South African Family Practice

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Cosmetic Surgery and the Practice of Medicine

D Knapp van Bogaert, G Ogunbanjo


In this post-modern world, there is a recognisable bent in the media to promote the idea of youth (read as synonymous with beauty and power) to the fullest. The result is that public perceptions of the normal bodily processes of aging are viewed as detrimental or unattractive. Since we are “social creatures”, as Aristotle put it, the mediasation, for example, in magazines, TV, film, fashion, music, etc. of youth as ideal is bound to impact upon our individual ideas of ‘what-is-good-for-me'. Since youth is viewed by society as a good, it is possible to understand an individual's desire to take advantage, when it is possible, of the cosmetic procedures that fortify this ideal. Moreover, since medical practitioners are part of the public, and no more or less swayed by such ideologies, it is also reasonable to assume that some will advantage themselves and take up the gauntlet of promoting youth, although perhaps in the more medical guise of ‘remedying the ills of aging' in other words, enter the practice of cosmetic surgery.

South African Family Practice Vol. 50 (1) 2008: pp. 50-52
AJOL African Journals Online