Writer calls for 'discussion not condemnation' in Cosmetic Surgery debate

Plastic surgeon drawing on face of womanA veteran Guardian columnist has become the latest woman to write about how she reconciles having had Cosmetic Surgery with her feminist principles. Angela Neustatter received widespread praise for her stance in an article in which she wrote: "Condemning individuals for decisions they take to compete in a culture they themselves didn't create is counter-productive and harmful".She was referring specifically to criticism faced by actress Julie Christie when it was revealed she had undergone a Face Lift to help her to compete for roles with younger counterparts and said that these comments had come to mind on reading of the across-the-board rise in Cosmetic Surgery procedures of 17 per cent between 2012 and 2013, reported yesterday by the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS). Neustatter revealed that she had gone public about her Blepharoplasty procedure "partly because so many feminists were tight-lipped about the procedures they had and I felt it to be important about the way I, as a feminist, deal with the human condition." She continued: "Those who choose the scalpel route are doing so to compete in a culture where youthful beauty is beamed at us as the most desirable thing there is." And she goes on to urge that dialogue and discussion are the best ways of tackling what she calls "the objectification and self-esteem issues" to which young women are especially prone. "We have to help them see the ways many of us have built rewarding lives without being drop-dead gorgeous," Neustatter writes.