In response to the question ‘Why do they do it?’ applied to Hollywood actresses such as Uma Thurman and their cosmetic surgeries, one woman writes:
They do it because HDTV shows EVERY wrinkle and pore and when you’re on a jumbo TV in someone’s living room every week, you have to suffer everyone “complaining” about how old the women look. The same people who scream “she’s pulled too tight!” are invariably the same ones who Tweet that a woman looks like ” a hag.” … So I’d say save your criticism for the society that really does not support a woman “growing old gracefully.
But this answer confuses reason in the sense of motivation with reason in the sense of justification: ‘Society’ pressurises us to do numerous things from which we ought to refrain. I understand of course that we are subject to an insidious and pervasive system of rewards and punishments – society rewards people if they look youthful, and it punishes them if they don’t- but the question always arises as to whether it is right to seek the reward and to avoid the punishment. The right course is usually a punishing course, but Uma Thurman isn’t going to go hungry because of a few wrinkles, and maybe she’ll avoid being cast in her customary Barbie-like roles on account of them.
Speaking of Barbie, I can’t help but notice, sadly, that many American and European and other women seem to be caught up in the delusion that Barbie is a positive image of femininity. Some quotable quotes from Talking Barbie quotations that suggest otherwise are:
“Will we ever have enough clothes?”
“I love shopping!”
“Wanna have a pizza party?”
and my personal favourite
“Math class is tough!”
And aside from the objection that plastic surgery involves cow-tailing to the arbitrary whims of the shallow and the vain, it doesn’t make the recipient look like a young human so much as it makes them look like an old android.