Since the dawn of the Plastic Surgery industry, Plastic Surgeons have made a business out of literally giving their patients less and less to hide. Whether it be performing a breast implant operation that made someone feel confident to wear form fitting shirts or a Rhinoplasty that inspired more picture sharing for someone who is online dating, for the most part those who have achieved a look they are satisfied with tend to assume spotlights more frequently.
However, this is quite the opposite for many when it concerns sharing the news that a cosmetic surgery is what boosted their confidence levels. There have been and still are a number of taboos surrounding plastic surgery. Recipients of these surgeries want to show off results, however more often than not they would like us to imagine these results materialized out of nowhere. They would prefer that everyone just forget all about what they looked like several months earlier.
Good news for Cosmetic Surgeons who may be tired of living in this closet. Recent statistics suggest that this past trend toward secrecy may reverse, due to sheer numbers of those who are undergoing cosmetic enhancements and as one source suggests, the lack of restrictions on advertising in the industry which has led to more frequent and potent ads for things like Breast Implants and Botox.
Cosmetic Surgery advertising was the recent topic du jour for a British publication, The Guardian in its discussion of the “normalization” of Plastic Surgery that seems to be occurring. They suggest that it may be both an increase in cosmetic surgery advertising as well as a shift in the tone of the advertising that are partly responsible. Content is now tending to mimic advertising in other established factions of the beauty industry, such as make-up or diet fads.
Recent industry advertising content plays upon notoriously prevalent female insecurities (90% of all Cosmetic Surgery is still undergone by females) like coping with postpartum birth weight or pleasing their male counterparts and securing more dates. It is also suggested that the ads attempt to create a sense of urgency in the mind of the viewer so that they may be less likely to consider surgery at a slower pace.
At the end of the day, The Guardian summarizes that this all comes together to create an unrealistic view of Plastic Surgery as “surgery”. People are starting to confuse running to the store to buy a new lipstick with running to their surgeon to have breast implants. Is this a fact? This is one perspective. However, of course there are others that exist and are valid.
Others may point to cultural perspectives. For example, amongst latin american women there has never been such a taboo. As one recent interviewee in a NY Times article about Ethnicity and Plastic Surgery states: “We latinas define ourselves with our bodies. We always have curves”. The Examiner presents a concurring view in its review of attitudes toward plastic surgery in Latin America, suggesting there is more stigma associated with not having surgery than there is with having had numbers of them. In Latin America stepping out quickly to see your surgeon has never been viewed as a potential issue, it is expected. Latina women would ask quite the opposite question of, “What’s all the fuss?!”.
We would be interested to learn more about different cultural and business or advertising related perspectives on the “normalization” of cosmetic procedures. Thoughts and opinions on this hot topic are perfect fodder for this week’s thoughts and reflections. Many people’s confidence and self-esteem levels have been raised considerably after undergoing a longed for cosmetic surgery. Regardless your level of comfortability with talking freely about Plastic Surgery, you still may be contemplating it. If you have been considering surgery, the first step is a consultation with a Board Certified Facial Plastic Surgeon with experience and a tacit understanding of aesthetics.
Thew New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/19/nyregion/19plastic.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0