Cosmetic Surgery in a Bad Economy

Despite continuing economic turbulence, research shows that the popularity, and prevalence, of cosmetic surgery is increasing unabated.  The investment in self-improvement would appear to be considered a valid expense even when money is short. The Botox and cosmetic-surgery industries in particular are booming in spite of the recession. Expensive and exclusive products and treatments are, if anything, even more desirable.

In 2011 women accounted for 90% of all cosmetic procedures. The most popular ones were breast augmentation, up 6.2% from 2010, followed by blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery), which increased by 4.8% to become the second-biggest procedure for women; in third place were face- and neck-lifts, with 4700 procedures.

Analysts estimate that the global beauty industry is growing at 7% a year, more than twice the rate of the developed world’s Gross Domestic Product. While beauty companies strive to out-innovate each other, it is interesting to note that their investment in marketing far outstrips investment in research and new product development.

The beauty industry is also obliged to keep up with the growing expectations of what is known as the ‘Alpha-Maintenance Women’. Alpha-maintenance women are looking for efficient brands, and cosmetic procedures, which help them achieve results as close to perfection as it is possible to be. Consequently the cosmetic-surgery industry shows no signs of slowing down.

Research shows that almost 20% of adults, who would have or have had cosmetic surgery, cite the reason as making themselves look younger. Adults aged 45-54 are most likely to want surgery for this reason. Women are more likely than men to be unhappy with the way they look.

There has also been a sharp rise in the proportion of teens who would consider cosmetic surgery. Young people are more self-conscious about their appearance and 63% of 16- to 24-year-olds would have surgery to feel better about how they look. Cosmetic procedures, facial treatments, liposuction and breast implants in particular have entered the mainstream.

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