Why are women twelve times more likely than men to have cosmetic surgery? British women spend £3 billion a year on all cosmetic procedures, with breast enlargement the most common operation.
Do you want to look like this? Or maybe like this? Then why not try some of this?
Hi. I’m Leon Hawthorne. Were talking about cosmetic surgery and when and if you should have it.
We all want to look our best. And if you don’t like the body you’re born with; or you want to fight the ageing process, there are more and more ways to do something about it.
The most common cosmetic surgical procedure in Britain is breast augmentation. Last year, 7,769 women had their boobs enlarged. Meantime, half that number, had their boobs reduced in size.
Other popular surgical procedures include:- Reducing sagging eyelids - 3,905 Face and neck lifts - 3,453 Liposuction - 3,218 And nose jobs - 2,703
In total, there were 30,750 cosmetic operations carried out in Britain, the vast majority, 92%, on women. Clearly, the pressures on women to look young and beautiful are much greater than those on men.
The most popular procedures on men are nose jobs and ear corrections.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons says the number of procedures dropped a massive 40% in one year, the lowest level in a decade.
But that’s not because we’ve become less vain. It has more to do with pre Brexit economic uncertainty. Money It’s believed people are switching to cheaper non-surgical treatments like laser hair removal, botox and dermal fillers. These account for 9 out of 10 cosmetic procedures.
In total, the Department of Health estimates Britons spend £3.6 billion a year on all cosmetic procedures.
But is there really any difference between using lots of makeup and having a facelift? Or between wearing fake nails and having fake tits? It’s your money. Why not?
Well, it’s not always your money.
The NHS is sometimes left carrying the can - and the bill - for fixing botched cosmetic procedures. Many unqualified beauticians carry out dermal fillings, which go bad and women have to go to NHS hospitals to repair the damage.
Also, the NHS itself does carry out cosmetic surgery. It’s amazing, but true. I don’t mean reconstructive surgery, after a woman has had a mastectomy. I mean: the NHS does give women boob jobs for cosmetic reasons.
The government says it’s rare, but it does not collect any figures for us to quantify how much.
They say it’s usually only where the patient claims to have clinical depression or another psychological condition caused by her appearance. But a recent report found one in four patients admit they lied to their doctor about these mental health issues in order to get the operation for free.
Another concern is regulation. You’ll be shocked to hear: any doctor - even a GP - can call himself a cosmetic surgeon and start doing facelifts and boob jobs in his spare time. No experience or extra qualifications are required.
Leading surgeons are calling for tighter regulation, but it will require primary legislation before only specialists are allowed to perform surgery.
The wider issue underpinning this whole topic is the discomfort so many people - women especially - feel about the way they look.
On top of the £3.6 billion on cosmetic procedures, women spend another £3.8 billion on makeup and skincare.
They say beauty is only skin deep. But it’s clear women believe beauty can also bring them happiness; and they’re prepared to pay a lot of money to obtain it.
Thanks for watching.