Body confidence and cosmetic surgery - do they work together?
Thursday, 26 November 2020

The issues of mental health and self-esteem have become prominent during the coronavirus pandemic, with the statistics highlighting the depth and reach of the problem in the UK.

More specifically, more than half of British adults and over two-thirds of young people said that their mental health had gotten worse during the period of lockdown restrictions dating from early April to mid-May.

 
 
 

There’s no doubt that the pandemic will have compounded existing mental health issues, including body confidence. In this post, we’ll appraise this in further detail while asking whether cosmetic surgery provides a potential solution to this.

 
What is Body Confidence and Why is it Important?
 
The term ‘body confidence’ or ‘body image’ refers to an individual’s perception of the aesthetics or sexual attractiveness of their own body.
 
In this respect, body confidence offers an insight into how an individual sees themselves in physical terms, particularly when compared to the standards that have been set in wider society.
 
In some cases, however, low body confidence can give way to various mental health conditions, with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) one of the most well-known and dangerous.
 
With this condition, an individual will spend a great deal of time obsessing and worrying about perceived flaws in their appearance. Often, the condition is characterised by the fact that such flaws are either non-existant or completely unnoticeable to others, which is why there has been a pressing need to raise more awareness in recent times.
 
People of all ages can suffer from BDD, although it’s most common in teenagers and younger adults (who may be more susceptible to perceived social norms and standards).
 
Both genders can also be affected by the condition (and low body confidence as a whole), but it’s most synonymous with young girls and women.
 
Is Cosmetic Surgery the Answer?
 
According to one study which canvassed the opinion of around 155 female cosmetic surgery patients, tailored cosmetic surgeries helped to provide evidence of improvement in body confidence over time.
 
The study, which comprised measures of body image, self-esteem and existing psychological problems, created a group of Norwegian (and female) respondents who were aged between 22 and 25 and had no previous cosmetic surgery experience.
 
Ultimately, this comprehensive dataset suggests that cosmetic surgery can play an important role in treating conditions such as BDD, while also helping to improve general body confidence across the board.
 
However, this study and others also highlight that surgery should often be used as part of a wider treatment plan, as surgeons and general health practitioners need to be acutely aware of the role that underlying psychological problems can play in triggering further issues and inhibiting the initially positive effects of cosmetic surgery.
 
 
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