It has been proved convincingly that plastic surgery raises self esteem. It also sounds logical. You don’t like your small breasts, get implants, and now you are a woman with big breasts. Obviously you feel good about yourself.
But is the converse true?
Do people who have plastic surgery have low self esteem? Only sometimes, according to a new study in the journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. “This study shows the majority of people who want plastic surgery have a normal level of body satisfaction,” said Richard D’Amico, MD. “We use the term ‘look as good as you feel’ often and it is good to know this is why the average plastic surgery patient has a cosmetic procedure. They are not, in fact, suffering from low or poor self-esteem.”
Individuals who frequently monitored their appearance were more likely to report an interest in cosmetic procedures than those who paid less attention to their looks. This suggests a strong investment in one’s appearance may motivate individuals to consider plastic surgery.
While men and women’s interest in cosmetic plastic surgery did not generally differ based on their relationship status, an exception was seen in older women. Single and married women aged 56 to 65 were less interested in cosmetic procedures than dating or cohabitating women of the same age. Contrary to popular belief, older people did not have a higher desire for plastic surgery. Instead, a similar percentage reported interest across all age groups for both women and men.
Things are a little different, though, for people having liposuction. These patients did report lower body satisfaction than other individuals. This was true for both men and women, even when statistically controlling for differences in body mass index (BMI) between the groups. People with a higher BMI and those who felt they were too heavy were more likely to express an interest in liposuction than those who were satisfied with their weight. This may indicate a belief that liposuction is for weight loss rather than body contouring.
“It is critical to remember that liposuction is not appropriate for weight loss,” said Dr. D’Amico. “Liposuction is ideal for people who are at or near their ideal body weight, and have stubborn, localized deposits of fat they want removed.”