Thursday, March 18, 2010

Is Cosmetic Surgery Immoral?

In a previous post I have noted the question whether it is sinful to go for cosmetic surgery?
Christine A. Scheller notes,
“Beauty often wins love. It just does,” write Karen Lee-Thorp and Cynthia Hicks in Why Beauty Matters. No wonder women and, increasingly, men are willing to endure the pain and risk of elective cosmetic surgery to attain it. New York Times reporter Alex Kaczynski states it bluntly in her cosmetic surgery expose, Beauty Junkies. “In the end it all comes down to sex. . . . We are looking for love. And we will accept lust.”
The reasons used to justify cosmetic surgery are sex and love.

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THROWING INKWELLS from Christianity Today online
Is Cosmetic Surgery Immoral?
Even more importantly: Why do you want to know?

Hans Madueme, MD writing in Dignitas 17(1): 2009 a publication of Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity notes in Nip & Tuck: A Parable that while one may argue the issues in terms of treatment versus enhancement, recent advances have blurred the difference between the two. Hence she writes,

In short, ‘nip & tuck’ culture can serve as an old-fashioned moral parable. Cosmetic surgery is a relatively new technology, one that allows us to gratify old desires in new, more effective ways. The moral narrative here is certainly about beauty and covetousness, vanity and denial. But it is perhaps broader and deeper than that. It is about men and women, about us. You and I are frail creatures, wearied by the relentless punishments of life, dissatisfied with our lot, restless and often inconsolable, searching after something beyond us. There is an insatiable longing in our hearts, a yearning for meaning, for transcendence, for fulfillment. What are we after? What do we want? What are we willing to do to get it? Like the practiced fingers of a surgeon, these questions peel away our polished masks, revealing our true selves, our real identities. From wearing makeup to choosing friends, from buying a house to considering liposuction, life in its ordinariness, life in its spiritually charged imperfections and sufferings, reveals the kinds of people we are and are becoming. Botox culture vividly reminds us, if we are listening, that we are men and women with longings, loves, and lords. We are in fact in the full swing of a theological drama: our lives are irreducibly religious, and it is the living God of Jesus Christ with whom we have to do (cf. Acts 17:28). We will worship something – God or paltry idol. Cosmetic surgery is just the tip of the iceberg. Look deeper and you will find our vices and virtues, our hearts and our gods.

Madueme makes an important point here. It is not that cosmetic surgery is immoral or anything. Like many medical procedures, it is amoral. The issue here is why do so many people seek to go under the knife to make themselves look different? Who is it that we worship? What is wrong with us?

What do you think?

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Blogger Paul Long said...

"Like many medical procedures, it is amoral"

Sad that sometimes we forget that plastic surgery is not just for the purpose of cosmetic beauty but to help give a better quality of life for some by repairing, covering up etc bad scars and injuries...

3:45 AM  
Anonymous Liposuction Miami said...

It is no secret that many women are turning to cosmetic surgery to improve their appearance. It was launched by a large number of female celebrities and artists have jumped into cosmetic surgery to improve their face, nose, color of skin and other body parts has changed. You may also find that cosmetic surgery has become a popular trend.

7:08 PM  

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