First and foremost, I will preface this answer by saying that I am biased – after all, I am a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon. For decades, the field of plastic surgery has gotten positive, as well as negative, coverage. And most of the negativity stems from inaccurate portrayals, sensationalized stories and their procedures, and the obvious ability to clearly visualize “bad work.”
Plastic and reconstructive surgery is much more than increasing bust size, plumping lips, and tightening a sagging jawline (burn injuries, congenital defects, cancer reconstruction, etc), but for the purpose of this answer, I will focus on aesthetic plastic surgery – as the crux of the question is related to the Kardashians. Here is the short answer to how I feel about plastic surgery: It can alter lives for the better. Let me explain.
Imagine you are in 7th grade, arriving at a new school, arguably one of the toughest scenarios during that point in time. Kids are trying to figure out their place in the world, and they can be mean while they are doing it. Now imagine you are “growing into” your ears, which prominently stick out from your head like stop signs. You see where this is going. A child’s entire life can be traumatized from the persistent ridicule, being teased, or called names like “Dumbo.” This is where plastic surgery may help.
Or better yet, imagine yourself a sophomore or junior in high school, as facial development flourishes – along with hormones – and your nose begins to block your own vision due to its size, or your acne is preventing you from socializing with others. These formative years are starting to stratify your place in society – and the results can be positive, or simply disastrous. Again, another scenario where plastic surgery can help.
How about the high school senior that has been called names her entire adult life for the size of her breasts – completely beyond her control – but leads her into depression and social disavowal. Yet another case for life-altering plastic surgery.
I could give you a thousand additional scenarios to solidify my point, but I think you get the idea.
So then, why are the Kardashians criticized for plastic surgery? Two-fold: most of them never “needed” plastic surgical procedures. They started off relatively attractive, were sucked into entertainment, and were constantly scrutinized, making them feel that plastic surgery was the only option, leading to my second point:
As Taylor Swift so eloquently put it, “People throw rocks at things that shine,” reminding us that our human nature is to find flaws in others that simply have more than we do. It somehow makes us each feel better about our own lives but does not represent true reality.
In summary, I do believe that plastic surgery should be used to restore function, refine shape, and improve quality of life. Whether or not the Kardashians have done this, only you can decide.