Are Cosmetic Procedures Becoming More Commodified?


Long before social media connected us and we shared our personal images with the world, cosmetic procedures were primarily the domain of the rich and famous. Elizabeth Taylor may have had the occasional nip and tuck, but in her pre-Internet heyday, image enhancements were only apparent through the lens of a 35mm camera.

Sparked by the selfie and encouraged by Groupon deals, both surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures have grown considerably in popularity, especially among younger generations. Today, members of the millennial set are making treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic household names.

No Shame in the Selfie Game

In the past, cosmetic procedures were fairly taboo. People had “work” done, but they kept that fact under wraps. But with celebrities like the Kardashians putting their enhanced assets front and center, everyday people are taking notice and following suit. The deluge of celebrity images has had an impact on viewers, and even those in their teens and 20s are choosing cosmetic procedures in order to look more like the airbrushed images they see.

Aesthetic Procedure Increase

Plastic surgeons have noted a significant uptick in young adults pursuing all types of cosmetic surgery to enhance their appearances. Noninvasive treatments like chemical peels, injectables and laser treatments are also appealing because they don’t require the downtime and costs associated with surgery and many men and women alike now make these a regular part of their beauty routine.

Looking Good as Its Own Reward

The increasing popularity of online networks and selfies lead many people to get cosmetic procedures so that they can feel always be assured that they look their best. However, even in the face of online pressure to maintain a certain look, the overwhelming majority of people who get plastic surgery report an improved self-image as their primary goal.