Well, nobody right? Is it just for the rich and self absorbed? Is it just an exercise in vanity? Well, before we write off all those who seek to change a part of themselves let’s look at a few interesting facts.
First of all, “What is the function of a face?” For all other types of “necessary” surgery we look at what the functional aspect is and consider the value of the surgery based on the functional issues. For example, if someone were to be born with feet that were malformed to the degree they didn’t function as well as they could or that they interfered with function with standing. It clearly is important to try to fix feet and make sure they are present and functioning properly. A foot is critical for everyday life. It gets you to work, it helps you stand in front of others, and it helps athletes to run, and so on. No one would question the value of fixing your foot. However, what does a face do? What is the difference between someone born with a great face and someone born with one not as great or even malformed? While most people don’t question surgery for those of use with congenital defects like craniofacial syndromes; on the other hand, if you have a huge hump nose, or ears that stick straight out, or eyes that droop on the side, or any other type of facial issue where the issue doesn’t cause major social stigma, there are many loud voices willing to be critical of you for seeking to change something that nature gave you calling it vain. Why do these people even care? It’s your nose or whatever. Anyway, they are out there, the critics of plastic surgery who find the occasional bad complication and use it as a soapbox to wail against any attempt to improve on something nature gave you that is less than what we would desire or is frankly malformed but within the range of acceptability for carrying on a normal life.
So, what is the function of a face? Well our face is what we meet the world with and physical attractiveness it is the number one source of how we are initially perceived by others. The research on the subject of how attractive children and adults are treated by others compared to those considered less attractive is enormous. While the critics of our profession may not like this it is basic human biology and there is nothing, and I mean nothing that will ever change it. No amount of politically correct intellectualizing. Parental self esteem training or psychological mantras will ever change the way basic human biology functions in regard to this issue. It is what it is and the fact is that more attractive people and younger looking people will always be perceived differently and treated better than others. Well you say so what. Look at Mick Jagger, he made it. What about others who have been known to be somewhat of an ugly duckling like Whoopee Goldberg, Albert Einstein, or Benjamen Franklin? Well these people all had something to help them overcome the issue with their appearance and not all of have an IQ of 150, a natural comedic talent, or superb interpersonal political skills. Even if we did there is still no question that physical attractiveness plays a role in how we meet the world and ultimately our confidence level. So, then if a face has a safely correctable issue then it is to our benefit in terms of how our face functions for us to have in modified into a more attractive or younger shape. Research has shown that after cosmetic surgery, self esteem rises dramatically and people have better success with interpersonal relationships as well as business relationships. Frequency of sexual relations goes up as does personal income. Not that this happens for everyone but it has been shown to be a distinct trend in patients undergoing cosmetic surgery. So, let’s not be so quick to criticize those that seek to change things which bother them because of nature not being as kind to them. The function of a face is definitely something to consider.