Spotlight on cosmetic surgery and women's health

Women's Health Victoria
Published: December 2018
Series: Spotlight

This Spotlight features a list of up-to-date and freely available research and resources on the topic of cosmetic surgery and women's health.

Cosmetic surgery is often seen as an individual choice. However, this disregards the collective pressure that women in particular are under to meet unrealistic beauty standards. In a society where young women report being valued more highly for their looks than for their brains or their ability, cosmetic surgery may appear to be a reasonable investment for many women – despite the potential risks and costs involved, particularly when things go wrong.

While boys and men are affected by body image dissatisfaction, girls and women tend to be disproportionately affected for a range of reasons including that women’s social capital is often intertwined with their appearance and perceived attractiveness

More research and data is needed in regard to how cosmetic surgery is marketed to women and by whom; women’s experiences and satisfaction post-surgery; and how cosmetic surgery is used to express, police and shape beauty expectations and gender norms in contemporary Australia.


Women's Health Victoria (2018) Spotlight on cosmetic surgery and women's health. Women's Health Victoria. Melbourne. - (Spotlight; Dec 2018)

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