Cosmetic and plastic surgery have become a norm in society and acceptable. This is because of media exposure and influence. It used to be reserved for specific individuals and community, but it does not exist anymore. However, with the advancements in technology and science it has become so much more convenient for humans to change their appearance in a few hours. According to Randolph C. Robinson (2015) because of the industrial and automobile tragedy, American surgeons started a way to modify the outer appearance of individuals. United States presented the first modern rhinoplasty after the war in 1923. This report will provide a brief background study on cosmetic and plastic surgery, together with its effect on the national GDP. A SWOT analysis will be conducted on the cosmetic and plastic surgery industry and finally, the marketing challenges present to these industries will also be studied and presented.
In this era plastic surgery have been growing and blooming all around the world in both developed and developing countries. The first plastic surgeon in the United States is Dr. John Peter Mettauer, who operated on himself by performing a first cleft palate operation with surgical instruments in 1827 (Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery, 2018). In 1969, American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery held the first American cosmetic surgery educational programme at Cook County Hospital in Chicago according to the American Journal of Cosmetic Surgery (Dolsky, 1999). Cosmetic surgery is a means of plastic surgery which can enhance the beauty in a person (Portal and Portal, 2018). Dr. Alan Matarasso claimed that plastic surgery used to be for well-known and wealthy people, but it seems to be very common nowadays (Rossman, 2017). Americans can’t seem to be satisfied when it comes to plastic surgery. According to The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, there were more than four million cosmetic procedures that caused United States to be the top one ranked country (Tongish et al.,2018). This has caused the United States to be a popular destination for cosmetic and plastic surgery around the world. The latest data that published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is showing an increased interest in plastic surgery (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2018). The top five cosmetic surgical procedures are breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery and tummy tuck. All of these cosmetic surgical procedures increased 2-5 percent over last year (American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2018). The most common age range of 35-50 years that undergo cosmetic surgery procedure according to the (ASAPS) American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (Plastic Surgery reno Tahoe, 2018).
This section of the report will be examining the effect of cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery on the GDP (Gross domestic product) of the United States. Statistics has shown that there is an increasing trend of plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. A statistic from plasticsurgery.org (2017) shows that there were 17.5 million total procedures underwent as of the year 2017, a 2% growth since 2016. In the year 2016, usatoday.com reported that a total of $16 billion was spent on cosmetic plastic surgeries and minimally invasive procedures. The statistics from plasticsurgery.org (2018) also disclosed that Americans who undergo cosmetic procedure have increased close to 200% since 2000. This statistic underlines the impact it has on the US economy and its effect on the GDP. Examples of procedures that rake in huge amounts of money are breast augmentation, which had a total expenditure of $1.116 billion, face lifts ($936 million) and Nose reshaping ($1.12 billion). These all contributed to the huge surge of income for the plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery industry. Breast augmentation, which had a slight decline of cost in the year 2017, remains as the most popular of the treatments. The cost for nose reshaping and liposuctions though, increased by 6%. Rossman (2017) cites Matarosso who credits the increase of popularity to sociological and economic factors, stating that gone were the days that people were looked down on social media after a procedure, with people these days “showing off” their recovery process on social platforms, which will be well received. The growth is not expected to slow down anytime soon. A paper published by Kelly Scientific Publications (2015) estimates a huge increase in the worth of the industry by 2019.
There are several reasons why one would want to have plastic surgery, one of the reason is cultural shift. As we know, social media such as Facebook, Instagram and other social platform has been the biggest influence on humans nowadays (Facialplasticbh.com, 2018). According to Pew Research Center, individuals who are born after 1980 have higher social network usage than the other demographic groups. However, the power of social media allows Millennials to share information, receive latest news and trends ongoing around the world. According to Frames Direct (2018) by the recent selfie statistics, the Millennial generation is taking up a “selfie” revolution. There is about 55 out of 100 percent Millennials would share their selfies on social media (Facialplasticbh.com, 2018). Millennials would consider undergo plastic surgery to improve their good-looks in selfies and other social platform images due to the impact of social media the influence of popular celebrities who have underwent plastic surgery with apparently successful outcomes. Furthermore, celebrities have major influence on the pop culture and global culture in general, thus out of the millions that look up to them and follow them on social media, a handful of them will be encouraged to follow their idols, even if it means going under the knife to alter their appearances (Elliott, 2010).
There is also the ever-growing need to keep up with the norms and facies of today’s culture. In this present age, facial and physical features such as big eyes, round eyes, cute nose, straight jawline, and bigger private parts are greatly desired to behold and to have. These are features that inherently are unchangeable, but that can be fixed through plastic surgery and other unnatural operations (Hubbard, 2016). The constant need to have what is desired by today’s culture is strong enough to push some towards the decision to enhance their body parts. In this modern technology, patients are able to go back their workplace the next day after the surgery. Some of them, for the sole purpose of getting rid bullying, would choose to undergo cosmetic surgery to boost their self-confidence (Surgery, 2014).
According to Advanced Beauty Cosmetic Surgery (2018), cultural shift may also negatively affect the cosmetic and plastic surgery industry. In many cultures around the world, plastic surgery is greatly frown upon, especially to change one’s looks for the purpose of aesthetics. It is seen as “cheating” and portrays one as “weak” with low self-confidence. Thus, in these places and cultures, the plastic surgery industry will not thrive. The same applies to the cosmetic industry. In some cultures, usage of cosmetic products is seen as “unnatural” and thus not popular in those areas. Its industry and growth will also suffer. Laura Pillarella, a patient who had undergo cosmetic surgery considered the thought of committing suicide due to dissatisfaction of the operation. She claimed that if time could rewind she would choose to go for therapy instead (Surgery, 2014).
