A recent New York Times article examined popular plastic surgery procedures among immigrants and then correlated their preferences to cultural ideals of beauty. When reading the article, I was particularly impressed with one key observation: the author stated that unlike previous plastic surgery trends (in which many immigrants chose procedures that enabled them to assimilate and appear “Americanized”), many immigrants are now opting for cosmetic surgery procedures that enhance or maintain their ethnic features.
As a plastic surgeon in NYC, it”s encouraging to hear that people are becoming more accepting of their differences rather than trying to fit into a particular mold. While it”s true that cosmetic surgery once appeared standardized, improvements in technology and training have enabled us to craft more personalized results that suit each person”s unique features. For many, these distinguishing characteristics are related to their ethnic heritage. The goal of plastic surgery, then, is to create balance and harmony in the face and body while maintaining a person”s individuality. Celebrating differences, rather than obscuring them, is what I believe to be the future of plastic surgery.