I’m not a Barbie girl and I definitely do not live in a Barbie world. Come to think of it, I actually hated playing with Barbies as a child. I always found a way to destroy them. I cut off all their hair (I started the pixie cut trend, trust me on this one), I would cut off their fingers (kind of morbid to be honest), I would squish their heads until they looked distorted. I was a terrible host to my Barbie companions. My parents thought I wanted new Barbies and so I destroyed them as an excuse to say “well mommy, they’re broken I need new ones!” In reality, I preferred the knock off Barbie dolls. Bratz were my favourite. They were much more real and much less plastic fantastic. Growing up with two older brothers also came with the perks of their toys when they grew out of them. The popular ones at the time were the bionicles (I’ll give you a moment to google those if you grew up with a sad childhood). They were fun little action figures that you had to build yourself. They were the at-the-time transformers, before we were graced with the Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox version. I could bore you to death and discuss my childhood doll shenanigans, but that would stray from the main topic of this post.
As I grew older, girls stopped playing with Barbie dolls, and instead, started becoming them. Where is Barbie from? Silicone Valley (I’ll give you another moment to figure that joke out). Think about it: tiny feet in proportion to the rest of her body, skinny arms and legs, a flat stomach, a miniature waist, and a busty chest. With those proportions, you couldn’t possibly believe her breasts were real. Nonetheless, growing girls everywhere wanted to look just like Barbie (thanks to current media, Barbie has been replaced by the Kardashians). So much so, a young Ukrainian model underwent drastic plastic surgery transformations to resemble plastic fantastic Barbie we all know and envy. I’m sure you’ve seen her picture circling around the internet some years ago. She claims she has only ever gotten breast implants, however rumours claim she has had ribs removed and many facial structure changes. To that I say, good for you Valeria!
But why? Why am I praising a now 27-year-old woman for her desire to alter her appearance? How could anyone possibly think it is ok to so radically change ones own structural composition? To that I say, get over it. We live in a world where a person cannot even get lip injections without constant hate from the outside. Whatever the reason may be, how could we not? We don’t choose how we come into this world. We don’t choose how we look coming into this world. Maybe we’re not happy with our nose, our jaw, our stomach, our legs. Maybe it’s an old cultural tradition to remove our toes and surgically attach them to the bottom of our feet, or to elongate our necks with golden, cylindrical contraptions (for lack of a better word). Maybe we suffer from a medical condition that renders us boobless. Maybe, it’s a trend. Or perhaps maybe, just maybe, we want to feel better. Not that we don’t feel good, but things could always be better, right?
The truth is: your body, your decision. Take it from me. I’m a 20-year-old woman who, just over a year ago, went under the knife for the first time. It was my first serious visit to the hospital, ever. Both my brothers and my father have broken bones before. I have always had a clean slate. Until last year.
I have my dads nose. A big ball for a tip and a toucan sam beak. My nose bone got a little too excited and I had a hump. Not a very big one, but large enough for me to notice it in profile pictures (by profile I mean when a picture is taken from the side, not my facebook profile). It had bugged me for as long as I can remember and as far as I was concerned, plastic surgery was for breast augmentations or reductions. I figured I was stuck with the nose I was born with. Until one fateful day, my mother’s friend had undergone a rhinoplasty (nose job). The solution to my teenage problems had fallen into my lap ever so gracefully. I interrogated my mothers friend for 3 hours about the details of the surgery. They go in from your nostrils (interior rhinoplasty) to avoid scarring. First, they sand down the hump and make the bone perfectly flush. Second, they go in with very special instruments (that remind me of a chisel) and break each side of the nose bone. Lastly, they bring the two, now broken, pieces of the nose bone together, to make them nice and smooth rather than square and rigid. The healing process was quick. I took off my nose cast one week after the surgery and the bruises disappeared after three weeks. Now, one year later, I could not be happier with the decision I made. My nose is finally the shape I always imagined it to be. I feel better about myself, finally having the confidence to go out into the world and take it by storm. Funny how something as little as 2 millimeters of a protruding bone could affect someones life.
Something so small. So why not give people the liberty to change it if they want?