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Utah Mormons And, Um, "augmentation"...


BookofMormonLuvr

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We just took a road trip to Utah from the east coast, saw lots of billboards of all sorts along the way. But it wasn't until Utah that we saw these kinds of billboards.

 

Made us wonder what on earth was going on...

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We just took a road trip to Utah from the east coast, saw lots of billboards of all sorts along the way. But it wasn't until Utah that we saw these kinds of billboards.

Made us wonder what on earth was going on...

The Mormon women I've known have had reconstructive surgery which while technically cosmetic, were done for reasons of comfort, not vanity. That is probably the contingent more comfortable talking about it. I am not surprised that there would be those wanting help in getting back a body who can't repair itself back to premultiple pregnancy state and there would be a lot of those. I know my mother who didn't resort to such puts tons of time into exercise and eating right for health purpose, but even when she is at her perfect weight, she describes her body as looking like the aftermath of a battle and given the damage done to muscles, without surgery there is nothing she can do to change it. For those who grew up knowing that isn't a forever consequence, I can see drive to use the tools available.

The ones I have a hard time understanding the desire to go under the knife are the teens and young women and mothers who aren't repairing the attacks of time and I wonder if it is a little tweaking or a lot. I suppose if one has kids (plus busy weekends and nights with church duties) it cuts into hours one can spend at a gym so shortcuts are sought. It would be nice to know the percentage all of those to compare it to other culture groups in the US. (the who, what and why)

Both my husband and I have had plastic surgery work...neither for cosmetic purposes though.

I wonder with the high number of doctors here if the price is much cheaper and if so how many out of towners come in to get stuff done. Iirc, one plastic surgeon actually specialises in migraine surgery.

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The perfectionism chunk seemed like a stretch. Or at least not fully linked to what's really the problem.....it's idealizing the human form and assuming what is considered presentable to the public can be excessive. I knew someone (with really low esteem) who was taught that you don't leave the house without make-up and many I've met will go to events that will leave them gross (like hiking), with at least minimal makeup. On that same note, I also don't see a ton of love for natural beauty here. People here are make-up fiends and most dye their hair. Minus the tattoos, everything is pretty free game on the non-intrusive enhancements. And it's not just the young ones, I was surprised to hear older ladies  (50+) talk about permanent color to their lips/eyes. I don't think this is much about perfectionism.....I doubt most of these women getting breast augmentations believe those are something that'll carry over in the next life. I think it's more an endemic cultural over-focus on the body with a homogeneity to what is the ideal. The ideal female for many a utahn that I can tell is youthful, thin/fit and preferably blonde hair. 

 

Some of it, could simply be feeding off of most women wishing for this or that feature to change about themselves....all the time. I have very curly long brown hair that I love and that I will usually get a compliment or two about on any given day. Here, the most common tag-on compliments are: gosh I wish I had your curls or do you like your hair, most curly girls don't. A couple just assume that I don't like my head of hair and will say something similar but with a sad tone of, she probably doesn't even know how good she has it. Either way, there is an assumption of dislike or dissatisfaction with one's body that we assume is just the norm....even when we're complimenting someone. Which is crazy if we really think about it. I couldn't imagine going up to someone with a beautiful fair complexion and saying gosh I wish I was as white as you. But it's okay to say that about one's own hair/eyes/shape/etc?

 

Enjoying differences as beautiful and seeing one's own differences as beautiful sometimes seems to fall short here. And maybe that's where perfectionism can come in. The perfect look is relatively the same.

 

I also think that there's a big chunk of plastic surgery that deals with young moms having lots of kids in a row. The plastic surgery would be less about changing this or that, but getting back to what their bodies used to be. 

 

As for the boobs....I have no idea. Probably back to the idealism of the human form...maybe age.... who knows? Just wild speculation on that one.

 

With luv,

BD

 

EDIT: technically I've had plastic surgery.....my belly button is fake. 

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Im not sure what to think. I dont know that the Lord has said anything specifically against it. I also don't know that it's a way to treat our temples.

 

Part of the gospel is to beautify the world and ourselves. Not for vanities sake though. I tend to think we are supposed to focus more on the inward than the outward. But does that mean we shouldnt be the best we can physically as well? I don't know.

 

I think what we should be concerned abou most is if we are making ourselves beautiful to make up for ugly insides. That seems like hypocrisy to me.