A journal by Magnusson (2017) said that cosmetic and plastic procedure still has a high rate of satisfaction despite having identified risks involved in the operation. One of the strengths of undergoing plastic surgery is that individuals can receive more positive treatment from other people. People are naturally more attracted to individuals who have good-looking features and will present to them a positive attitude (Dr. Wesley G. Wilson, Plastic Surgery, 2018). By getting plastic surgery, individuals may feel better about themselves overall. As a result, this can also boost their self-esteem, enable them to experience a joyful lifestyle, and cause lesser anxiety. A study from Dittmann (2015) shows that 87% of patients are satisfied with their overall body image and their features. Besides that, restoring youthful appearance is another strength of plastic surgery too. Individual who obtained cosmetic and plastic surgery can get rid of undesirable characteristics of their appearance such as wrinkles on their face and sagging skin. An article by Dr.Wesley G. Wilson (2018) claimed that by looking younger, they potentially are able to fit into the clothes they love. As a result, by being able to dress up with their preferred clothes, it provides the potential lead them to a greater confidence that they are stunning and desirable.
There is always a good side and bad side in everything and cosmetic and plastic surgery have no exceptions. Plastic surgery has its weakness and this will be discussed as below. There are a few general side effects for cosmetic and plastic surgery such as pain, bruising, swelling scarring and blood loss. However, bruising and swelling are the most common effects because it takes some time for the tissues to get back to shape and heal (Wilberto Cortes, M.D., n.d.). An example of a case who has side effect after getting a plastic surgery is provided here. The news of today published by McGraw (2011) proved that Marilyn Leisz who had attempted over 30 procedures of plastic surgery to enhance her congenital defect that weakens her eyelids. Nevertheless, the failure in these procedures had caused her eye condition to be terrible and led her to be unable to close her eye fully. Other examples of weaknesses of plastic surgery is that individuals might be addicted to plastic surgery due to a few factors such as undesirable body shape, low self-esteem or easily access to plastic surgeons. Individuals may not actually mind paying such high amount of money just to get rid of the imperfection of their appearances and thus it may also affect their livelihood. (Holley, 2017).
Social media is continuing to grow and the internet continuous to expand. This is a major opportunity for the plastic surgery industry to expand its business. By utilising the internet and engaging with the growing communities of social websites, relationships and trust can be build which will enhance the reputation of the industry as well as to build trust with potential customers. Another opportunity is that the cost of procedures is costing less and less due to new advancements in technology and availability of new methods and equipment. This can potentially attract more customers and it lowers the cost of procedures and makes it more accessible to a larger demographic. New advancements in technology and research will also provide higher safety and success rates to the industry, which will then improve its marketability and attraction to customers as its trust and brand increases (Forbes, 2017).
The most mainstream failures procedures in plastic surgery which can lead to breast cancer. According to American Cancer Society (2013), breast cancer is known as a malignant tumour that will spread to your other areas of body through lymphatic system starting from your breast. Most of the women could not accept the failure in the breast augmentation and somehow will lead them to suicided thought. Nonetheless, one of the threat of cosmetic and plastic surgery is the downsize of economies will eventually lead to negative effects of the plastic surgery industry. This is because cosmetic and plastic surgery is not a necessity and will not be the priority when there is not enough cash on hand to effort. An article by Tongish et al. (2018) shows that cosmetic and plastic surgery will not even come across their mind if they do not have a job.
The first and most major challenge that marketeers of the cosmetic surgery industry is the negative stigma that surrounds it. A survey by realself.com (2015) shows that customers’ greatest fears when undergoing the knife is possible complications and the recovery process that comes with it. Customers fear the side effects that the surgery could potentially bring. Marketeers must then build trust with customers to assure them of the safety and trustworthiness of the procedures. Which brings up another challenge which is the marketing of its brand. This can be accomplished by advertising testimonies of those who have underwent the procedures successfully without any side effects. Posting an extensive gallery online of successful before and after testimonies will help in that. Building a strong and trusted brand is another challenge that marketeers will have to invest lots of effort and money to form successful marketing strategies. According to clearpivot.com, the brand message presented by marketeers must contain positive and uplifting messages, allowing customers to have realistic expectations. The main goal of the message is to answer the questions, “Why should I choose you?”, and “Why should I have this procedure”. Finally, there is definitely much competition out there in the plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery market. To successfully market one’s brand in this industry, one must determine and execute marketing strategies that sets one’s brand apart from the others. One good example of such is to present a professional and an informatively equipped website for customers to browse and visit. A well-designed website goes a long way in winning the business of a consumer.
Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery is continuing to grow as demonstrated in the research above. The cause of its growth is down to a few factors, mainly, the influence of social media and the entertainment industry. Expectations on the standards of beauty which requires certain specific features will pressure some to the decision of whether or not to undergo these surgical procedures to “improve” one’s look. The plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery industry have its challenges as discussed in the report. Nevertheless, it is growing and thriving economically. It will continue to grow and expand according to statistics provided. Opportunities of advancement in technology and growth of its demographics are there for the taking and marketeers must seize them with the right approach and strategies. Overall, whether it is morally right and whether to undergo such procedures is down to the beliefs of an individual, but one thing is for sure, that is these industries are here to stay.