Beauty has become one of the most valuable commodities in our society.
In a world of glossy magazine covers purporting to reveal true paradigms of perfection, scant consideration remains for reality. Instead, our appetite for a fictional parallel universe, in which Instagram models flex their startlingly chiselled physiques framed by the backdrop of some sun-soaked vista or another, is both voracious and unabating.
In such times, perhaps it should come as no surprise that some are willing to go to extraordinary lengths in a bid to outdo one another.
More poignantly, in a world where the lines between reality and fiction have become ever more blurry, are there any limits left on what people can – and will – do to their bodies in pursuit of some vision of perfection that they have manifested.
Of course, no one has the right to tell you what to do with your own body, and everyone has different ideas of how they would like to look and what they find desirable. For one 25-year-old – Luis Padron, from Argentina – a passion for fantasy has informed his desire to undergo numerous plastic surgeries to achieve his dream look.
Padron knew that he wanted to express his love of fantasy books and movies in a permanent way, and although he was often bullied when he was younger do to his preoccupation with all things fantasy.
Undeterred, Padron decided that he would undertake a series of plastic surgeries in a bid to transform himself into a “fairy elf”. Reportedly, Padron wasn’t even certain that all of the required surgery would leave him with the appearance of his dreams, but decided to press on regardless.
The first set of surgeries included Botox injections, jaw and cheek thinning operations, a skin-lightening procedure and the removal of all of the moles on his body. He will also have a procedure intended to change the colour of his irises.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, all of the surgery is far from cheap for the 25-year-old. In fact, he is spending a reported $5,000 a month on the work. The end result though, he insists, will be worth it.
“I want to be an elf, an angel, a fantasy. My goal is not to look like a man. I want to look elegant. I have my own beauty ideals and I want to be as close as possible, no matter what it costs.”
Though a rather extreme method of self-expression, Luis Padron is far from alone in his desire to dramatically alter his appearance. 24-year-old model Jennifer Pamplona from Sao Paolo, Brazil, has spent more than $180,000 on cosmetic surgery, with a princely $80,000 of that sum spent on her desire to recreate the appearance of her hero Kim Kardashian.
Since such procedures carry an inherent risk to the health of those who undergo them, spending thousands of dollars on countless surgeries seems a costly and highly risky pursuit.