With the readiness of breast and calf implants, many body builders are starting to wonder how ethical it is to have cosmetic surgery. In addition to risks, some detractors site fairness as a reason not to have cosmetic surgeries. Despite the questionable ethics, many fitness enthusiasts are choosing to go under the knife in their quest for success.
Breast Augmentation for Balance
As athletes age, their body modifies. Some of these individuals are choosing to have breast augmentation to enhance their competition and to improve their body image. For image-conscious athletes, the loss of breast size over time can impact their self-image. As women undergo intense physical training, it can cause the breast volume to decrease while the musculature increases. To enhance balance, breast enlargement can increase the overall proportions of the body. It also is used to remedy discrepancies between breast sizes.
Ethics and Cosmetic Surgery
Currently, there is a lot of debate about the fairness of using cosmetic surgery for body builders. Some individuals have chosen to walk a fine line between both options. According to these competitors, minor surgical changes are permissible as long as they do not change how the athlete is judged. Individuals have a right to improve their body image and self-esteem. The issue is when competitors step into the competitive arena.
In recent years, there have been developments in cosmetic surgery that step beyond restoring a natural shape. There are body implants for pectoral muscles, calves and deltoids. For most athletes, these changes cross the line of what is acceptable. Bodybuilders typically work for years to develop the best physical and muscular physique. When someone buys implants, they are skipping the training process and advertising an image that is not theirs. Couch potatoes and sedentary individuals should not be able to purchase a physique because it detracts from the competitors who have put in years of work to achieve their goals.
Performance Enhancing Drugs
Most sports outlaw performance enhancing drugs. With bodybuilding, cosmetic surgeries are essentially a performance enhancing drug. If a procedure pushes an individual past the boundaries of their genetics, it should not be allowed in body building. The one exception to this is facial surgeries or other cosmetic procedures that are only intended to help the individual’s self-esteem. If someone wants to have a face lift, it is permissible because that will not affect how they perform competitively.
For women, breast implants are occasionally permissible. If the female is undergoing breast reconstruction after breast cancer, surgery is an accepted possibility. Other women may want to have breast augmentation to make up for the cup size they lost by competing. As long as the intent is not to enhance their competitiveness, this is ethically sound. Any competitor should carefully consider the reason for undergoing cosmetic surgery before they do it. If they are doing it for reasons that are not related to cosmetic surgeries, then it should not be an issue.