Skip to content

Good vs Bad Surgery?

2009 February 1
by The Doctor

The readings for this week have given me plenty of opportunity to think about my own reactions to the concept of using surgery to remake one’s body. In my mind, there’s “okay” surgery- getting fixed back up after an accident, transforming one’s body from one sex to another- and then there’s “really, really vain” surgery- breast augmentation, facelifts, liposuction. What I’m trying to figure out is why I consider it okay for a man seeking a woman’s body to get breast implants, but not okay for a woman already in posession of breasts to make hers larger. Both individuals are attempting to fix perceived defects which would (in theory) aid in a self-confidence boost and greater degree of comfort in their own bodies. Both feel that their physical form doesn’t match up with their claimed gender. Is my distinction made because one individual is comforming to her society’s standards of beauty (and thus “not really in need” of surgery) while the MtF is doing something that, in my county, would get you run out of town with torches and pitchforks*?

Before anyone jumps me, I’m not suggesting that sex reassignment surgery is on par with plastic surgery used to maintain a façade of youth. I’m just trying to poke at my reasoning- playing devil’s advocate with myself- that the first is okay and the second is just a waste of money, even though in the end both hypothetical individuals end up with a degree of breasts that wasn’t there before. This doesn’t even take into account the Bañales article wherein women use plastic surgery not to make themselves feel better and pander to sexist views on the female form, but to attempt to have a decent, normal life. I don’t know how I’d classify this type of surgery- probably in the “really unfortunate, but given the circumstances quite possibly a terrible necessity” camp.

I did read over the article on reconstructing hymens (owwwwww holy bejeezus) but I’m still ruminating on that subject. We’ll see if I have any illuminating input later on in the week.
*Comment may suffer slight exaggeration.

Comments are closed.