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As cosmetic procedures and surgeries have become a part of many people’s beauty regimes, it becomes difficult to remember a time when this kind of treatment was seen as rare, or uncommon. This article will discuss the rise of cosmetic procedures, and how the normalisation of those procedures has led to a boom within the cosmetic industry.

When Did Cosmetic Surgeries Begin?

Cosmetic procedures were first performed around the 16th century to fix disfigurements, and around 200 years ago, in 1817, the first cosmetic surgery was performed by John Peter Mettauer. In 1962 Timmie Jean Lindsey became the first woman in the world to receive a breast enlargement using silicone implants.

From the 1970s and 1980s, elective cosmetic surgeries became more regular, with different body trends and developments in technology guiding the most popular surgeries. Since this time, millions of procedures have been performed.

Developments in Cosmetic Surgeries

In 2017, we wrote about how the average age of women undergoing cosmetic surgery had dropped below 40 for the first time, according to research from the Centre for Advanced Facial Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery in London. The research also revealed that the average age for men had also dropped from 47 to 45, indicating that the trend for undertaking cosmetic surgery at a younger age spanned across both men and women.

So why are people considering cosmetic surgery at a younger age?

The rise of social media over the last 10 years has undoubtedly changed the way we think about ourselves and others on an individual level, but also within society. Before smartphones and social media, the concept of a selfie was rare. However, fast forward to 2014 and Google reported that 93 million selfies were taken per day. Research has shown that one in three photos taken by those aged 18 to 24 is a selfie.

When people are taking photos of themselves (on a device that may alter their appearance), they are faced with a potentially distorted image and can over analyse their own faces and become caught in a cycle of trying to achieve an unrealistic goal, often with invasive and costly procedures.

While there are pockets of positivity on social media, the prevalence of these highly curated feeds, featuring aesthetically pleasing and symmetrical faces often filtered and edited using multiple apps - has caused a disassociation between the ‘reality’ of what we look like and what we want to look like.

If you’re considering a cosmetic procedure, we would advise that you take your time when deciding to go ahead. Be sure that you have the time to ask all of the questions that you need to feel satisfied to go ahead. Use our guide to find a cosmetic surgeon that you feel comfortable with, or use the contact form to get in touch if you feel like you’ve experienced negligence following a cosmetic procedure.

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