By reducing patients’ faces and bodies to a series of component parts, surgeons and patients together establish the problematic status of the part in question and its “objective” need of “repair.”
In the Dull/West article, both the patients and the plastic surgeons expressed the opinion that it was “normal” and “natural” for women to seek to change their appearance, because a preoccupation with one’s looks is part of what makes someone a woman. Surgeons also spoke in the article about how people who could describe exactly what was “wrong” were better candidates for surgery. For example, someone who came in and said that they wanted to flatten out the bump in their nose would be a better candidate than someone who just knew they didn’t like how “exotic” their face looked.
I just thought it was interesting that this need to somehow look better is thought to be a natural one for women, but it is necessary to break the human body down into inorganic sounding parts to figure out what exactly needs to be “fixed”.