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Word Count: 1,180
The days of the freak show may be over but the human fascination with physical appearance is stronger than ever Simmons 45 According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery nearly 85 million people in America had some form of cosmetic surgery during 2001 Thats a whopping 48 more than the previous year despite a national recession Yet having more techniques to control our appearance doesnt lead to greater individual freedom Instead it makes us feel as though we have to do everything possible to conform to the accepted ideal And our sense of failure is doubled if after all we still dont look perfect But while some people embark on a ruthless regime of self-control in this quest for perfection others rebel against the pressure to conform by dramatically changing their appearance Simmons 89 The only cause that would make cosmetic surgery needed is someone having a pysical deformity Otherwise people have it for self assurance self confidence and to all out feel good People with disabilities who have some clear physical difference from this ideal come under even more pressure to conform Cosmetic surgery for example can be used to alter the distinctive facial features of people with Downs syndrome Prosthetic limbs look so much like the real thing that only those in the know can tell the difference But this assumes that people with disabilities are dissatisfied with how they look and that other people wont accept them unless they imitate some notion of normality The surgeons scalpel has become a double-edged sword but who determines our templates for beauty Grandy 111 And how attractive are they Each of us has a self image a perception of how we beleve we look to others People who are happy with their self image are likely to be more self confident effective in work and social situations and comfortable in their relationships Plastic surgerywhether cosmetic or reconstructiveencourages and promotes a strong
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