Every year, millions of cosmetic surgeries are performed globally. According to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, over 23 million procedures were performed in 2016. Some of the possible complications include hematomas, nerve damage, infections, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, scarring, organ damage, anesthesia complications, and in some cases, death. What’s more, the industry is sometimes under-regulated: In the UK (as of 2013), anyone can legally perform dermal filler procedures, without prior training or knowledge.
The stats aren’t pretty.
To be clear, these are risks that informed adults can and will take. Our goal is not to criticize adults who choose cosmetic surgery. But adults are not the only ones going under the knife.
Children and teenagers around the world are undergoing cosmetic surgery at younger and younger ages.
Technology is an amazing and sometime scary thing! It offers children opportunities for creativity, learning and fun but can also an impact on how they see themselves and their bodies. As parents, you want your children to enjoy all the exciting experiences that technology can offer and to grow up with a healthy relationship with their bodies. As today, February 5, is international safer internet day, you may hear and read a lot about various aspects of digital safety. One aspect of technology that doesn’t receive a lot of attention is the relationship between computer games and body image. Many parents are already aware of the need to make their home a body positive environment but struggle when it comes to staying on top of potential negative influences online and in games. More and more parents are concerned about how to help their children to feel comfortable in their skin in a digital world.
“A wonderful dream come true!” (Cinderella, Disney, 1950)
By Emma Jacobs, Endangered Bodies contributor
It’s the ultimate fairy-tale. Cinderella, the enslaved heroine — soot-stained, rag-ridden, oh-so-humble — holds her breath and makes a wish and with a shower of sparkles she is transformed, now a ball-gowned princess, at last lovely both outside and in. She’s worked hard, she’s suffered quietly, and so she is deserving of the Fairy Godmother’s greatest gift: beauty. “Why!” cries Disney’s Cinderella, “It’s like a dream! A wonderful dream come true!”
Cinderella stories have existed in countless variations throughout human history, from Ancient Greece to the Tang Dynasty to the Islamic Golden Age. We’ve always been fascinated by the “before” and “after” of the makeover. And like all good fairy-tales, the makeover is in essence a morality story. Beauty, it tells us, is something you earn; ugliness is for the lazy.
This moral lesson has been woven into TV makeover shows since they began in the 1940s and ’50s (incidentally, around the same time Disney’s Cinderella first came to the big screen). In US studio gameshows like Queen for a Dayand Glamour Girl, women competed for the viewers’ sympathies by confessing their stories of misery, hardship and marital trouble. Whoever got the most applause from the audience was rewarded for her suffering with a beauty-queen makeover, and the obligatory sense of self-worth that accompanied it. As the NBC brochure for Glamour Girl noted, “the girl is changed not only in appearance but also in her outlook on life. We see her poised, secure and smiling. This creation of a new personality has great human interest appeal.” 
Last week I saw the trailer for To The Bone, a movie just released by Netflix. It is supposed to be a sensitive and deep portrayal of the struggles of a young woman with anorexia and her journey through treatment. However, the almost two-and-a-half minute trailer couldn't be more upsetting: a cliché and somewhat sensationalized depiction of what anorexia supposedly looks like unravels with scene after scene violating almost every single National Eating Disorder Association's guideline for responsible media coverage of eating disorders. It features obsessive calorie counting, graphic depictions of symptomatic behaviors concerning eating and exercising, and images of the main character’s severely emaciated body.
Being an eating disorders researcher and activist since 2001, and a bulimia survivor, I’ve been concerned not only with the lack of substantiated knowledge about eating disorders both among health professionals and the wider public, but also with the media. Media content can be problematic when it promotes an excessively thin beauty standard for women, in addition to the usually sensationalist tone given to the subject of eating disorders.
BED affects thousands of people worldwide, but very few people outside of professional treatment circles know the illness even exists.
There are no lifetime movies about Binge Eating Disorder, or BED as it is commonly called. Unlike anorexia and bulimia, which have both been covered in the news, books, movies, and online first-hand accounts of recovery, Binge Eating Disorder flies way under the radar. And yet, according to the article Eating disorders as a public health emergency, written back in 2006, up to 5% of women worldwide engage in binge eating.
According to NEDA, the National Eating Disorder Association of the United States, BED is characterized by recurring episodes of binge eating, without the purging after the binge that accompanies bulimia. A binge is defined by two traits:
Eating a larger than normal amount in a set period of time
A sense of lack of control over the bingeing and being unable to stop.