 

I think it's probably between us and the Lord. He holds all men and women accountable.

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I have seen the ads while driving through Utah. I suppose we should not assume that everything Utah is automatically Mormon. My experience tells me that different things can bother people about their appearance. In other words it is not the same for every one. My Sister-in-law would like augmentation because she is kind of well, as she says flat. I try not to really notice. My wife had breast reduction because of the opposite problem and I know that she is very happy that she did. She is much more comfortable.

Finally, Salt Lake is quite a cosmopolitan area. Also, perhaps Mormons have vices that are more acceptable to us. Maybe medical things are one of those vices as well as a touch of pefectionism/ocd.

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Im not sure what to think. I dont know that the Lord has said anything specifically against it. I also don't know that it's a way to treat our temples.

Elder Holland, October 2005:

"In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world.

And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children."

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Elder Holland, October 2005:

"In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world.

And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children."

 

On the other hand, when a group of men were decrying the increased use of cosmetics, J. Golden Kimball reportedly said:  “you paint your barns, don’t you.  I think your wife is entitled to at least as much consideration as your barn.”
 
That said, I would consider it to be evidence of a serious character flaw, if a woman’s motive for augmentation surgery was to become more attractive to me.  Not her character flaw, but mine.  
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Maybe this is why some LDS women, or ex LDS women are being photographed in the nude. They are showing sagging breasts, cottage cheese thighs, belly rolls. They are pretty much saying, it's not what's on the outside that counts. I now see why they did that, though I still don't like it, I'm worried that it's on the internet and how it might hurt their familes, or children. Their friends making fun of them for what their mothers did. But I need to give them credit, very brave. Out there though.

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Elder Holland, October 2005:

"In terms of preoccupation with self and a fixation on the physical, this is more than social insanity; it is spiritually destructive, and it accounts for much of the unhappiness women, including young women, face in the modern world.

And if adults are preoccupied with appearance—tucking and nipping and implanting and remodeling everything that can be remodeled—those pressures and anxieties will certainly seep through to children."

 

I stand corrected.

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It's not just a Utah Mormon thing. Most of the SoCal wards I've been in have had many "enhanced" women.

The funny thing is I'm awful at telling when a woman has been altered, so I'm usually surprised when my wife mentions that so-and-so has been surgically plussed (not that it's a frequent topic of conversation).

In one ward, there was a woman who was in her late 30's and had what we assume is her last child. About a year later, she got up to bear her testimony and it was like "Wow!" She must have gone from an A to D-D. I just looked at my wife and said "Wow. Even I can tell this time."

 

I, for one, think it would be great if the culture of the church changed to such a degree that Mormons became known as the people who didn't get cosmetic "enhancement" surgery.  If it were talked about as frequently as modest dress and behavior, and Mormon women (and men) internalized the message to such a degree that there was no desire for such procedures.

 

Perhaps one day opening a plastic surgery practice in Utah will make about as much sense as opening a Radio Shack in an Amish village.  I think that is a definite waypoint towards us becoming a "zion" people.

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On the other hand, when a group of men were decrying the increased use of cosmetics, J. Golden Kimball reportedly said:  “you paint your barns, don’t you.  I think your wife is entitled to at least as much consideration as your barn.”
 
That said, I would consider it to be evidence of a serious character flaw, if a woman’s motive for augmentation surgery was to become more attractive to me.  Not her character flaw, but mine.  

 

 

A woman of my acquaintance had augmentation surgery to improve her appearance, but not for her boyfriend, who seemed ambivalent.  After her first child had been born, the items in question had become flaccid and she hated how they looked (he told me).  She felt much better about herself after the augmentation.

 

I believe we men need to be non-judgmental about such issues, in any case.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The body/temple metaphor is interesting as long as it takes into account that our temples are never allowed to degrade. They are always remodeled over time.

Why, Katherine! :huh:

 

;):D

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We just took a road trip to Utah from the east coast, saw lots of billboards of all sorts along the way. But it wasn't until Utah that we saw these kinds of billboards.

Made us wonder what on earth was going on...

It does make one wonder how an appeal to "idolatry-of-self" could be successful.

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OK, so my pet peeve is mothers who have their pre-teen daughters involved in beauty pageants.

 

 If you want to beautify yourself, fine!  But leave your ten year olds alone to grow up normally and stop living your life thru them.

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  • 3 weeks later...

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