Does Media Have a Role In Rise of Plastic Surgery?

In 2014, liposuction became the number one most performed surgery in the United States with projected number of 363,912 procedures performed , which is up 16% compared to last year, nationwide according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). It’s not only liposuction that saw an increase in number of procedures performed, other top five surgical procedures saw an increase anywhere between 2 to 5 percent. One of the interviewees, President of ASAPS, asserts that this is not a surprising news citing advances in technology, less-invasive procedures, accessibility and rebounding economy as major factors in why plastic surgery has been seeing so much increase.

It’s hard to argue against raw numbers and say plastic surgery has not grown since recession. Even if the article is from a society that specializes in plastic surgery, the article has methods they used to estimate projected data at the bottom and going as far as to state that they have worked with independent research firm in compiling the data. There’s no denying that plastic surgery has seen a rapid increase. However, the article does not mention any type of plastic surgery that declined in popularity. Thus, unless every type of plastic surgery has increased in number of procedures, readers should take note of the fact.

According to Newsweek’s article Plastic Surgery Is More Popular Than Ever, plastic surgery business has been growing steadily since the 2008 recession while money spent on necessities, food, clothes, housing, have declined between 2009 and 2010. The article gives credit to the industry’s aggressive marketing for driving the rise of plastic surgery. Discounted liposuction through Groupon and Botox party is one thing but the article also mentions media’s role in the trend. The article specifically mentions sitcom stars and actresses with surgery enhanced lips and cheekbones. The industry has aesthetic-marketing strategist who consults doctors on how to best advertise their service.

To the question presented in the title, my answer would be yes. There’s been undoubtedly huge influence on plastic surgery business and media. I agree that there have been a lot of TV personalities who went through plastic surgery and that even people who proclaim to not endorse plastic surgery only give more media spotlight to it than take it away. I’m also surprised that the article didn’t touch on how media portrays certain body images to be more desirable, leading people to hold conviction that they have to look certain way. The article does mention a study conducted by YMCA that showed quarter of kids age 11 to 16 considered plastic surgery.

S. Lee


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