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PARKER: Are manicures the gateway to plastic surgery?

Image Credit: Compilation/Jennifer Stahn
December 14, 2015 - 8:34 AM

Yesterday, my favorite self-acceptance guru announced to the Internet that for Christmas she gave herself a boob job.

I got the notification on my phone immediately after she posted her explanatory blog and I proceeded to ignore my husband throughout brunch as I read — with great care, interest and (I’ll admit) judgment — about why she chose cosmetic surgery and how it was not a reflection of the self-love she preaches.

At once I found myself rolling my eyes — equal parts annoyed and disdainful of her choice while also annoyed and disdainful of my personal reaction.

How could she? She was always so set on loving herself. She was always so set on us loving ourselves. She couldn’t possibly be both of those things and care so greatly about being bigger than a B cup that she would spend multiple thousands of dollars and risk backlash from her tribe of fans.

Yet, that’s unfair of me. I’ve always been supportive of cosmetic procedures in the same way I’m supportive of acrylic nails.

The primarily visual, surface layer society we now live in — with thanks going to social media — encourages us to put forward our best selves as often as we can manage it and I’m one of those who like to do what I can to do just that.

When it comes down to it, what’s the difference? Maybe manicures are just a gateway drug to plastic surgery.

“To me,” writes Gala Darling about her choice to have a breast augmentation, “radical self love is about adorning yourself and adoring yourself in any way you see fit. It’s about experimentation and play, turning your body into art. No judgment. Do your thing!”

So why do we so often assume that people’s self-assurance is false the moment they alter something on the outside? Nothing about Darling’s message becomes null or void simply because her breasts now have saline in them. She put in the work, learned to accept herself — better yet, learned to love herself — and then, from that place of optimal health, made the free choice to alter herself accordingly.

It is impossible for all of us to be accepting of every single part of our appearance every moment. We will go through phases of great skin, phases of horrible skin, times of winter weight, baby weight, loss-of-too-much-weight, thick hair, thin hair, long nails, short nails, rosy cheeks, snowy cheeks and any other number of things we find to feel down about.

What matters is that we do what we can, what we’re comfortable with and what will make the biggest difference to how we feel on the inside whenever we are able to indicate what that is.

For some of us it’s laying off the pizza and spending a couple days in a relationship with spinach salad while for others it’s more intensive.

I wondered, at first, why Darling even felt the need to justify her decision to the public — most of those reading the article would be supportive, understanding, impressed. Didn’t pointing attention to it just re-iterate her insecurities to a crowd that looks up to her?

Maybe so, but as I sat on it I came to the conclusion that if Darling has taught me anything through her years of schooling us twenty-something’s in the art of self-appreciation it’s that insecurities are not a villain of self-love. They’re a teacher — a muse, a mentor — in the areas we need to be more honest about.

Sometimes that honesty means putting on our skinny jeans and going out dancing even when we’re having a fat day and sometimes, for some of us, it means bigger boobs.

To each their own, and to each an ovation.

— Andria Parker is an Instagram-obsessed idealist with at least 600 words to share on every topic, ever.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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