Drinking, late nights, fast food and stress. All things associated with university, and all things which can lead to a decline in physical attractiveness. So is this the perfect time to start preventative measures against grey hairs and wrinkles?
Cosmetic surgery is on the rise, but it is no longer just for those who want to stave off ageing. It was recently been reported in the Daily Mail, that a mother gave her seven year old daughter a voucher for breast enhancement surgery as a birthday present. The seven year old is already supposedly excited to have the operation, although she won’t legally be allowed to get the surgery until she turns 16.
As a twenty year old female, this news makes me wonder if I should be taking steps to ensure my youthful looks never dwindle. I already look young for my age so I’m hoping that will work in my favour as I get older. However, with children a third of my age planning for future cosmetic surgery, maybe I should start to worry about the future too.
Self-image in young adults is incredibly over-scrutinised nowadays, as we are all are bombarded with images in magazines and on television of beautiful men and women, with seemingly perfect faces and bodies. We aspire to look like these models, often not realising that they have all been photo-shopped to perfection, and not recognising that attaining similar body proportions is ultimately impossible to do whilst remaining healthy.
Before coming to university, I was daunted by the idea that I might be judged on my appearance. However, now in my third year, I like to feel that I’m ‘above’ worrying about the opinions of others. In my experience it is rare for someone to be picked on because of their looks at university, as most people have grown mature enough to accept the differences in others. However, the images in magazines and on television do undoubtedly affect us, regardless of our age. I have a gym membership, and I try to eat healthily – both things which I would not do if it meant I could maintain a healthy lifestyle without them. If I wanted to look like one of the ‘perfect’ celebrities in the magazines I would probably have to work out for hours every day. Students just don’t have that kind of time.
The fact I’m now about to mention does not really affect us students in any way, but it is shocking. There has recently been a dramatic increase in cosmetic surgery being done on pets. No, you didn’t mis-read, I did say pets. Eye-lifts, chin-lifts, dental work and ‘neuticals’ (testicular implants designed to give neutered pets ‘a more masculine look’), are all on the rise. The UK’s largest pet insurance provider, PetPlan, paid out over £2.5million for cosmetic surgery claims in 2010. People now not only want to look perfect, but they want their pets to look perfect too.
I wanted to speak to someone at Southampton University who had plastic surgery and so I advertised on Facebook, but no one responded. This could either suggest that plastic surgery is not as common amongst young adults as the media portrays, or that the people who have had plastic surgery don’t feel comfortable talking openly about it. The aim of a lot of plastic surgery is to achieve a natural look, so it makes sense that people may not want to admit to it, but why pay thousands to look natural when a lot of body insecurities can be controlled without cosmetic surgery? University undoubtedly puts our bodies under strain, but after these first few years of living without parental supervision you will get used to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy body, so don’t go under the knife just yet.