The Psychology of Plastic Surgery

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Looking in the mirror can be a positive or negative experience; it may also influence one’s success, vitality, confidence, and performance. Cosmetic procedures can actually be life altering.

We are programmed to react to stimuli such as images, sounds, and smells. Circumstances are processed through our conscious and subconscious minds, and we form our opinions based on past experiences and all we have seen and formulated. When we see ourselves in the mirror, we form an opinion of that image. Self-esteem can diminish if we don’t like what we see. With an estimated 20 million or more Americans experiencing clinical depression, we must consider what simple cosmetic procedures and elective surgery can do to improve self-esteem.

As many people critically pick themselves apart, they consider some form of transformation in order to become ‘easier on the eyes.’ Opinions on plastic surgery differ greatly. Those who have gathered favorable information or even positive results from beauty-enhancing procedures are usually more likely to try these options.

Cie ScottBecause the brain spends more time defending the body in which it resides than it does learning, enjoying, and creating, many of us wish to ward off aging and other displeasing physical characteristics. A larger number decide that it is not worth the effort, money, or time to enhance their appearance— some of these people have high self-esteem, but most of which have low self-esteem.

Knowing that the brain will react to visual imagery and form positive or negative thoughts, it’s easier to see why people are choosing to create a better appearance. Statistics and studies show that attractive people are more likely to be hired after job interviews and will be appreciated more by the opposite sex. It is also common for pretty women to want to spend time socializing with other pretty women in order to feel more at ease relating or to attract more men.

It is also a reasonable assumption that subjects that look younger will react to their image by feeling younger; this alone gives merit to the self-improvement of cosmetic procedures. A feeling of vitality may add years to one’s life and quality of life. Seeing a younger looking image in the mirror may also allow an individual to believe they have more energy to complete a task, to exercise or to start a new business rather than settling for the status quo. Seeing a tired looking person may subconsciously or consciously prompt a person to decide that they are too old to do something new, meet someone new, or to be creative and passionate about things that spark interest.

All of this considered, plastic surgery may be an option for many more individuals. Psychologically speaking, it protects us from ourselves and negative reactions of others.

“Suffering is optional.”-Dr. Cie

About Cie Allman-Scott, Ph.D.

Dr. Cie is an award winning television talk show hostess, working for several years nationally on ABC, NBC, FOX and UPN networks. She currently works as a media psychologist, lecturer, and writer, having written self-help books and audiobooks as well as many national health, fitness, and self-help columns.