Singularity Hub has recently and unintentionally launched an unofficial expose into the world of vain medicine. We last covered the chemotherapy cream that kills wrinkles (among other things) and now it’s time to move from the face to the next lowest body part of interest. Yes, the American Association for Plastic Surgeons just released a report that bumped breast augmentation surgery to the number one spot of all plastic surgeries performed. Boob jobs just narrowly beat out liposuction for the spot, with eyelid surgery coming in a distant third. Looks like a lot of gamblers are going to be explaining to their unhappy bookies as to why they thought liposuction was the sure winner this year.
Even though the economy has been tight, plastic surgery has still been seeing some heavy activity. The statistical breakdown is fairly predictable, with 92% of plastic surgery patients being of the fairer sex. Of the women receiving plastic surgery, 22% were between the ages of 19 and 34 while a whopping 45% were aged 35 to 60.
So, what’s the big deal? Small breasts are not so popular anymore. No, it’s not the disconcerting fact that this is fueled by an oppressively judgmental media and a national penchant for low self-esteem, but simply that procedures like this happen regularly and efficiently. This newest form of self-expression is latching on and, regardless of how absurd one may think of it, it’s a technological marvel that allows people control over their own bodies. Such a medical practice is safe, effective and relatively quick. It is yet another way that humans have identified a problem (however so slight) and found a solution.
Body augmentation is bound to continue increasing in popularity. Not just breast implants, but other new ways of helping along Mother Nature, too. Gene therapy may soon be capable of restoring vision to the blind and there’s even been some speculation about people that glow (hey, they did it to dogs and marmosets!). So what’s the difference? This is just another way of modern medicine and technology allowing people to express themselves as best they see fit. Perhaps it’s not as drastic as a sex change operation, but the underlying goal of body augmentation is much the same: to look like the person you really are.
It is clear what the future holds. We are not yet certain of how to get there but, when we do, expect to see a lot of body modifications. Not just tattoos and piercings to express individuality, but a thoughtfully designed body that is capable of adapting not only to the hurdles put in place by nature, but to those placed by society as well. Okay, so maybe it would be more beneficial to spend the money solving the world hunger crisis than upping your cup size but, viewed on its own, this technological accomplishment is nothing short of astounding. If only there was a way to perform these body augmentation surgeries and solve world crises simultaneously. It seems as though we will have to wait for the next generation of scientists to tackle that problem.