I’m sure a lot of you, if you’re like me anyway, and have celebrity gossip websites lining your Mozilla tool bar, have heard about the passing of Donda West, Kanye West’s mother. It is very, very sad.

I’ve read several different accounts of what happened, but the official statements released by Kanye’s representatives only confirm her death.

However, it is rumored that she had undergone plastic surgery recently, and her death was caused by resulting complications. This same source also reports that she was having a breast reduction and a tummy tuck, and that these procedures were denied to her by a doctor because the operation could turn fatal due to a health condition she had. The source says she went ahead with the surgery anyway.

These are all, of course, rumors. But if there is any truth, the truth is it’s absolutely tragic.

And this tragedy does not end with Donda West. Hollywood is filled with celebrities who have things nipped and tucked like they’re going on lunch dates. Men, women, teenagers… it seems like the worst thing in the world these days is to be changed physically by the biological clock. Just about every day I read an article somewhere about so and so having a little work done, and often times the after picture looks even worse than the before! (cough, Ashlee Simpson, cough)

And it doesn’t stop with the celebrities. I know a girl who got rhinoplasty for a high school graduation gift. What happened to money, dorm trinkets, or in the very Laguna-Beach-esque manner, a car? What is that saying, congratulations on making it through high school, now please, go have your nose broken?

I personally cannot imagine feeling so disgusted with any part of my body that I would willingly go under the knife to fix just for the sake of cosmetics.

In fact, in a week I have to get my wisdom teeth removed and I am absolutely terrified. How is it that people can go have much more invasive cosmetic surgery and I cant even stomach being sedated for 30 minutes to have my teeth removed? I just don’t get it.

Why is it so unnatural to age? Aging can be beautiful. It shows wisdom and experience. Why would you want to wipe that away with a face lift?

I’m not saying all plastic surgery disturbs me. One of my very good friends was born with a cleft-lip and palate, and had surgery when she was young to correct it because untreated, she could have had many complications as she got older. Surgeries that have UTILITY are a very different case than someone who just wants to see the end of crows feet or have the one-too-many-nights of Buffalo Wild Wings sucked out of his or her thighs.

Essentially my advice to you is this: love who you are. Sure, we all have things we’d like to change about ourselves, but is it really worth risking your life?

By Kelly Thore