The other day I stumbled upon (disclaimer: my sister handed me the magazine when I was over at her apartment) a People magazine article about The Hills' Heidi Montag's "obsession" with plastic surgery. Not only were the pictures scary — she's transformed herself into a completely different-looking woman — but some of what she had to say was quite alarming.
Heidi is just 23 years old and recently went under the knife for ten different plastic surgery procedures. If you take a look at before and after pictures, she looks like a completely different woman. Personally, I'm much more of a "natural look" kind of guy. In fact, little imperfections in a woman's appearance can be endearing and attractive.
I've been thinking about some of the things Heidi said regarding her surgeries, and I wanted to share my thoughts:
"I'm in a different industry..."
This implies that acting is based on appearance. This can be true: some actors get by on their good looks much more than their acting skills. But, it seems that her statement is an excuse. If a person with a passion for acting could be: a) An average-looking Oscar winner, or b) A gorgeous actor with average acting skills, I would hope they chose the former. Heidi's actions don't show an obsession with acting, they show an obsession with how she looks.
"I want to take advantage and be the best me, in and out, in every way."
Heidi has mentioned that she wants to be pretty on the inside and the outside. But, if she's so obsessed with her appearance that she's willing to change it completely through surgery, there are things going inside her that are not so beautiful such as insecurity and emptiness. The more she changes her outside appearance, the more empty she seems inside.
There are implications regarding Heidi's obsession with plastic surgery:
It looks like she's not doing it to be more attractive to guys. She wants to feel good about herself. But most guys don't like a fake appearance. I've polled many men and women about whether Heidi looked better before or after, and the overwhelming majority preferred how she looked before her surgeries.
What message is Heidi sending to younger women? She was already attractive before she decided to manipulate her features and body. Growing up, we all go through phases where we are insecure and/or unhappy with how we look. Most of us have a distorted and too negative of a view of how we look. Heidi is telling young women that not only is imperfection bad, but you can use plastic surgery to change anything that you don't like.
Part of growing up is learning to succeed with the hand that you're dealt. I've come to appreciate or at least come to grips with most of my imperfections (except my brows): my scars, callouses, the weird little extra piece of skin next to my ear, and my (as my sisters put it) lopsided face. I was born with some imperfections and some imperfections occurred during the story that is my life.
Some women will find me attractive, and some won't. But under no circumstances would I feel right changing my appearance into a completely different person (unless it was George Clooney).
On a different note, it is Heidi's right to do whatever she wants to her body. Even if she's hurting herself, ultimately it's her prerogative. But, she continues to note her industry. By choosing a career in the entertainment industry, Heidi has to know that the public will scrutinize her behavior. And beyond creating discussion, the situation is setting a bad example for younger generations.
What are your thoughts on Heidi Montag, and women who want to sculpt themselves obsessively? Do you agree that there are issues on the inside causing them to alter themselves on the outside? Which Heidi do you think is prettier: before, or after?