Plastic Surgery & The Media
Does the media glorify plastic surgery Does the media have a positive or negative impact on this medical specialty Does it exploit the procedures that celebrities have to sell copy Is the general public influenced by the press to have cosmetic surgery that they may not need Is our fascination with... | Read More
Does the media glorify plastic surgery? Does the media have a positive or negative impact on this medical specialty? Does it exploit the procedures that celebrities have to sell copy? Is the general public influenced by the press to have cosmetic surgery that they may not need? Is our fascination with celebrity body modification healthy?
These questions revolve around a unique field in which most of the procedures are elective. Unlike other surgeries, men and women, and sometimes, the youth volunteer to have plastic surgery. They willingly submit to anesthetic, surgery, and often lengthy recoveries for the sole purpose of transforming their physical appearance.
This is not to say that all plastic surgery procedures are performed for vanity. Plastic surgeons perform reconstructive surgery on cancer survivors, accident victims, and people with congenital disabilities with exceptional results, giving them new hope for healthy lives.
However, the question remains: Are we electing to cosmetic procedures that we may not need — in the hopes of achieving beauty and happiness — due to societal and media pressure?
The Media’s Role
We asked our chief of plastic, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgery here at Memorial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Patrick Hsu, if he thinks the media influences people to consider elective plastic surgery.
“There is no doubt that the media, especially online, influences people’s options, not just in the area of plastic surgery, but in virtually every facet of our lives,” Dr. Hsu told us.
“It stands to reason that the greatest source of information ever, one that is literally at our fingertips, will shape our choices and impressions, including what is perceived as beautiful, as well as negative body image. People also tend to want to imitate the people that they admire most — their heroes if you will — and in modern society, the people that we follow and strive to emulate are movie stars and sports figures.
“If we see that these individuals have procedures such as liposuction, for example, to enhance their appearance, it follows that we would like to do the same. Just remember that healthy well-adjusted people are often unhappy with some aspect of their appearance, so the seed is already planted for the most part.”
The doctor went on to say that while he has seen positive growth in his industry, he doesn’t believe it is an unhealthy result of the media’s influence. He believes that the media has functioned to make people aware that they have options for their appearance and that plastic surgery is accessible to everyone — not just the rich and famous.
Reality shows and gossip magazines have certainly brought an awareness of cosmetic procedures. However, society also plays a role.
The struggle for employment has led to an upsurge in facial procedures for older people competing with younger people for work. Some women feel that they would be more attractive to the opposite sex if they had breast augmentation. There is certainly motivation for physical enhancement.
Is it the media’s fault? Not altogether, but it does have an influence, good or bad.
*This blog is created and maintained for informational purposes only. The images present may not accurately reflect actual cases per individual. Individual cases are unique, and the descriptions and solutions will vary per patient.