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Plastic Surgery Is Not Just about Looks and Beauty

Many members of the public view plastic surgery as a trifling subject reserved for the pretentious and vane.  The reality is that appearance and self esteem are concerns that affect us all.  The reality is, everyone’s life experience is unique, and how we feel about ourselves and how we look is important. The motivation to have cosmetic treatments or even undergo surgery can run way deeper than the stigma would have us believe but it can also be quite simple: Some people just want to. Lots of people, actually.

InStyle conducted a research study into women’s attitudes toward transformative beauty, and found no sign of this trend slowing down. People like the way they look and feel after having a procedure. They are interested in getting more. (In our survey of 2,100 women ages 18 to 74, 96% of users who’ve had prior procedures and 92% of prospective users shared that they’re open to procedures in the future, 68% feel like they need it, and 38% would consider a cosmetic surgery after doing a non-surgical beauty treatment.) Sometimes the only barrier is money (80% of users say they see this as a luxury) – and sometimes it’s shame.

While larger cities in the United States – NYC, LA, and Miami – are generally more accepting of new cultural norms, an anti-procedure stigma is alive and well throughout the country. And many still hold the idea that cosmetic treatments are vain, superficial, or only for people with low self-esteem.

This type of reaction is all too common – and experts say it leads many to be dishonest about the work they’ve had done, which perpetuates the ongoing circle of stigma.

Today, both plastic surgeons and dermatologists are open about the types of treatments and procedures they perform in-office. And our study found that among the women surveyed, in addition to Botox, 96% of users and 92% of prospects were most interested in facial treatments like Juvéderm, Kybella, and chemical peels, as well as body treatments like IPL laser, laser hair removal, and CoolSculpt – even if they choose not to be open about it (only 32% said they would discuss treatments with anyone who asks). But, still, those who have had treatments resoundingly have no regrets.

We like to believe we have complete control over our looks, and “getting work done” requires admitting that we don’t.

It’s really not just about looks.

One of the biggest misconceptions about plastic surgery that contributes directly to the stigma against it is the idea that it is purely cosmetic.  A mommy makeover after pregnancies can totally revitalize an individual and bring forth a sense of hope and improved self esteem for the future.  A breast augmentation after years of teasing by family, friends, and bullies can really change a patient’s perspective. Liposuction for a patient who could never achieve the physique she wanted despite years of diet and exercise offers possibilities that did not exist.