High Plastic Surgery Rates Are a Malignant Side-Effect of Porn Industry

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By Cara Zambrano, Contributing Writer

Women today continue to be judged on their physical appearance even as they take on leadership roles in all aspects of our society; one where archaic, patriarchal values still lurk. The media has caused increased pressure on women to look and act a certain way, mainly on young women who often find themselves caught under a perfection trap. These consequences were once more highlighted by a recent statement in response to the latest trend of young women having more genital cosmetic surgery, largely due to the influence of pornography.

When girls grow into teenagers, they find themselves in a society that judges women who are open about their sexuality to be vulgar and go home to parents who are too embarrassed to talk about it. They learn to have sex by watching porn, ingraining a sexist and idealized notion of how a woman should act, feel and look during sex. Heterosexual and bisexual girls also face the demanding expectations of their male partners, who statistically are more dependent on and influenced by the porn industry and hold an even more unrealistic idea of women during sex. Pressured to meet the bar set by porn stars, young women decide to resort to cosmetic surgery, succumbing to the fear that their partners will reject them because their natural form is different than those seen in adult films.

Such surgeries can cause a loss in sexual sensation, meaning that these women are willing to put their own sexual pleasure at stake to satisfy their partners’ expectations of their genitalia. They are diminishing their own sexuality to someone else’s preconceived and wildly untrue notions. However, pornography itself is not the problem; it may even be a solution. As Cindy Gallop mentions in her TED Talk, “the porn industry is driven by men, funded by men, managed by men, directed by men and targeted at men.” By taking a more proactive role in the industry, women could create a healthier environment for sexual exploration, one which real women could identify with and where men would be exposed to realistic situations.

Sex has to stop being over-idealized, and sexuality needs to start being treated as what it is — natural. Discussion of sex does not need to be taboo, particularly for young people. After all, most of us do not know what we are doing most of the time. Healthy exploration must be encouraged, and both women and men should not be shamed during this process. By undergoing surgery in order to match the unrealistic images of sex in the media, young women are perpetuating a sinister cycle in which they link their pleasure from sex with how perfect they perceive themselves to be.

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Email Cara Zambrano at [email protected]