Mental Health and Body Confidence

By Dr Wolf on Friday, June 7, 2019

Making the choice to adjust your body is a big deal. With the rise of cosmetic procedures up by a quarter of a million year on year, the industry has been criticised for normalising cosmetic surgery.

 

Procedures like high street liposuction and fillers and botched jobs from under-qualified professionals have repeatedly come under scrutiny, as people risk everything to get that insta-perfect body.

 

However, how often do people question the root causes for undergoing surgery? We believe that mental health and body confidence are inherently linked, and therefore cosmetic surgery can actually have profoundly positive effects on people’s lives.

 

We’re looking at the impact that cosmetic surgery can have on body confidence and overall mental wellbeing, and whether those two considerations are grounds for having cosmetic surgery.

 

Body Confidence: What Is It?

 

Body confidence is essentially how a person feels about the way they look. We each have a perception of our own body that is either positive or negative and as such will leave us feeling confident in our own skin or rather horrible in it.

 

Of course, people can have varying degrees of body confidence and for the most part it has a weak relationship to objective truths about the body and is entirely subjective. An individual's perception of their own body can often have no correlation to how other people perceive them.

 

Everyone has their own unique issues with their body, that can often be hard for others to understand. However, the relationship between body confidence and mental health is fascinating and proves that cosmetic surgery and altering your body isn’t simply a vacuous pursuit.

 

Body Confidence and Mental Health: The Facts

 

  • In a 2019 study the top motivation for surgery was to improve self-esteem and confidence (40 percent) followed closely by looking as good as one feels (36 percent).
  • According to research, people are generally happy with the outcome of cosmetic surgery and do feel better about themselves.
  • That same study showed that patients reported improvement in areas such as “self worth”, “self esteem”, “distress and shyness” and “quality of life”.
  • There are health benefits to feeling better about yourself. Positive thoughts can increase the body’s immunity according to Dr Dean Ornish.

 

Will My Life Improve If I Have Cosmetic Surgery?

 

No. Not necessarily.

 

Whilst the findings above support the idea that cosmetic surgery will improve overall body confidence and wellbeing, it’s important not to confuse this with living a happier, more fulfilled life.

 

Often, people put a lot of emphasis on how they look. This is normal, of course, since we are embodied beings whose existence is bound by a physical body. However, it’s important not to put too much focus on how we look and the relationship between how we look and how we feel.

 

Studies have shown that cosmetic surgery does have positive long-term effects on self-esteem and appearance, however it’s important to remember that the reasons people feel certain ways about their body are often very deep rooted. Whilst cosmetic surgery will change the way you look, this doesn’t always mean that it will change the way you feel.

 

This is why it’s essential that a full assessment is done before any cosmetic procedure to ensure that people are having surgery for the right reasons. If you find yourself being unable to speak to the surgeon beforehand, or are direct to a salesperson for your pre-surgery concerns, it’s time to put the phone down and run a mile.

 

Only trust a reputable surgeon who will meet you for a face to face consultation to chat through your procedure and why you want to have cosmetic surgery.

 

Overall, we believe that cosmetic surgery has an immensely positive effect on body confidence and overall well being. However, it’s crucial to realise that each individual is different and there is no certain way to ensure that mental wellbeing and body confidence is increased as a result of surgery.