Jeffrey Bishop—The Cultured Body and the Cult of Medicine

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A 2010 survey found that as many as 48% of women and 23% of men said that they are interested in having cosmetic surgery.

Celebrities, like Heidi Montag, are now forthright about having had cosmetic surgery. Many other celebrities, both men and women, have been rumoured to have had cosmetic surgery. One website suggests which stars are desperately in need of plastic surgery.

The acceptability of plastic surgery is on the rise in every economic tier in American society. In fact, another survey done by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2010 showed that 48% of respondents making less than $25K per year approve of cosmetic surgery. As incomes rise, so do the approval ratings, with 62% of those making over $75K per year approving of cosmetic surgery....

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchAging / the ElderlyHealth & MedicineScience & Technology

8 Comments
Posted August 23, 2011 at 4:31 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

There are TWO lessons embedded in this story.

Social comment: So sad. Every one of my wrinkles has a history—working with poor Peruvian farmers for many months in the wind at 14,000 feet; working for a couple of years in the sub-Arctic with its 60-below winters; decades in the sun producing healthy vegetables for kids to eat—why would I ever want those wrinkles to disappear? They are who I am. I don’t want to be someone else.

Economic comment: No Medicare, Medicaid, or other government money. No insurance in most cases. Yet these doctors are doing just fine for themselves in a totally free-market environment, utterly devoid of more than very basic government involvement with safety regulations. They’re meeting a perceived need, as sad as I find it, and they’re doing it at an effective market-clearing price. All medicine should work that way.

August 23, 6:03 pm | [comment link]
2. Mitchell wrote:

I think there is a difference between working out a payment plan for a $25,000 tummy tuck and a $1,000,000 heart transplant.  But I could be wrong.

August 23, 7:53 pm | [comment link]
3. Catholic Mom wrote:

Not to mention the fact that plastic surgeons can make a fine living limiting their tummy tucks to those who have 25k to pay for them, while all others are forced to endure living out their lives with their excess fat spilling over their belt buckle.  But if you limit life saving medicine to the people who can afford to pay for it out of pocket rather than use an insurance plan to spread the cost and risk across a large segment of the population, there would be a very large number of unnecessarily dead people.

August 23, 8:40 pm | [comment link]
4. Undergroundpewster wrote:

What ever happened to growing old gracefully?

August 23, 10:22 pm | [comment link]
5. Bookworm(God keep Snarkster) wrote:

I wonder if as many patients would be amenable if they knew that some procedures will require blood transfusion, especially the lipos or high-volume lipos; the latter, in some cases, are really not that safe.

August 23, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
6. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) wrote:

The million-dollar heart transplant is a red herring. A more appropriate example would be my wife’s $14,000 cancer surgery.

August 23, 11:07 pm | [comment link]
7. Teatime2 wrote:

#6—Well, $14,000 might as well be a million if you don’t have it. And the point is life-saving and life-sustaining surgery versus elective, vanity-driven procedures. Should only financially secure lives be saved?

August 24, 2:13 am | [comment link]
8. Katherine wrote:

Since the original topic was the epidemic of cosmetic surgery, let me go back to that.  My neighbor, a woman fifty years old, has had two or three cosmetic operations on her face and neck, liposuction, and repeated laser treatments of her facial skin.  She is desperately fighting “old age” while she has two teenaged daughters in the house.  Imagine the effect on those girls of their mother’s obsession with her appearance.

August 24, 9:50 am | [comment link]
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