Body dysmorphia has reached a new level among Chinese youth, where even minors are getting unnecessary plastic surgeries. The procedure which is ideally meant to help cover up scars, correction of birth defects and so on has been reduced to being a procedure which enhances aesthetics. It has always disturbed me a little that people willingly undergo the knife to look “prettier.” But you know you have a problem at hand when even minors are voluntarily opting for cosmetic surgeries. It has become such a trend in the country among underage people that now the country’s legislators have decided to intervene.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • China’s legislators have moved a proposal to ban minors from getting unnecessary cosmetic surgeries.
  • While the ban may help China to cap plastic surgeries among minors, the real problem is the rise in body dysmorphia.
  • Minors and adults alike are becoming increasingly unhappy with the way they look.
  • Our stringent beauty standards and beautification filters on social media platforms are to be blamed.

You know you have a problem at hand when even minors are voluntarily opting for cosmetic surgeries.

According to The Hindustan Times, the country’s legislators have moved a proposal at the ongoing National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, to ban minors from getting a cosmetic surgery if it’s not to correct a defect or to remove a scar. The lawmakers are worried that it has become a trend among teenagers to undergo risky procedures to have big eyes, a sharp chin, and a small face. But China isn’t the only country where youngsters are battling body dysmorphia. Even in India, if given a choice, many young men and women would like to change the way they look via cosmetic surgery.

While China may manage to put a lid on the number of minors undergoing unnecessary plastic surgeries by banning the procedure for a certain age group, is that the real solution? We must ask ourselves why are young millennials so unhappy with the way they look? Is it because of our ever-evolving, but rigorous beauty standards? Or is it the easy availability of photo correction apps, which let you peek at a better virtual version of yourselves? Last year there was news about how some young men and women were undergoing cosmetic procedures to look as perfect as they do via Snapchat filters. Small face, wide eyes and sharp chin…haven’t we seen this somewhere?

The problem isn’t Snapchat filters, changing beauty trends but our perception of beauty itself.

We have such strict standards for human beauty today, that any deviance from them makes you see yourself as ugly. In modern times, there is no such thing as ordinary, you are either pretty or ugly. The soaring obsession with aesthetics and the availability of cheap plastic surgery pushes millions across the globe on a dangerous path of self alteration, dissatisfaction, body dysmorphia and even irreversible damage to the body.

But does a plastic surgery leave them satisfied with their looks? Perhaps temporarily. But what happens when the beauty trends undergo a change again? Which is why both minors and adults need to ask themselves, where does this end? Creating trends out of beauty and aesthetics, something which we all are responsible for, tells others, who do not fit in, that they are ugly and misfits. Various filters and photo correction apps only enhance that feeling of imperfection. We constantly keep feeling that there is a scope for improvement. We can fit in by using so and so product which will give us a lighter skin tone. Or such and such cream will rid us of our stretch marks. Or perhaps we should get a tattoo on our eyelids and have our nose reshaped.

The only way to stop this and save a generation of people from spending money on risky and sometimes irreversible procedures, is to squash our superficial beauty standards. We shouldn’t be altering the way we look to fit into the other’s beauty standards. Those who fail to see that every person is beautiful need to alter their gaze instead.

Image credit: Net.hr

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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