“Maganda nga, retokada naman.”
A few months ago, as I was on the train back home from school, I heard what was probably one of the most degrading statements uttered on public transport. Two girls were talking about a Filipina model who had just admitted to getting work done. Apparently, it was a big deal to these two people, because she was always thought to have been flaunting her natural beauty.
The media has always given the spotlight to the topic of cosmetic surgery, most especially when it’s done to a celebrity. They are asked during interviews if the rumors are true, when and why and how they felt about it. What makes all this negative is how people make it such a big deal, to the point that they talk ill of someone if they push that they have never undergone cosmetic surgery even if it was, as they would put it, very obvious.
Some people take less than two seconds to figure out if someone has a fake nose. It takes them a shorter amount of time to discriminate against the person for not having the confidence to accept what they were born with. How has “retokada” grown to become such a degrading label that admitting to getting work done is always out of the picture? Why do we sigh in relief when someone who is being rumoured to have undergone surgery proves otherwise?
Some people choose to show concern by slamming the consequences of cosmetic surgery on the faces of other people. It is true, it can be risky and the chances of there being complications after are high, but I refuse to believe that that is the only reason why people are strongly against it. I guess it has more to do with the beliefs instilled on them, the notion that no one has the right to be ungrateful for how they look. I’ve heard people say that cosmetic surgery can be unhealthy for one’s self-esteem, because eventually they will get addicted to reconstructing their body, continuing to find flaws where there were none in the first place. It’s a given that cosmetic surgery has given women reasons to spot imperfections on themselves, but it’s important to remember that they are entitled to decide these matters on their own, without needing the approval of everyone else.
We expect people to be naturally perfect, but criticize them if they fail, or try too hard to be. We created this false notion of beauty, but we don’t get a say in what people choose to do with their bodies. We don’t get to belittle someone who has had work done and in the same breath humiliate those who we think do not fit in to the standards we put up ourselves. Maybe we need to stop looking for perfect in every person we see, and start appreciating beauty just as it is.