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Study Says One in Five American Women is Planning Cosmetic Surgery

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From time to time, studies are conducted to understand the factors shaping cosmetic surgery trends and how people are taking advantage of various surgical to improve appearance and boost self-confidence. Results of recent research by RealSelf based on a survey of 5,035 women between the ages of 18 to 64 confirm the rising interest in aesthetic treatments. The study conducted by this popular online discussion forum dedicated to cosmetic procedures revealed that one in five women in the U.S. is actively planning or considering plastic surgery. A surprising revelation is that worries about body image are not confined to young women – as much as 85 percent of the respondents aged 55-64 reported that they are unhappy about "at least one" body part.

Here are some of the other interesting findings of this study:

Cosmetic Surgery
  • Among women 25 to 34 years old, 86 percent said they were interested in seeking help for a body area of concern beyond retail products – from spas and plastic surgery
  • The desire to feel more comfortable with oneself was rated by 65% as the motivator – across age, race and ethnicity
  • There is an increased interest in all types of elective procedures
  • The trend of consulting a cosmetic surgeon has increased by more than 200 percent
  • 90 percent of women aged 18 to 24 said they were unhappy about at least one body part
  • 25-34 year-olds (86 percent) are most likely to get help to improve a body part, with 40% likely to have a surgical procedure
  • Irrespective of age, race and ethnicity, the top concern for women is the midsection
  • 65 percent cited the abdomen or back the top problem area, followed by the legs and thighs, buttocks and skin

The survey revealed that the proportion of women considering plastic surgery represent an estimated market of more than $75 billion. Moreover, 24 percent of the women who are seeking a minimally invasive treatment represented a market valued at more than $12 billion.

RealSelf found that women considering cosmetic procedures expect improvement in several factors after treatment, such as self-esteem, overall confidence level, and happiness, comfort when having their photo taken, the way they look when clothed, comfort when posting pictures on social media and sex life. Interestingly, the study found that the internet (61%) is the primary source of treatment awareness across all age groups, followed by word-of-mouth (42%).

Technological advancements, the growing number of treatment options and increased consumer awareness are obviously important factors driving the interest in aesthetic treatments beyond the beauty counter.

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