Carolyn Mair on Advertisements for Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Practices

This is the second in a series of posts about whether advertisements for cosmetic surgery and other beauty practices should be banned. In this post, Carolyn Mair, Reader in Psychology at the London College of Fashion, gives her views. If you would like to contribute to this discussion please email your response to Jan Kandiyali.

Would you be in favour of banning all advertisements for non-invasive beauty treatments and/or cosmetic surgery?
No, but I would like to see this 'industry' regulated with referrals from professionals (psychologists/GPS etc.) being required.

If you are not in favour of banning all advertisements would you be in favour of banning some - for instance for certain types of procedures?
Yes, for treatments that are expected to produce results that can be achieved through other interventions (such as exercise/diet).

If so can you explain why for some and not all and how you would determine which should be advertised?
Treatments that could enhance quality of life, that cannot be achieved through other measures. Even so, referrals should come via a professional to counsel potential 'customers'.

Would you differentiate depending on where adverts were placed; for instance would you accept adverts in women's magazines where the intended audience is adult women, but not in public places where they would be seen by children?
Yes.

Alternatively do you think that any banning advertisements would be wrong and why?
Not wrong, but difficult to enforce.

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