I'd never thought much about plastic surgery until 28 years ago, when my then 2-year-old son bit through an extension cord and burnt his mouth. Even though we had no insurance, my husband and I found a plastic surgeon who restored symmetry and proportion to our son's features. To have left our child's face distorted would have been unthinkable, and Christian friends supported our decision as parents.
Twenty years later, when I considered restoring symmetry and proportion to my body after a 70-pound weight loss, I received the opposite response among Christian friends; many questioned my motives and some my spiritual integrity. Cosmetic surgery was a pursuit of the vain and shallow, they told me, even though I desired the same restoration for myself that I had wanted for my son.
A seminary grad, I began investigating cosmetic surgery through a biblical lens, particularly a theology of beauty and the implications of cosmetic surgery in a postmodern, consumer-driven culture. I wrestled with ...1