Pressure to Be Beautiful Drives 'Drastic Plastic' Culture, Professor Says

It was once the arena for products and goods available in the consumer market, but plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures are quickly becoming household names and have turned into some of the most recognizable brands around the world.

BOTOX, VelaShape, and Restylane are just some of the 'hot' brands fueling the latest cosmetic surgery trends, and researchers such as Professor Elliott, a professor of sociology at Flinders University in South Australia, claim that the world is undergoing a dramatic shift towards a 'makeover culture.'

In his book, Making the Cut: How Cosmetic Surgical Culture is Transforming Our Lives, Professor Elliott explains that the increasing demand for cosmetic and plastic surgery is shaping the social and cultural values that drive our consumer culture.

Cosmetic Surgery Times puts the spotlight on this trend in its October issue:

Professor Elliott says that, at an international level, bodies today are pumped, pummeled, plucked, suctioned, stitched, shrunk and surgically augmented at an astonishing rate. At the core of this, he says, is a new economy that judges people less on their achievements, less of their records of success, and more and more on the willingness to adapt, to change, to transform themselves. "Plastic surgery provides the most seductive answer to the new socioeconomic dilemmas."

In addition to the media and fashion industry's portrayal of the 'ideal', Reality TV shows including Dr. 90210, Extreme Makeover and Nip Tuck also capture a fair share of attention from those who want to believe that the ultimate transformation can and does happen. It's another element of the 'drastic plastic' culture that is boosting profits for thousands of cosmetic and plastic surgery professionals around the globe.

Even with the downturn in the economy, people continue to flock to the most affordable treatment possible on their quest for perfection.  Medical spas and 'affordable' treatment such as BOTOX injections and microdermabrasion offer more people a chance to join the self-reinvention revolution.

People have become obsessed by the beauty ideal, and the human body has turned into a product that can be reshaped, reformed and sculpted to perfection.  The trend might explain why nearly $12 billion dollars were spent on cosmetic surgery services in 2007 alone, and the numbers for aesthetic cosmetic procedures are expected to reach epic proportions by 2015.

(Source: Cosmetic Surgery Times Magazine)

Further Reading

  • With bathing suit season right around the corner, plastic surgeons across the country are finding more women are booking up appointments for body contouring and breast augmentation procedures. Dr. Michael Niccole, founder and medical director of CosmetiCare Plastic Surgery Center and MedSpa in Newport Beach, and one of the “Top Plastic Surgeons in America”, reports that his appointment books are full, with a high demand for breast implants, skin tightening procedures and body contouring procedures to help women lose a few inches around the hips and thighs.

  • If you need a quick mini-makeover for the holidays and New Year countdown, simple and affordable cosmetic procedures such as laser hair removal and dermal fillers may be your best bets.

  • has recently released a fantastic plastic surgery cost infographic for both men and women. Why do people shell out so much money for plastic surgery? Well the answer obviously is to look better and feel wonderful about themselves. In addition, as I have written before, it is becoming the rising trend for job seekers as the job market becomes more and more competitive.