Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery is valuable in some cases, such as in physical deformations and accidents, but in our present cultural obsession with the body, women specially feel that, in order to be loved, they must conform to social pressures regarding their appearence. These pressures are most painful when they come from husbands and parents.
There where over 10 million surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures performed in USA in 2008, at a cost of $11.8 billion.
The Catechism: “(the Church) rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, to idolize physical perfection...” (No. 2289).
The Vatican's Pontifical Council for Culure has writen on the subject: http://www.cultura.va/content/dam/cultura/docs/pdf/Traccia_en.pdf
The feminine body
The body for women – as also happens for men – is, in a cultural and biological, symbolic and natural sense, the place of one’s own identity. It is the subject, means, space of development and expression of the self, the place rationality, psychology, imagination, natural functionality and ideal tensions converge. The feminine body, then, is a filter of communication with others, in a continuous and inevitable exchange between individuals and contexts. So the feminine identity is the point of convergence of daily fragility, of vulnerability, mutability, and multiplicity between emotive interior life and exterior physicality.
Plastic surgery can be counted as one of the many manipulations of the body that explore its limits with respect to the concept of identity. A specificity that is placed under so much stress in the contemporary world as to provoke pathologies (dysmorphophobia, eating disorders, depression...) or “amputate” the expressive possibilities of the human face which are so connected to the empathic abilities. Plastic surgery that is not medico-therapeutic can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body in as much as it is a refusal of the “season” that is being lived out.
If the body is the place of truth of the feminine self, in the indispensable mixture of culture and biology, it is also the place of the “betrayal” of this truth. The indiscriminate and undifferentiated use that the media and communications industry has applied in all its forms, in advertising (sexual allusion and debasement of its role), is undeniable proof. No political or social battle has been able to do without a mechanism so profoundly rooted as that of the exploitation of the female body for commercial benefit.
… “Plastic surgery is like a burqa made of flesh.” One woman gave us this harsh and incisive description. Having been given freedom of choice for all, are we not under a new cultural yoke of a singular feminine model? What do we think of women used in advertising and in the mass media?
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