Thursday, July 22, 2004

Soapbox Alert.

In response to the guest blogger at Waiting for the Punchline, and other posts here and here...nothing personal, just gotta get up on my soapbox about this one for a minute.  All of this is in regards to this article, talking about elective plastic surgery being performed on military members.  This started out as a comment to this passage from Waiting for the Punchline:

The surgeons have to have someone to practice on?!? Nice - send the kids over to the middle east to fight whatever it is we're fighting over there, and if they're feeling fat and ugly when they come back, let them offer themselves up to some narcisistic plastic surgeon so he can practice his boob jobs until he's good enough to make it on the next season of "Dr. 90210." Is it me, or does this seem a little twisted?
 but soon grew to massive proportions.  Sorry about the length.  My soapbox runneth over. 

Actually,  they are practicing plastic surgery skills so that when kids come back from Iraq and Afghanistan with half a hand, or only one leg, or a huge scar where part of their face used to be, they can try to fix it and give those people a normal life...without practice the surgeons would not be skilled at fixing wounds in ways that leave people physically attractive and functional.  If you're in the military should you have to have a huge scar where a wound was sewn up because there is no plastic surgery available?  Should plastic surgeons hone their skills on people outside the military?  People who probably get paid enough to afford it?  There are over a million active duty military personnel (approximately), and according to that article less than 2,000 over the course of three years got elective plastic surgery.  That 2,000 number also includes dependants.  And to correct SMP?,   (gently, because he's one of my favorites) the surgery is not only open to officers or officer's dependants, it is open to at the very least all active duty members, and I think to Guard and Reserve as well (but I'm not sure), the article says "to anyone who wears a uniform."

I personally knew two women in the military who had plastic surgery.  Both breast reductions.  Both done to help their backs (I know this doesn't speak to augmentations, but honestly, I don't know anyone who had it done, or had liposuction either).  You know, back pain kind of sucks when you're having to pass physical fitness tests and run around with a huge pack on, or dig defensive fighting positions, or fill sandbags for your local community when it floods (I did all of these things while in the Air Force, so I'm not even exaggerating for effect).   Also, I knew someone who had her hands, and part of her face (one of her eyes) blown off by a mail bomb...she got plastic surgery too. 

But you know, since military people are clearly living large, what with having to be on food stamps (over 6,000 families in 2000, 3 times the number who have had plastic surgery), living in tents in the desert fighting a war that they've been ordered to fight in by their Commander in Chief, living in substandard housing with lead paint and asbestos here in the states (the lead paint was in my very own home that I shared with my ex-husband at Kirtland AFB, in Albuquerque, NM), and being away from home often several months a year (once again, this is personal experience with the guys I worked with in the intelligence, language, operational information warfare, and security fields) we should make sure the media spends plenty of time on the topic of plastic surgery.  Obviously that's a primary concern here.

This is really how I feel, jaded or not.  And, to answer the question posed above, yes it does seem a little bit twisted.

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