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The Cosmetics Industry: Cosmetic surgery Free essay! Download now

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The Cosmetics Industry: Cosmetic surgery

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The Cosmetics Industry:
Cosmetic surgery


Due to the many dangers of surgery in the Roman era and the years following, cosmetic surgery was rarely performed until the 1900’s.

Cosmetic surgery techniques were then developed by plastic surgeons to repair facial deformities caused by the war. The wars in the 20th century resulted in damaged facial features, which greatly accelerated the advancement of plastic surgery and quickly became the starting point for cosmetic surgery (Anon, 2007)

At the end of world war one, the high number of shattered faces that were rebuilt by cosmetic surgery procedures was recorded by the press in order to restore hope among soldiers. Plastic surgeons also began to realise that cosmetic surgery could also be used for an aesthetic nature to enhance beauty, and so overtime additional procedures were developed including techniques such as liposuction, tummy tucks and body contouring in addition to facial surgeries.

Cosmetic surgery used to be reserved for the rich and famous, but in today’s society it is performed on a wide variety of patients from varying social classes. In 2007 alone, there was more than 11.5million cosmetic surgery procedures performed throughout the world. That an increase of 50% from 2000 (Anon, 2007). Men are also increasingly going under the knife. Tummy tucks for men were up 60% in 2007 compared with the previous year (Anon 2008)
In the UK, 577 000 cosmetic surgery operations were carried out in 2007 (Anon, 2007). The most popular operations requested by women are breast enlargement, breast reduction, facelift and liposuction. For men, the most popular procedures are rhinoplasty (‘nose job’), liposuction and eyelid lift.

Respectable clinics for cosmetic surgery will encourage a ‘cooling off’ period after the initial consultation of about 2-3 weeks so that the customer can think clearly about the procedure before making a final decision of whether they want to go through with the surgery. Government regulations from the National Care Standards Commission (set up to regulate private clinics), ban having the surgery within 2 weeks of the consultation (Anon 2008)
As Ros Gray (2002) of the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) said, new national standards would help to tackle the problem of bad practice in cosmetic surgery such as bad training or unqualified surgeons.
She said: "The NCSC will use its powers to stamp out sloppy practice. Our inspectors have powers to enter a clinic at any time - including unannounced spot checks.
"We also have powers to investigate complaints against clinics and their staff.
"The NCSC will not tolerate the abuse of people who place themselves under the care of others and we will take action against individuals and organisations in order to eradicate poor practice within this sector." (Gray 2002).
So practice in cosmetic surgery has become more regulated then it ever was in the past, meaning that consumers considering surgery have a lot more confidence, although they are encouraged to also do background reading on which cosmetic surgeon they choose.
Fully qualified specialists should be registered on the General Medical Councils Specialist Register. So this is the place that consumers are directed to when choosing a surgeon. This can be accessed on their website.
The world of cosmetic surgery is changing quickly, with technological advances in both surgical equipment and techniques. Newer techniques include laser-assisted and endoscopic surgery which allow for surgery that is safer and more effective, with less trauma and less recovery time for the patient (Anon 2008).
Recent technological advancements also mean that plastic surgery procedures that correct improve or re-shape body outlines are practiced through one centimetre incisions. This means that scars will be smaller than in previous years. Ultrasounds are also a major advancement; they help destroy cells that store fat, making it easier to extract fat during liposuctions. Bleeding in this case is much smaller, and skin retraction is bigger (Pacheco, 2006).
Key influences on buyer behaviour
One of the main influences on consumers when it comes to the decision of whether to go ahead with cosmetic surgery comes from celebrities.
“Young adults, influenced by celebrity images, are more likely to have appearance-related insecurities. This self-consciousness is driving their desire to have cosmetic surgery.” (Mintel, 2007a)
One example of this is Scarlett Johansson (See appendix 1). The subtle differences in her facial structure suggest that she has undergone rhinoplasty as well as cheek implants.
Since Scarlett Johansson’s cosmetic surgery has been incredibly subtle, consumers use her as an example as to why they should go ahead with surgery. There have been no obvious problems with the procedures that she has undergone, and the changes make her look beautiful, giving consumer’s confidence in cosmetic surgery.
However, celebrities can also dissuade consumers into having the surgery. This is shown in the extreme case of Michael Jackson (See appendix 2). Michael Jackson is clearly addicted to cosmetic surgery, and this makes consumers worried about whether they are willing to take the risk and possibly become addicted to it themselves. Not only this, but some of the procedures he has undergone, have not gone particularly well. If you take a look at his nose for example, it no longer looks natural and he has had numerous problems. This could worry the consumer about the problems they may encounter if they go through with a procedure.
With recent technological advancements, experts have been able to use a picture of Michael Jackson before cosmetic surgery, and develop it to show how he could have looked at the age of fifty (See appendix 3). This kind of information that consumers can easily have access to, might make them think twice about having cosmetic surgery as it will put doubt into their minds about whether it would drastically change the way they could look in the future.

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