have to make; whether to change themselves to please others or accept themselves and find self-love,” said April Joy M., a student at HMSA.

“[Plastic Surgery] shows that one is not happy with the way they looked at first and that’s bad because that means low self-esteem,” Sergio M., a student at HMSA.

“Yes, a lot of people strive to be perfect, but everyone has a different definition of what perfect means to them. Like some people think you need to have clear skin, an hourglass [figure], or a Gucci belt to be perfect, but as humans, we’re not perfect. We have to embrace our imperfections,” said Ekepeleka N., a student at HMSA.

Sadly, Ekpeleka N. also had suffered from judgment from others, for not looking a certain way that was pleasing to their eyes: “[A]t the time, I believed what they were telling me, but now I know better.”

From the constant talk and shows of people getting things from their lips augmented with dermal fillers, to about three ribs being taken out of their body, has begun to desensitize us to the idea of plastic surgery. So much that it’s not too hard for someone to call up some plastic surgeon and do the same, without realizing the insane costs to “perfection,” for they have seen and heard about it numerous times before.

Celebrities, such as the Kardashians, seem to give the impression that after one gets rid of any imperfections they may have, then and only then could they be just like them. However, shows like Botched give you a different view on the whole thing, showing the ridiculousness and absurdity, when a woman talks about how she ordered her nose job off a menu like in McDonald’s and was surprised that she could barely breathe because of how badly it was done. Another, who looked fine but continuously got work done to “clean things up.” Showing how in reality a person may look okay, but constantly feels the need to upgrade to something not that much different. Although the change may seem minor, in their mind, it is way more exceptional, making them addicted to the momentary pleasure that comes from each modification to their body.

We all know that time keeps changing, but is the world’s mindset changing with it? Has it opened up its mind and heart to those of us who may have a darker color of skin, a few bumps here and there on the skin, and those of us who were just born differently, as beautiful human beings with just as much potential for greatness as the next?

When asked if the media has begun “to show more than one image,” Diego, a student at HMSA said, “Absolutely, and [I] personally don’t agree with some of it, but I think it overall has a good message.”

There are people of all shapes and features being portrayed in the media these days,” said Jade S., another student at HMSA.

“Representation of ‘real’ people is missing in our life. Many models and magazines show images of “perfection” but there was a step in the right direction when a makeup company accepted a girl with down syndrome to model their products for them,” said April Joy M., a student at HMSA.

Mariam J., a student at HMSA, gave her thoughts on the representation of more than one way to be beautiful in the media: “I feel that social media has been showing more than one type of way to be beautiful, but at the same time, there are many things that also show that there is a certain way one should look if they want to be beautiful. I think that the world is so influenced by having to look a certain way that they become so preoccupied with the idea of plastic surgery.”

If someone compares themselves to others constantly, they will never be content, which seems to be the great misconception with most people who think if they reach a certain level of beauty they will be happy. However, an individual will always see someone as more than them, if they don’t learn to accept themselves for who they are.

After someone has been raised to believe something for so long, it makes them out to be seen in their own minds and others as less than, and it’s hard to just change that instantly. However, once someone, similar to the girl in my story before, owns up to their imperfections and wears them like a badge, shown proudly and shining for miles, no one will have enough courage to try to make them feel less than what they truly are.

“To be worthy does not mean to be perfect” –Gerrit W. Gong