What could you do with 16 billion dollars? Help with hurricane relief efforts? Use it to help eradicate disease or famine?

It’s a considerable amount of money and could be used in a number of ways to help people in need.

In contrast, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent more than 16 billion dollars in 2016 on cosmetic surgery.

Is this money well spent? If it is used for reconstructive purposes to repair damage caused by injury or disease, then certainly I would say its money well spent. If going under the knife is what you think will boost your confidence, I believe there are far better and less expensive alternatives.

However, confidence is what plastic surgeons try to sell you — as if confidence was a byproduct of your appearance.

Their ads prey on your insecurity and offer you a quick fix to feel better about yourself. You see the “before and after” pictures where before the woman looks sad and depressed … and after the physical alteration, she is seen smiling with confidence.

So, why not do without the alteration and just put on the smile

Unfortunately, we live in a culture that is obsessed with beauty perfection. There are television commercials selling all kinds of products to give you fabulous makeup, shinier hair, thinner thighs, clearer skin and of course the plastic surgeons who can physically alter your appearance to fit the ideal beauty perfection.

The implicit message is: You’re not good enough as you are, so let’s renovate you.

All these products and procedures give the illusion they will improve your life. But with all of this to improve your life, why are there just as many commercials targeting women for antidepressants? Why are so many women suffering from eating disorders?

If happiness can be found in a skin cream or an office procedure, then why aren’t people happy?

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but is how you appear on the outside a true reflection of how you feel about yourself on the inside?

Or is all the stuff you put on or have surgically-altered just masking a deeper sense of insecurity? After all, If you’re getting cosmetic surgery done to boost your confidence, it’s not real confidence.

It’s conditional confidence.