Embracing our imperfections

March 29th, 2007

The front page of Sunday’s Plain Dealer featured a set of three-year-old twin girls from Romania who are conjoined at the head. If that front page picture doesn’t shock readers, I don’t know what will.

For those of you who didn’t read that story, the twins will be coming here to Cleveland to undergo several operations at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital so that they can be separated.

As I read this story, I was so amazed by the science of it.

They share parts of the brain and only one of the girls has kidneys, so in a way they share those too. I felt so sad for these girls and what they are about to go through.

But this story reminded me of one we are featuring this week in our own paper about plastic surgery. I know that the last thing people want to hear is another rant about body image, but right now, these two stories don’t really add up.

On one hand, two little girls are about to undergo a miracle procedure that they will hopefully survive from.

On the other hand, girls our age (and younger) are undergoing plastic surgery because the body they were given just isn’t perfect enough.

Every once in a while, I catch an episode of “Dr. 90210,” and each time I watch, I am disappointed by the people that come in for unnecessary breast implants, calf implants, or even worse, Brazilian butt augmentation.

Imagine being attached to your brother or sister at your heads, sharing part of your brain. Small breasts and a flat butt should be sounding pretty good right about now.

I will never understand why girls (or their parents who allow it) want to get breast implants as a high school or college graduation present. To be honest, I would bet a lot of money that they really don’t need them.

Rather than worrying about how imperfect your bodies are, take a minute and think about what these little girls are going through. They certainly aren’t alone either.

Think about the people who have had to have a limb amputated and are so far from perfect, but are so happy to be alive.

Or those who have been in terrible accidents and while they were lucky to walk away, are left with a distorted face as a souvenir. It’s for them that these operations should be reserved for.

Please remember that no one is perfect and that if you have everything intact and in the right place, you’re actually pretty lucky.