The short answer is that it’s none of my business. I respect the decisions that other people make about their bodies just like I want mine to be respected.
But I understand that the question is deeper than that.
Weight loss is a good example – no matter how much we love our bodies, we are still stigmatized for our size and would get much more approval from society if we were thin. I wonder sometimes: If this stigma/approval situation didn’t exist, would people still try and fail at dieting many times?
At any rate, I can understand the desire to want to lose weight for aesthetic reasons – I just think it’s important for people to have access to information not paid for my the diet industry. Information regarding their odds so that if their attempts fail it softens the self-esteem blow. And information about the health issues linked to weight cycling. I don’t think that they are required to do the research or justify their choices, I just think that they should have access to the information.
Plastic surgery is the same way: The more we conform to society’s standard of beauty, the more approval that we get from society. But people should be able to easily ascertain both safety data and efficacy for previous clients who wanted to make a change for a similar reason.
Another example would be people who believe that being thin is the key to health, and feel that they need to lose weight for health reasons. They should have access to true and correct data about health and weight.
No matter what change you’re considering making, my suggestion would be to consider why you want to make the change, and then make sure that’s really ok with you. So let’s say that you decide that you want to have botox so your co-worker stops talking about your wrinkles. Is that ok with you? What if once you’ve filled your wrinkles she starts in on your nose? You’ll have to decide how far you want to go. It’s always your choice. I do think that no matter what you choose it will work better if you start from a platform of loving yourself as you are.
Social change is more important to me that societal approval. I think that the cure for stigmatization is to change culture and end stigma, not to insist that members of the stigmatized group change themselves so that they can get the approval of the stigmatizing group. If they offered me a pill that would make me into the perfect stereotypical beauty I wouldn’t take it. I’m happy with my body and my health and I see no reason to change. That doesn’t make me worse or better than those who make different choices. Our bodies – our choices. I don’t see how we can ask for our choices to be respected unless with we respect the choices of others.
So maybe our new motto could be: I love me, I’m perfect, now choose…