While most Americans are fighting for better health care services and affordable health insurance coverage, there are some who are fighting a different battle. It all comes down to perspectives. What is important for you may not be important to the other person. And while all of us value the importance of a healthy mind and body, there are those who put equal importance to their aesthetics.
The field of cosmetic medicine has been flourishing for years now because the demand for it is growing. The aging of the baby boomers resulted to the rise of cosmetic medicine clinics to help this generation combat or delay the signs of aging.
Not only has the number of consumers who want to have cosmetic surgery doubled since 2013, but the top four treatments they want to have are all technology based, including energy for skin tightening, laser and light for skin imperfections, body sculpting and laser hair removal. That’s according to survey results released this week by The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS).
The ASDS reports that they conducted a blind online survey April, 20, 2016 to May 1, 2016 using Survanta, a web-based service. They received a total of 7,322 responses. This is what they found:
Ranking highest are treatments to tighten skin or smooth wrinkles using ultrasound, laser, light or radiofrequency at 60%. Laser and light treatments come in second (51%), with body sculpting (50%) and laser hair removal (48%) in the third and fourth spot.
Why do people want to get anything done in their bodies in the first place? Well, the answer probably lies in their satisfaction to their body image. As we age, our body changes too – not always for the better, though. And as such, people who can afford to undergo cosmetic surgery do so to improve their appearance. But just like with any other procedure, especially the invasive ones, there are risks involved.
The popularity of social media also gave rise to insecure men and women who compare themselves and their lives to the stars that they follow. Thus, many also want to have pouting lips like Kylie Jenner or the hourglass figure of Kim K. among others. These are unrealistic expectations that are impossible to do on your own (even with the help of makeup) but may be achieved with the help of say, plastic surgery. But it is an addiction that is unlike any other.
The cosmetic surgery boom is being fuelled by our insatiable appetite for looking good and staying youthful, as well as the proliferation of technological advancements and less invasive alternatives to full cosmetic surgery. Just check out the images of Kim Kardashian’s vampire facial, Kylie Jenner’s lip fillers, Brazilian butt lifts or breast enhancements on Instagram and Snapchat if you want to know what’s trending.
According to the latest figures from IMCAS, the International Master Course on Ageing Skin, Europe’s cosmetic market is growing at a rate of 6 per cent a year across all segments. By comparison, the United States shows 7 per cent annual growth, Latin America is almost 9 per cent and the Asia-Pacific region has the highest growth of more than 13 per cent.
The public’s perception towards it has significantly changed as well.
“The cosmetic sector has seen a 300 per cent rise in popularity over the last decade with one in ten procedures being non-surgical. This is a result of improvements in safety, efficacy and reduction in downtimes, and is further fuelled by heightened media exposure and celebrity endorsements which have removed some of the stigma attached to ‘having work done’. But this rapid growth has undoubtedly exceeded the improvements in regulation of the industry which should go hand in hand,” warns Rajiv Grover, London plastic surgeon and former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
The number of unqualified cosmetic doctors has also increased as the demand for their services grows as well as the use of untested technologies and materials continues to be a health threat others just shrug off in their quest to achieve perfection.
According to Dr. Constantino G. Mendieta, chairman of the Media Committee of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons: “It’s about time we started demanding more of claims made by industry. The marketing machine behind new treatments and products is driving consumers to ask surgeons to offer many procedures that have not been proven or may not have enough research behind them to substantiate claims.
“Surgeons are often driven by this demand fearing they may miss the next greatest thing since sliced bread, forcing them to jump into technology that may not be proven only to realise the results don’t accomplish what was claimed. We welcome setting standards and having more research prior to mass marketing.”
In the end, it is still up to you if you opt to get something done in your body – invasive or not. As long as you are aware of the risks involved, what the process will entail, and how much it will cost, you are a consenting adult who agrees to subject your body to these elective medical procedures at your own risk.
Do not let society tell you what a positive body image should look like. As long as you are healthy and feel comfortable in your own skin, that is all that matters.