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Showing posts from August, 2015

Fiona MacCallum on cosmetic surgery and body image

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This is the second in a series of posts about the complex relationship between cosmetic surgery and body imageHere Fiona MacCallum, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Warwick, and Co-Investigator of the Beauty Demands project, gives her thoughts. If you would like to contribute to this discussion please email your response to Jan Kandiyali.
Question: Cosmetic surgery is regarded by some as a 'quick fix' for more deep rooted problems of self-esteem and body-image. How far do you agree with this assessment of elective cosmetic surgery? If surgery is undertaken for reasons of self-esteem and/or body image do you think this is problematic?

There can be a range of motivations for requesting cosmetic surgery procedures. Dissatisfaction with body image is unsurprisingly a major driving force, and is often feature-specific, i.e. a potential rhinoplasty patient who is unhappy with their nose, rather than their general appearance. A recent review (…

Jean McHale on children, cosmetic surgery and perfectionism

In this post Jean McHale responds to an article in the Sunday Times entitled “Fill me In”, which reports on the rise of teenagers seeking access to cosmetic procedures. Jean is Professor of Health Care Law at Birmingham Law School, and Co-Investigator of the Beauty Demands project. 

On the 26th July 2015 the Sunday Times carried an article in their “Style” section titled "Fill me In" reporting on the rise of teenagers seeking access to lip fillers, botox and to more invasive cosmetic surgical procedures. The article highlighted the influence of media representations of appearance being particularly influential in this context. A notable example was that of the American Kylie Jenner. Pictures were shown illustrating the difference in her facial appearance through lip enhancement between the ages of 13 and 17. The rise in demand and access to such procedures by teenagers represents a worrying trend.

I have explored this in a recent paper I have written “Children, cosmetic s…