Could a Facelift Boost Your Career?

Amy Capetta
Going under the knife for a facelift may make you look more successful, younger, and healthier, according to a new study. (Photo: Getty Images)
Going under the knife for a facelift may make you look more successful, younger, and healthier, according to a new study. (Photo: Getty Images)

The hefty price that some women pay for beauty may be worth it after all — especially when it comes to their careers.

A March 2017 study published in the journal JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery focused on the impressions others had of women both before and after undergoing a facelift. In order to assess perceptions of four different criteria — age, attractiveness, success, and health — investigators conducted an online survey and showed the volunteers photos of 13 women (faces only) without indicating if the pictures were taken before or after having “optimal” (aka top-notch) cosmetic surgery.

According to the results from the 483 highly educated male and female participants — nearly 60 percent had a four-year college degree and almost one-third had a master’s or doctoral degree — the women who had gone under the knife were perceived as more successful, younger, more attractive, and healthier.

The study authors stated that the number of cosmetic procedures in the U.S. has increased by 17 percent from 2011 to 2015. And among cosmetic procedures, facelift surgery remains one of the most common facial cosmetic operations performed.

“We were not surprised [by these results] because we, as experts, believed that a facelift caused measurable changes in the appearance of the patients undergoing it,” Lisa Ishii, MD, associate professor of otolaryngology at Johns Hopkins Medicine and co-author of the study, tells Yahoo Beauty. “This is the first study to measure the impact in an objective way that patients can relate to when they are considering whether or not the procedure is worth it to them.”

The words “facelift” and “plastic surgery” can carry a negative connotation since some people deem cosmetic surgery a superficial fix. But Ishii explains that there are benefits to these procedures.

“Patients undergoing facelift who feel better about their own appearance — and are aware that lay observers have a more positive image of them — have more confidence and energy to approach all aspects of their life,” she states. “They may experience tangible benefits, such as professional success based on colleagues perceiving them as more able.”

It should be noted that this research solely concentrated on how others perceived women’s appearances after plastic surgery. However, Ishii points out, an investigation is underway that will examine how females feel about their refreshed look.

“Patients seeking facial rejuvenation procedures are concerned about two things,” Ishii says. “One, their own self-perception when they look in the mirror. And two, the perception of lay people who encounter them socially in society. We are collecting data to see how those two correlate.”

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