Many bestselling women's magazines suggest that they are not wholly focused on aesthetic beauty and prefer to showcase articles about 'inner beauty' and building self-esteem without conforming to a beauty ideal, but researchers say there isn't much evidence behind those claims.
A recent study published in Women's Health Issues journal reports on the impact of women's magazines on emotional health of its readers. Since most magazines are filled with glossy pictures of the 'ideal beauty' and focused heavily on articles about cosmetics, health, fitness and skincare, the study found that many also show some support for cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures and present certain procedures in a very positive light.
In some cases, the magazines are downplaying many of the health risks involved with the procedure. Andrea Polonijo conducted the study as part of an undergraduate honors thesis at the University of British Columbia. According to a recent press release about the study,
"Magazines are communicating the physical risks of cosmetic surgery more than the emotional health risks," says Polonijo, noting that studies have found that emotional health issues such as anxiety and depression may arise or increase in women who undergo physically successful cosmetic surgery, regardless of their preoperative emotional state. Of the articles that mention emotional health, only 18 per cent suggest cosmetic surgery may be detrimental to emotional well-being, the study found."
In most cases, cosmetic surgery procedures are misrepresented enough to make women think that having surgery really isn't all that serious. Even though most plastic and cosmetic surgeons will conduct a thorough evaluation of the patient to make sure they are pursuing surgery for the right reasons, many women can simply walk into a medical spa or other surgery facility and sign up for a lineup of the latest procedures without any extensive inquiries.