By Louisa Wilkins
Cosmetic surgery can offer gravity-defying breasts and erase a multitude of lifestyle sins – but can it cure a mental illness? Louisa Wilkins discovers that there are some things surgery simply cannot fix
When life hurts, instinctively we reach out to find things to fix it, to make the pain go away. Passed up for promotion? Cue, a sparkly pair of Kurt Geigers. Dumped by your boyfriend? Time for a snazzy new hair-do. We are programmed by our beauty-biased society to think, ‘If I look better, I will feel better’. Or, ‘If I look great, I’ll be able to cope with this.’ Now, with Botox and do-it-in-your-lunchtime cosmetic surgery procedures becoming more commonplace, increasingly women – and men – are reaching out to their friendly local plastic surgeon for an aesthetic boost.
Unfortunately, though, this is all it is. Feeling happy with your appearance can undoubtedly boost your confidence, but when it comes to emotional traumas and deep-rooted insecurities, no number of shoes, hair styles or cosmetic surgeries will help the healing process. And, while the price of discovering that those new heels or that new hair-do didn’t make you feel any better after all is minimal, with cosmetic surgery you risk chronic pain, permanent disfigurement, exorbitant bills, emotional and social upheaval, and sometimes even death.