You may be wondering why I, a fat black chick, spend time championing the cause of (mostly) rich white women who choose to have plastic surgery. It’s not because I disagree with the point that the choice to alter your body surgically can be informed by internalization of societal beauty standards. It’s also not because I feel like having, say, 10 operations done in a day is a positive choice. It’s because of things like this article, which is just so blatantly dehumanizing it’s impressive. I understand that it’s hard not to pass judgment on celebrities who get very visible plastic surgery done. I get that you’re itching to hate. But denigrating a woman by saying she’s a “Fembot, a species of walking, talking Barbie dolls” — that brand of body snarking smacks of sexist undertones.
Again, I DON’T HAVE AN AFFINITY FOR CELEBRITIES. In fact, I really hate having to even see Us Weekly and its ilk while I’m in line at CVS. I just know that when we go down that path of judgment, we all lose. For example, I’m personally offended by this statement:
Behold the rise of the bionic woman! Part human, part machine, she is at once sexy and scary, delicate and indestructible. Can she shoot bullets out of that heaving bosom? Best not to find out.
As someone with a naturally heaving bosom, I’m wondering if I, too, could be accused of harboring weapons inside my breasts. Is it just silicone that makes a larger bustline “scary”? Do you lose your humanity when you alter your body surgically? If we feel these women are making such reprehensible choices that we need to come up with a new species to classify them as, does that then make it okay to deconstruct their bodies down to the last nip and tuck?
Since we can agree that the choice to have plastic surgery is not made in a societal vacuum, it follows that we need to fight the unfair beauty standards that may have led these women to feel that they weren’t good enough, or pretty enough, or thin enough as they were — NOT vilify them because they may be unfortunate casualties of our culture’s beauty wars. As someone who fights for my right not to be subject to society’s ideals of what is attractive or what body type is acceptable, I just can’t co-sign tearing women down like that. That’s why I care.