According to a new survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, attitudes about self-image and the desire to improve self image through cosmetic surgery change depending on your age and stage in life. Visitors were asked “What aspect of physical beauty do you find most appealing in another person?”
Interestingly, most younger patients ( 20s through 40s ) valued the appearance of their bodies over the appearance of their face. As they got older ( 50s through 60s ), the feelings of body image evolved. These patients came to value the appearance of their faces more than their bodies.
- Respondants in their 20s through 40s responded that they valued a fit well proportioned body the most
- Respondants in their 50s and 60s responded that they valued youthful skin the most
These finding reflect what happens in my practice. I have offices in Loudoun, Winchester, and Fairfax, Virginia. This is one reason why my “Mommy Makeover” procedure has become so popular. Women in their 20s through their 40s value the appearance of their bodies in when they are in their 20s as they search for potential partners. These same patients, however, once they have a partner and begin to have children struggle with their body image because of how having children change the appearance of their bodies. The mommy makeover procedure usually addresses the changes to their breast ( through an augmentation and/or a lift ) and their belly ( through a tummy tuck and/or liposuction ).
As a woman approaches their 40s and 50s, these patients begin to focus more on their face and skin. This makes sense as our facial features begin to change around this time. The skin loses elasticity, and years of sun damage begin to take its toll on skin quality. These are the patients make up a large part of my practice. In general, these patients come in for:
- Mini Facelift to address laxity in the skin and jowls
- Facial fillers ( Juvederm, or Restylane ) to improve the appearance of deep facial lines such as the “ parenthesis “ line around the mouth and to fill in the loss of facial volume in the lips and cheeks
- IPL ( Photofacial ) to treat sun damage and dark spots
- Botox to treat the lines of the forehead, glabella, and crows feet.
Finally the respondants were asked why they would have cosmetic surgery? The most common answer was to boost self-confidance. To boost self-confidence was the top choice for all decades. The second place answers depended on the patient’s age.
- 20s- To attract potential partners
- 30s- Increase professional opportunities
- 40s- Increase professional opportunities
- 50-60s To help make friends
It is always important to understand what our patients are most concerned about at different stages of their lives. We want to be equipped to help our patients make the right decisions to maintain their beauty at every age—no matter which type of cosmetic medical procedure they are interested in.
Another question asked members to contemplate “The most important factor in maintaining beauty.” While adherence to a healthy diet, regular exercise and skin care were popular choices, approximately one in five members felt that a cosmetic medical procedure was most important in the 50s and 60s.
Blog by Phillip Chang MD: Board Certified Plastic Surgeon with Offices in Loudoun, Winchester, and Fairfax Virginia