Keeping up with Kim Kardashian and the reality TV star’s looks turned fatal for 34-year-old Christina Ashten Gourkani, known as Ashten G. She recently died at a California hospital reportedly after a sudden cardiac which followed a latest cosmetic surgery to fulfil her obsession about being a celebrity lookalike.
Over the years, people have gone under the knife to look like celebrities. A few years ago, it was reported that an aspiring actor Nicholas Ryan shelled out a lot of money on Botox and filler injections just to look like Hollywood star Ryan Gosling. With the hope of looking like singer Britney Spears, a woman named Crystal had also reportedly gone for lip injections, rhinoplasty and fat grafts in her cheeks. There have been more cases, but Gourkani’s death has raises curiousity around the cosmetic surgery and body image.
Health Shots contacted Dr Rashmi Taneja, Director, Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Vasant Kunj, New Delhi, and Gurugram-based clinical psychologist Aishwarya Raj to know about cosmetic surgery and people’s obsession to look like their favourite celebrity.
What is cosmetic surgery?
It is surgery that a person chooses to have to improve their aesthetic appearance rather than a surgery done for medical reasons. Any surgery has to be performed taking into mind the duration under anesthesia, the underlying health status of the person undergoing the procedure and the risks associated with the surgery in particular.
Celebrity-inspired cosmetic surgery
When a person seeking cosmetic surgery comes to a plastic surgeon asking to look like a celebrity, that is when the experience and training of a plastic surgeon is most important, says Dr Taneja. A well-trained and experienced surgeon is able to gauge who is an appropriate candidate for cosmetic surgery and whether their goals are realistic and achievable. The surgeon can also explain to the person that cosmetic surgery is performed to enhance a person’s appearance and not try and drastically change it to look like someone else.
According to psychologist Aishwarya Raj, people who seek cosmetic surgery to look like celebrities, typically opt for it because they are unhappy with their own appearance and want to change it to resemble a celebrity they admire. She notes that cosmetic surgery to look like celebrities is frequently associated with body image. This urge to resemble a celebrity may be the result of a long-standing insecurity or low self-esteem, which may be made worse by societal expectations to meet predetermined beauty standards.
Side effects of poor body image
Poor body image can have several negative effects on a person’s mental and physical health. Here are some of the side effects:
1. Low self-esteem
Poor body image can lead to low self-esteem, which can impact various aspects of a person’s life, including their relationships, career, and overall well-being, says Raj.
2. Mental health problems
Body dissatisfaction can also contribute to the development of mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and eating disorders.
3. Risky behaviour
Some people with poor body image may engage in risky behaviour, such as extreme dieting, excessive exercise, or substance abuse, in an attempt to change their appearance.
4. Social isolation
People with poor body image may avoid social situations or activities they enjoy due to feelings of self-consciousness or shame about their appearance.
5. Health problems
In extreme cases, poor body image can lead to serious health problems such as malnutrition, organ damage, and even death, says Raj.
Things to keep in mind before going for cosmetic surgery
Cosmetic surgery is not evil, but anything done in extreme is not good. For a safe cosmetic surgery, Dr Taneja says that prior to it, the cosmetic surgeon and anesthesiologist usually go over all the medical and surgical history of the person to ascertain any health issues that would impact anesthesia and surgery. Those who are undergoing the surgery are advised to avoid supplements that can increase the risk of bleeding during the procedure. The person also needs to stop smoking. If a person plans to undergo body contouring, they should be at a stable body weight.
As for recovery after a cosmetic surgery, the person needs to avoid heavy exercise, smoking or chewing tobacco and nicotine. They need to ensure that they are consuming adequate fluids and nutrition. They are advised not to just be in bed. It is important to be ambulatory and do activities of daily living and light exercises to prevent complications like deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Getting celeb-inspired cosmetic surgery may get you attention for some time, but remember that it will just be temporary!