A report suggests that young people are inclining towards cosmetic procedures like botox and dermal fillers under tremendous social media pressure. In 2015 a market research company estimated a £3.6 billion market in the UK but there is a little doubt that it has grown significantly over the past decade.
This report has identified several factors that are encouraging the young people in particular to focus more on their body image. This includes increasing levels of anxiety around appearance, the rise of social media where photos can receive positive or negative reviews from people. The rising of celebrity culture has been completed with airbrushed images and apparently perfect lifestyle.
Professor Jeanette Edwards, from the University of Manchester who also chaired the council’s inquiry into ethical issues surrounding cosmetic procedures said, “There is a daily bombardment from advertising and through social media channels like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat that relentlessly promote unrealistic and often discriminatory messages on how pwoplw, especially girls and women ‘should look’. We’ve been shocked by some of the evidence we’ve seen, including make-over apps and cosmetic surgery games that target girls as young as nine.”
Prof Edwards also called for cosmetic procedures to be banned for anyone under 18 unless they involve a multi-disciplinary team of specialists, GPs and psychologists. She said, “Under 18s should not be able to just walk in off the street and have a cosmetic procedure. There are legal age limits for having tattoos or using sun beds. Invasive cosmetic procedures should be regulated in a similar way.”
The researchers are afraid that there are apps like ‘Plastic Surgery Princess’, ‘Little Skin Doctor’, ‘Pimp My Face’ that are contributing to growing anxieties around body image and the mental health problems in young minds.
A government spokesperson said that this report also highlights the fact that we live in a world where young people are under immense pressure on a daily basis about how they should look – it is ethically wrong for companies to exploit unnecessary cosmetic procedures to under 18s.