I was watching a Brazilian Documentary concerning plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures in general in Brazil. According to it, Brazil is the second country in the world, after the US, in the number of total plastic surgeries performed (well, according to that study, anyway, aired on Hoje em Dia, Record Internacional, May 2007), breast implants and lipos being top on the list, but having each year more and more procedures added, for both men and women.
The facts were followed by interviews to regular people in the street, where they were asked to make comment on theses facts.
A few people brought up the same comment: most people in the media are "fake". Which in turn prompted a debate among people in the studio (show anchors and a few guests), that got things heated.
How much "fake stuff" does a person have to do or have to "get" to become "fake"?
There seemed to be two sides.
On one side those who thought that plastic surgery, even multiple plastic surgeries didn't make a person fake, not any more than makeup, having used braces, wearing colored contacts, dyeing hair, etc. makes a person "fake".
On the other side, those who considered that there was a significative difference between using dyes or makeup, using braces or "artifical tricks" to enhance people's appearance and undergoing actual surgery/ies to achieve a "look" that nature and normal activities would normally not have allowed them to have or achieve, ever.
Then again, some thought that makeup and implants, say, were not basically different, that both things were fake. Therefore, that it was not fair to claim that people surgically "enhanced" were fake, not any more than people who'd alter at least in some way their appearance on an everyday's or regular basis.
And then the debate got even more heated as people started talking of "lines" and boundaries. Of degrees of change that were normal and natural or acceptable, and others that were not. Of course others thought that this distinction made no sense.
And finally the issue of "God/Nature made me this way, why change what God/Nature/Genetics wanted me to be" came up.
Well, then hell broke loose, because not even people within one same religious group had the same concept of what was being like God wanted us to be or to accept what God "has given us".
Most people, though, seemed to draw the line between healthy and unhealthy use of surgery at having many procedures done.
Of course other people debated over whether or not injectable fillers, botox and the like, even hair dyes should be counted...
It was an endless debate, but very interesting.
I admit I tend to label as "fake" people who I realize had more than one plastic surgery performed on them (I guess I intuitively assume that people can have ONE feature that might torture them or interefere with their life, but I have a hard time imagining that a person might have more than one thing making him or her look "wrong", I tend to associate that perception with a problem of self-esteem and self-image)... but this whole debate made me realize that I never actually thought of whether or not covering grey hair or using makeup made us fake or somewhat fake in some people's eyes.
I do not know neither where I'd draw the line when it comes to procedures that are not major surgery and yet go beyond tints and dyes... like using injectable fillers or botox.
My question is... where would YOU draw the line? For you or for anyone else?
What do you consider a valid, healthy option for some people and what you consider is "over the top" and, indeed, fake?
Do you think the same standard applies to both men and women? (from what the media shows, it seems like "fakeness" or tricks are more easily accepted in women than in men, for good or bad.
What is your take?
What "thing" you'd learn about a person you were attracted to and have just met would turn you off and make you consider this person fake or weird?
As for me, I'd be ok with a man dyeing his hair, but colored contacts would already turn me off. Same with men with implants in their chest or calves to look muscular, etc. I do not have a definite position regarding hair transplant, for example.
And I certainly can not back up what I say with a clear reasoning.
As for both men and women, I would always find fake, unnecessary and unhealthy to obtain a given appearance through surgery when that same "look" or result could and would (and should, in my eyes) be obtained with a healthy lifestyle, a healthy nutrition and sport.
Personally, I consider fake and unnatural to do anything that implies serious health risks and/or that alters a person's appearance to the point of making of this person someone "different" or who makes the person look totally UNlike a healthy, youthful looking person of THAT age range but, instead, creates a pseudo-teenager-but-old-weirdo look.
What's the line FOR YOU between "helping nature" and "faking nature"? What's, in your eyes, the line between "getting an aid" and being lazy and/or too insecure?
Is the world we live in filled with "fake" people?
What does this whole need to get plastic surgery for aesthetic reasons say about our world and its values?
What thoughts on this would you choose to instill in your children or in anyone young or very easily influenced by media and peers?