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Image Is Everything

             Allen Ginsburg, a radical writer of the 1960s, said, "Whoever controls the media- the images- controls the culture" (Rogers). The media constantly conveys images of the ideal female body. Every woman has a unique build and makeup, yet the media always tries to perpetuate what they believe the universal standard of women should be (Costello). These images strongly affect our culture and the way in which we perceive ourselves, and each other. Women will do almost anything to fit into this idealized mold that the media has set for them. The extreme lengths women will go to in their never ending pursuit of perfection, prove that we have become a society obsessed with image. .
             In this quest for perfection, women are now turning to extremely drastic measures; they are physically changing their bodies through cosmetic surgery. These surgeries range from breast augmentation, to face lifts, to liposuction (Plastic Surgery). Women see these surgeries as a way of improving their image, and thereby increasing their success, happiness, and desirability. They believe that breast augmentation will make them more attractive to men, that face lifts will make them look younger, and that liposuction will make their bodies closer to the ideal, lean body. These surgeries become the quick fix to everything that women find wrong with themselves. Cosmetic surgery patients are made aware of all of the risks and dangers involved in cosmetic surgery, such as permanent scarring or even death, yet its popularity continues to rise. .
             This obsession with appearance is not exclusive to adults. Approximately ninety percent of all girls, ages three to eleven, have had a Barbie doll (Dittrich). Barbie seems to embody perfection. She has large breast, a thin waist, a nice but, long legs, long blonde hair, and a gorgeous face. Barbie is a young girl's first example of the ideal woman; which can explain why the average age of cosmetic surgery patients is lowering each year (Plastic Surgery).

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