I’m watching a programme at the moment called Beauty and the beast; a rather charmless title for a series that takes a person obsessed with cosmetic procedures and pairs them with someone that has a disfigurement to try and get them to re-assess their views on ‘beauty’.
Throughout the episodes the one thing that stood out to me was how quickly and easily these people were allowed procedures. Boob jobs, face lifts, rhinoplasty; all permanent changes readily available if you have the money. No need for counselling or therapy before you enter into a life changing decision, just a quick what do you want and how soon can you pay despite every single episode ending with the person with the disfigurement convincing the ‘vain’ person that they are beautiful just as they are and not requiring ‘enhancing’. Being a doctor used to mean the patients best interests came before anything else, yet now it means taking a patients money rather than saying no and them giving it to someone else.
The show also got me thinking about the double standard in the cosmetic industry. A person unhappy with their nose or wanting to lose weight the ‘easy’ way can book an appointment at the drop of a hat (and even get it done on the NHS if they can convince them its ‘adversely affecting their life’), yet a person born IN THE WRONG BODY has to wait a minimum of three years and undergo extensive counselling and therapy before being allowed to transform into the person they really are.
The world has some seriously squiffy views of what is morally acceptable.