Beyond the Mirror: Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty that lasts a Lifetime

Marion Simms
4 min readMar 20

Growing old is tough… especially on the ego. Just having to hold my book (or whatever I’m reading) out to see the fine prints or hearing myself grunt as I pick up something from the floor… I feel so old! The amount of food that I have always consumed now makes me fat. And when I look in the mirror, I seem to have grown a new wrinkle on my face. Ugh… it’s horrifying! What do I do now?

While none of us can prevent aging, there are a variety of options to ward off the more visible signs of growing old. Among the most popular, of course, is cosmetic surgery. We hear about how it maintains a youthful look and enhances appearance… on our social media feed, in magazines, and in television ads, and see the results on some of our friends and favorite celebrities. It’s so hard to keep up with the ever-changing looks of the Kardashians or remember how they looked before all the nips and tucks.

Cosmetic surgery has become synonymous with the quest for youth and beauty. It has spawned a new aesthetic of desirability and is driven by the need for social acceptance.

Historically, the field has, for centuries, been driven by medical necessity. During World War I, the sheer volume of patients with facial injuries and burns — coupled with advances in blood transfusions and infection control — allowed doctors to experiment with innovative new techniques. Skin grafts, bone grafts, facial reconstructions, and wound-stitching techniques all made dramatic leaps forward.

By the 1950s plastic surgery became more mainstream and by the 1990s, procedures in America grew tenfold into the area of cosmetic surgery. Institutes around the US were offering brow lifts, hair replacement surgery, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, collagen and fat injections, breast augmentation, tummy tucks, and face lifts. In 1994, there were nearly 400,00 esthetic surgeries performed, many on patients with family incomes under $50,000 a year.

New technology continues to drive the sector’s growth, with some 85% of these procedures (of which Botox and fillers are by far the most popular) considered “minimally invasive.” And in 2022, 15.5 million procedures were performed in the U.S. alone.

Marion Simms

I have been in the skin care industry for over 25 years as teacher, beauty therapist, lecturer, consultant, writer and business owner of Skin Sense Wellness.