More Women Are Having Cosmetic Surgery to Boost Confidence


That’s one sharp confidence booster. (Photo: Gallery Stock)

According to a recent survey conducted by Allergan, women who are open to aesthetic enhancement, such as injectable fillers to smooth away wrinkles, are taking the pricey plunge not only to boost their appearance but also to plump up their self-confidence.

In one of the largest research projects ever undertaken in medical aesthetics (“The Changing Face of Beauty: A Global Report”), pollsters tallied the opinions of nearly 8,000 women in 16 countries. A few of their key findings:

  • For women seeking aesthetic treatments, a desire to boost self-confidence (42 percent) is equally important as improving the look of sagging skin (42 percent).

  • Almost three-quarters (74 percent) of women make the effort to look good primarily for themselves. Partners (37 percent) and friends (15 percent) have less influence.

  • General “beautification” (63 percent) is a bigger motivator than addressing the signs of aging (50 percent), except in China, where changing or enhancing a specific feature was the key trigger for seeking beauty treatments.

  • 65 percent of women agree that facial fillers are more socially acceptable than they were five years ago.

“There has been a real change in attitudes in recent years,” said Mauricio de Maio, a plastic surgeon from Brazil, in a press release. “Today, it is what women feel about themselves that matters most to them. Although they are coming for aesthetic reasons, such as treating facial lines and folds, their real goal is to feel and look better.”

However, it’s imperative to point out that Allergan — the company behind the survey — is the maker of Juvéderm® facial fillers and Botox. Needless to say, they’re pro-plumping and anti-wrinkle.

But can fillers actually inject a dose of self-esteem? “While a new haircut or beauty treatment can provide a quick spark of happiness or confidence, it is not enough to truly improve our sense of happiness and emotional well-being.” Stacy Kaiser, psychotherapist and editor-at-large for Live Happy magazine, tells Yahoo Beauty.

She explains that feeling self-assured doesn’t stem from just one aspect of your reality, such as how wrinkle-free your face appears.

“True happiness, confidence, and self-esteem come from a combination of genetics — yes, some people truly are born happier — upbringing, and environmental factors, as well as practicing coping and happiness skills that are developed along the way,” says Kaiser. “In fact, research has backed up my 20 years of experience: Good-looking people and people who use more beauty tools or treatments to improve their happiness are not happier overall in their lives.”

So before you shell out thousands of dollars on the latest cosmetic trend, Kaiser suggests asking yourself three thought-provoking questions:

1. Who are you doing this for?

Doing it for yourself is one thing, but going under the knife or using injections to satisfy your partner or to keep up appearances with the women in your social circle will not make you glow from the inside out. If you’re doing it because of someone else, that can actually harm your self-esteem, Kaiser says.

2. Are there serious underlying psychological or emotional issues that have led to your decision?

For example, if you’ve been feeling stressed, depressed, or anxious, a costly semipermanent (or permanent) procedure will not melt the blues away. “A beauty treatment like [facial fillers] will not solve your problems, because there [may be] deeper underlying issues that need to be resolved through counseling or other medical resources,” Kaiser explains.

3. What are your expectations about how this will change your life?

Erasing laugh lines will give you smoother skin, but smoother skin will not erase a negative outlook or bring about your dream job, house, or spouse. “Research has shown that people who use plastic surgery, Botox, fillers, etc., are typically happy with the results in the particular area that was treated,” says Kaiser. “However, the fact is that being happier about a section of your face or body does not mean you’ll be happier inside of yourself.”

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