In addition, the binge eating episodes are associated with several of other characteristics:
Eating more rapidly than normal
Eating until uncomfortably full
Eating large amounts of food despite not feeling hungry
Eating alone out of embarrassment
Feeling disgusted, depressed, or guilty after a binge
This post was originally posted on OfficeMum.ie in Ireland and has been reposted here with permission from the author Andrea Mara. Thanks, Andrea!
To support our latest international campaign, see below for links to all eight unique linked petitions and spread the word using #SurgeryIsNotaGame
Like many parents today, what little I know about online games I’ve learned from my kids, and most of what mine have played so far have ranged from clever to educational to downright silly. But one game stopped me in my tracks when my nine-year-old showed it to me recently – it was a plastic surgery simulator game that had come up on her Kindle when she searched for ‘free games for kids’.
To show me how it works, she carried out cosmetic surgery on her (animated) patient’s nose. This involved marking where the incision should go, using a scalpel to cut into the skin, moving a bone inside the nose, then gluing and stitching up the wound. And once that game was over, some of the other suggestions included ‘Pregnant Mommy’s Surgery – Caesarean Simulator Game’ – I kid you not.
I was really surprised that the cosmetic surgery game existed at all – I mean, who wants to play a game that simulates cutting into skin and delving into someone’s nose – but I was particularly surprised to see it marketed to kids. Not only is it graphic and gross, it’s also sending a really negative message to little girls. Don’t like how you look? Just go under the knife – because you are nothing beyond your appearance.
People of all sizes, including fat people, should be able to exist and thrive in the world without shame, stigma, bullying, or oppression regardless of why they are the size they are, what being that size means, or if they could become a different size.
That statement should be so obvious that it never has to be said. Unfortunately, in a world where creating body hatred is incredibly profitable, and where anti-fat sentiment runs roughshod over the lives and happiness of so many fat people, it can’t be said enough.
The desire to have a better relationship with our bodies, and to support the diversity of body sizes, is an important first step, but there are many steps after that. They include steps that we may take to evolve in our relationships with our bodies, to unlearn the stigmatization of bodies that we have been taught by our culture, and to fight back against the messages that our bodies aren’t amazing and worthy at any size. Enter the Fat Activism Conference.
It’s normal to indulge every now and again, and I’m not averse to that. I might decide to eat a sugary doughnut, or a slice of cheesy pizza – but the problem is that one is never enough. Or at least at that moment it isn’t. Ah, that magical moment when I am transported to a world of ecstasy. Salt! Sugar! Grease! Uncontrollably I stuff myself, because only when the food has disappeared will the terrible temptation stop. Only when it’s all gone will I fall back down to earth and the horror of what I have just done will dawn on me. I will be shocked at my lack of self-control, baffled by my single-minded behavior which I know I will have to punish myself for. But as I said, it’s not rational. I’m addicted. This I know because after the high of eating has worn off, the feeling will be replaced by a crushing sense of guilt. Why am I so greedy? Why can’t I stop myself? I'm making myself fat.
If I told you I recently came across a boutique where none of its dresses fit over my head would you believe me? If you’re a woman who wears a US size 8/10 or higher and who’s lived in Argentina for any length of time, you certainly would. In fact, you’d probably share a story or two of your own. After residing for more than a decade in Buenos Aires, I should know better than to even consider buying clothes in the country, especially considering I’m fortunate enough to be able to keep my wardrobe topped up on my regular Toronto trips to visit family and friends. However, every once in a while I succumb to the temptation of a pretty piece displayed in a store window, knowing full well I’ll need to shore up my self-esteem before reaching the changeroom. If it doesn’t fit me—and more often than not it doesn’t—I remind myself that my body isn’t defective, it’s the Argentine fashion industry that needs reform. And that’s something my team, AnyBody Argentina—the Argentine chapter of Endangered Bodies, an international organization that challenges the culture that teaches us to hate our own bodies—also understands.
I´m launching my book: “And Were They Thin and Happy Ever After? The Ways Out of Compulsive Eating”.
Everything started in 1988. I was on vacation, at the beach, with another diet going wrong, when I found a book with a weird name: “Fat is a Feminist Issue”. When I read it, important issues of my life got new meaning as I´ve always struggled with food and body issues.
Besucht AnyBody Deutschland auf Facebook, folgt uns auf Twitter @AnyBody_de und kontaktiert uns gerne per Mail, wenn ihr euch mit uns gemeinsam engagieren möchtet oder Fragen zu uns und unseren Projekten habt:
kontakt ät anybodydeutschland . de
Wir freuen uns auf euch!