Vatican condemns plastic surgery, calling it ‘aggression’ against women

(Crux) A new Vatican document expresses a negative view of elective plastic surgery for women, warning that procedures such as facelifts and tummy tucks can become a form of “aggression” that threatens female identity.

Surgical alterations in appearance, the document says, can “amputate the expressive possibilities of the human face, which are so connected to empathic abilities,” and “can be aggressive toward the feminine identity, showing a refusal of the body.”

The text suggests that elective plastic surgery may reflect the stress many women feel about their bodies, which sometimes result in “pathologies” such as eating disorders, depression, and dysmorphic disorders.

The skeptical note on plastic surgery is part of an analysis of challenges facing women today, both in society and in the Church, prepared by a panel of female consultants to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture.

The document is intended to serve as a discussion guide for the council’s upcoming Feb. 4-7 plenary assembly, which will be devoted to women’s issues. The council is led by Italian Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi.

The document concedes that despite abundant rhetoric on the importance of women, to date they have largely been excluded from leadership roles in the Church. [More]