Using your completed assignment (attached) and the three scholarly resources you selected, transform your ideas into a complete 1,000-1,250 word draft. Should focus on a controversial topic involving a cultural identifier and the implications for K-12 public education.
Address the following
Describe the cultural identifier and why you chose it. Explain your connection to your choice of cultural identifiers.
Summarize the key historical events that have significantly affected your specific cultural identifier.
Summarize the topic in context of K-12 education, including the related cultural identifier and any associated controversies.
Identify current opinions for the controversial argument, including at least one supporting and one opposing.
Describe how this controversial issue could affect your future teaching practices and how it could affect your future students.
Summarize related policies or methods that have been implemented in schools as a solution to the controversial issue.
Running head: CULTURAL IDENTIFIER
Plastic/cosmetic surgery for teenagers
Plastic surgery focuses on treating body parts that have been functionally or aesthetically affected by tumors, infection, trauma, disease, etc., while cosmetic surgery improves or reshapes parts of the body. All these procedures constitute one of the many ways in which individuals can change and modify the appearance they present to others.
I chose this cultural identifier because it is an issue that has affected many teenagers, especially girls. This has particularly been fueled by the media via social media influencers and celebrities. As teenagers, we sometimes feel pressured to look a certain way because a particular body image has been painted to look ideal. Therefore, since most of us cannot change our outward appearance by natural means like physical exercises and healthy eating, we opt for plastic or cosmetic surgery to get our desired body type. I have a strong connection to this cultural identifier because we are being molded to not appreciate how we were born and are instead shaped to fit into an unreal society. Every time I check my Instagram, Facebook and/or Snapchat posts, I am constantly reminded about what I should change about my body.
In the past few decades, there has been an unbelievable increase in the number of adolescents undergoing cosmetic procedures. TV programs on plastic surgery have gradually created misconceptions concerning the benefits and risks of cosmetic procedures. Generally, the rising demand for cosmetic surgery among teenagers can be attributed to the increased disposable incomes, reduced stigma of cosmetic surgery, and portrayal by the media (Vojtíšková, 2017). What people regard as ideal appearance is historically and socially shaped and thus becomes evolving and dynamic. These ideas affect both what is considered as ‘beautiful’ and what is considered as ‘normal.’ Therefore, ideals about appearance that are usually dominant in a certain culture or subculture at a time apply pressure to those who wish to stand out and be admired for how they physically look and for the ones who want to just fit in.
Social justice should serve to promote equity and fairness across different aspects of society. For plastic/cosmetic surgery among youths, social justice should create and ensure adherence to policies and procedures that regulate the marketing, advertising, and delivery of these cosmetic procedures. For instance, they should prohibit marketers from taking advantage of consumer’s insecurities by intentionally implying that those procedures will solve their emotional or personal problems or enhance their current situation.
K-12 education depicts the American education system from kindergarten to the 12th grade. It shows the development of a child to an adult (Chatterji, 2018). Plastic/cosmetic surgery is a common phenomenon in the United States to correct some unattractive features that can act as sources of ridicule from other children. Generally, children influence each other on how they should look because of what they see in their surroundings, such as family, media, etc., and thus pressure other children in school to look the same way. These kinds of procedures on otherwise healthy children or adolescents with no defect or illness are controversial.
Some experts advise that only very essential surgery should be done on teenagers while the rest, such as injectable, should not be encouraged for certain reasons such as lack of research. Other people support these surgeries because they help adolescents gain self-esteem and confidence when their defects are corrected.
While teaching, it would be challenging to support or go against the topic. The best remedy would be to teach students to love and appreciate themselves just as they are. I would teach them to see beyond their physical appearance, and hopefully, when they are confronted with such an issue in the future, they will choose what is best for them.
There are no straightforward ways of stopping a teenager at school from getting surgery. However, some rules apply to doctors or surgeons performing the procedures that demand that the patients are entirely aware of what they want to get. Also, parental consent is required for underage students.
Chatterji, A. K. (2018). Innovation and American K–12 education. Innovation Policy and the Economy, 18(1), 27-51.
Vojtíšková, T. (2017). The South Korean Body Factory: Celebrity Culture, Mass Media and Cosmetic Surgery (Doctoral dissertation, Empire State College).
Lin, K. L. (2020). Body Image and Acceptance of Plastic Surgery among College Students in South Korea: Testing the Mediating Role of Filial Piety and Fear of Negative Evaluation (Doctoral dissertation, Miami University).
This study dives into how sociocultural factors such as the fear of negative evaluation influence body image and the acceptance of plastic surgery. The study was done in South Korea, where the plastic surgery industry is thriving. It was determined that poor body image was a driving force towards plastic surgery among students.
Khamseh, L. E., & Nodargahfard, M. (2020). The effect of cosmetic surgery on sexual self-esteem: attitudes toward body image and well-being in married women. World Journal of Plastic Surgery, 9(2), 153.
This study focuses on married women between 20 to 30 years of age before and after plastic surgery. The study determined that these women gained a higher sexual self-esteem, better body image, and improved well-being after surgery. This research is important because it provides a positive outlook to the topic.
Alwan, I. H., & Al-Ameri, M. H. I. (2019). Relating Body Image and Psychological Distress among Clients Seeking Cosmetic Surgery in Baghdad City. Indian Journal of Forensic Medicine CK Toxicology. April-June, 13(2).
This research explored the reasons behind people seeking cosmetic procedures. Some of the reasons could relate to why some children/young adults think having some form of cosmetic surgery will make them feel better about themselves. The authors concluded that these individuals had moderate to severe levels of body image and psychological distress. Moreover, the level of education directly correlates to someone’s body image and so does occupation to psychological distress.
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