Those are the words consistently you’ll hear when you watch a very addictive show titled, Nip/Tuck. It centers around two plastic surgeons who are in business together, Christian Troy and Sean McNamara where in each episode centers around this one patient that is crucial to the storyline. Now, ask yourself: What do you think about plastic surgery? Are you for it, against it, do you think it helps or destroy people? Now, think about what other people think about plastic surgery. Do you think they will have the same viewpoint or outlook as you do? Most likely, they will not. What we know is that people have different opinions on everything and most of the time, we will not agree with each other as we see something different than what they see. It happens all around us, to everyone we come across and it is something we possibly cannot avoid in the future.
Imagine yourself sitting in front of Drs. Troy and McNamara as you present why you should get the plastic surgery whether it is because of a deformation or you want to get those wrinkles tightened. The doctors tell you that the surgery isn’t realistic or not needed, but you think otherwise. They have a different viewpoint on your choice than you do. I read on a website that suggested people be honest with themselves while considering surgery. Also, one of the most popular health care insurances, Medicare, doesn’t cover plastic surgery unless of an injury or a deformation. Now, this is what intrigued me on the show and caused this post to be made. Dr. McNamara thinks of the plastic surgery business as helping people and to provide for his family while Dr. Troy sees the business as a cash cow to afford his lifestyle. You can clearly see the difference between the two doctors and their view on their business. My Mother and I had a debate when we first watched Nip/Tuck on our thoughts about plastic surgery. Her thoughts were that she thinks it is wrong that people should embrace their flaws and only get it if it would help them. Of course, I felt the opposite. What exactly is going on here?
In Em Griffin’s textbook, Communication: A First Look at Communication Theory, he mentions Standpoint Theory. He often refers to two standpoint theorists, Sandra Harding and Julia Wood. Harding and Wood explain Standpoint Theory as being social groups that we are in where we shape what we experience and understand and communicate with ourselves, other people and the world in its’ entirety. Basically, we all have a perspective or a position on many things, ideas, choices, etc. in life and others may or may not agree with us on the matter. As in the Nip/Tuck example, the two doctors have a different opinion and perspective from each other on their plastic surgery business that they have together. In a study done by Maria Teresa Munoz Sastre, Paul Sorum and Etienne Mullet, titled Breaking Bad News: The Patient’s Viewpoint, 245 medical patients were judged on their acceptance of hearing “bad news”. The results show that each doctor had given out the bad news in a different way and how each patient responded to it differently. Some accepted it more so than others. This is a great example of a Standpoint. Harding also describes Standpoint as being taken place when people speak from one perspective can give a more objective view than the other side.
At the end, how will you see yourself, others or even the world the next time you encounter such a situation? Will you get mad at someone for not agreeing with you or will you understand that people will have a different opinion than you do? I have a feeling that I will be more understanding the next time someone disagrees with me on something. Understanding that people having different views or perspective on things will not damage communication, but strengthen it. You can gain so much perspective and information on life if you do. We need different standpoints in this world to make the world go around, not money. Although, money is on my list.