An IMCAS survey (Aesthetic Surgery & Cosmetic Dermatology) conducted at the beginning of the year reveals a surprising result: Currently 35-50 year-olds remain the largest consumer group of aesthetic surgery and aesthetic medicine, however there is now in second place the 18-34 year- olds who surpassed the 50-60 year olds for the first time!
Philippe Liotard, anthropologist, specialist in body transformation and teacher at Claude Bernard Lyon 1 University explains: “Constructing one's appearance has become something ordinary today. This involves tattooing, piercing and now plastic surgery. Appearance is an element of self-construction, a desired and untreated self. "
Less invasive methods
Youth demand is steadily increasing by 20% per year. This is a new opportunity for young generations because injections of hyaluronic acid and botulinum toxin or ultrasound become commonplace and accessible to all.
Often painless, with very short sessions of 10 to 20 minutes with the beautician, these techniques have an immediate visible result and without side effects. In addition, prices are more affordable, about 300 euros, and attract a younger group of patients. These soft methods were initiated ten years ago, with acceleration and spectacular progress over the past five years.
In terms of cosmetic surgery, breast augmentation is still ahead of liposuction, lipofilling and facial surgery with blepharoplasty or rhinoplasty.
The current fashion is to have a more defined shape, luscious lips, well-shaped D cup breasts and very plump and liced buttocks like those of Kim Kardashian.
The distorting mirror of social media
This attraction to surgery or aesthetic medicine can also be explained by the distorting reflection that social media and its influencers are constantly sending back to us. Social media offers a multiplicity of possible images in terms of appearance and everyone takes what interests them.
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat "have become a form of showcase where people are staged in stories, where images reign supreme" Pascal Lardellier, professor at the University of Burgundy. "The job of these starlets is not to produce content but to produce an ideal. We went from TV reality to reality TV, "he continues.
When applications and image editing softwares are not enough, young people no longer hesitate to walk through the door of medical offices, ask to look like their idols or tend to an ideal image of themselves. An expectation that is not without risk. "The demands are sometimes excessive because women identify with stars who do not have the same morphology as they do," warns Dr. Ascher.
Some women find it increasingly difficult to distinguish between reality and the virtual and believe that they can change their physique as they wish. "You have to be able to explain to them that the ideal or the perfect does not exist and that cosmetic surgery can not do it at all," explains Dr. Escho.
This confusion can even give rise in the most serious cases to body dysmorphophobia. This disease is an obsession linked to a physical defect, imaginary or exaggerated, which pushes the patient to seek perfection to the point of abusing surgical practices.