Cosmetic Surgery and the Cost of Confidence in Today’s World

Women in today’s world often get teased for how many beauty products they lug around in their purse each day. We may laugh it off or get defensive, but the truth is, those beauty products that we spend much of our precious time and money on are a large part of what helps us succeed in life. In our efforts to appeal to the beauty standard of the world, women feel like they must make their appearance a priority, regardless of what goals they are trying to achieve. Whether we are buying products and cosmetic surgery procedures because of the pressure to look beautiful, to gain a boost of confidence, or both, women are spending a large amount of money in their lifetime on their looks. 

The Culture of Beauty

Society tells girls from a young age, you are your looks. We understand, based on the language of adult women around us and what we see and hear in the media, that though other things we achieve are important, looking beautiful should be our first priority. It should come as no surprise then, that as they’ve become more widely available, we’ve seen an increase in cosmetic surgery and breast implants across the United States. In an article by The Guardian, author Natasha Devon explains, “Neurobiologists now know there is no discernible difference between male and female brains at the point of birth . . . Brain development is determined by what we do, and therefore if, unconsciously, adults steer children towards certain activities based on their gender, they influence how their minds grow on a physiological level. Thus gender bias becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

Does Beauty Equal Success? 

We may wish society was different and that everyone was perfectly equal, but the fact of the matter is, with certain beauty ideals ingrained in both men and women for centuries, it’s going to take a long time for things to change. Caring about your appearance is human nature and, in today’s world, striving for beauty is easier than ever through both surgical and non-invasive cosmetic surgery procedures. A woman has to care about her looks “if she wants to realize a comfortable level of success and self-sufficiency. Quite a bit of research has tried to determine how many seconds it takes before a person forms a judgment of someone they meet. Their brains calculate your value in terms of age, social standing, and how approachable you are within thirty seconds or less.” Just as we work hard on other qualities in our life, how we look is part of the personal brand we create. It also, no matter how much we’d like to deny it, affects the way we feel and act. 

Outer Beauty Equals Inner Confidence

Marcia Reynolds, Psy. D., President of Covisioning LLC said, “…Face it, when you look good on the outside, you feel good on the inside. Should it be the other way around? It can be. Your emotions affect your appearance and attractiveness. Your confidence plays into your ability to influence others.” If it requires breast implants or another type of plastic surgery procedure to gain confidence, it may be worth it and save you years of negative thoughts toward yourself. Confidence and how we interpret beauty ideals and the associated means to achieve them are key. According to a study on the impact of makeup by Nancy Etcoff, makeup can provide a fleeting confidence boost to some, while making others feel objectified. If you enjoy getting ready for the day and using beauty treatments or cosmetic surgery as self care initiatives, then the confidence you glean from these activities can truly make you more beautiful to yourself and others. “Grooming rituals can be temporary confidence boosters, and studies suggest that the confidence they inspire is itself attractive.” We can try to change the unrealistic ideals in the media and stop talking negatively to ourselves about our own bodies, and things will slowly begin to change. The best thing we can do is not judge others who don’t share our same views toward cosmetic surgery, whether they’re for or against it. “At best, let’s quit judging each other for what we feel we need to do to get ahead, whether you think wrinkles are a beautiful part of life or not. Better we respect each other for who we are and how we each choose to cope with the realities we face.”

The Cost of Beauty

In our efforts to look our best, women in the United States spend about $300,000 just on their face during their lifetime, according to an article by Allure magazine. And that doesn’t include hair products, facial cosmetic surgery, breast implants, or skin care. “SkinStore surveyed 3,000 women to find out their beauty habits. In addition to the crazy-sounding lifetime cost, the survey says women are walking around with about $8 worth of products on their face per day.” Another thing learned during the survey was that most women apply an average of 16 products to their face before leaving the house. Face wash, toner, serum, eye cream, foundation, mascara, and eyeliner are just some of the products that women can’t leave home without applying. 

Beauty Standards by Location

Who wears the most makeup and spends the most time getting ready changed depending on where they lived. “When it comes to the ‘most expensive faces,’ East Coast women stand out. Women in New York, Connecticut, and West Virginia spend the most with an average ‘face rate’ of $11 . . . This differs dramatically to the West Coast, with women in Utah, Colorado, and Montana spending a much lower $4 on their daily faces . . . Californian ladies are the quickest to get their face ready, taking a speedy 3 minutes . . . This is due to over 70% now using advanced treatment products [and cosmetic surgery procedures] which dramatically improve the appearance of the skin, meaning less time is spent on covering up and enhancing.” 

The Cost of Hair Care

Hair care is a bit less expensive, but still a significant investment for most women. From salon appointments for cuts and coloring maintenance to at-home blow drying and hair products, a survey about how much women spend on hair care conducted by Lookfantastic.com reports that “the average women will drop $55,000 in a lifetime on hair products and treatments . . . Those numbers equate to roughly $80 and 11 hours per month.” These statistics also vary from state to state, but overall, 89% of American women dye their hair to enhance their appearance, meaning that in coloring alone, women are willing to spend a lot of money. 

Confidence Through Cosmetic Surgery

The research supports the idea that our culture’s obsession with women looking beautiful isn’t going to change dramatically for a while. Most women who have a healthy idea of what it means to be confident and beautiful are okay with that. It is worth it to us to spend money every month on hair, skin, and beauty products, and we enjoy the technological leaps that cosmetic surgery has taken-making acne, wrinkles, and sun damage much less visible, therefore making makeup less necessary and confidence more accessible. Emma Campbell, Head of Editorial at SkinStore, said: “There has been a huge rise in advanced treatment products which now solve beauty concerns and transform the skin. These treatments are speeding up makeup application times and giving women newly found confidence every day.”

Breast Implant Technology 

Cosmetic surgery is changing the beauty industry and helping more women feel confident without wearing layers of makeup. Other plastic surgery procedures, like breast implants, tummy tucks, and liposuction can also make a huge difference. When you take the time to think about it, years of trying to find the right clothes to hide your “imperfections” and buying more and more makeup to conceal your wrinkles may be the complicated answer to your quest for beauty and confidence. The easier way is through cosmetic surgery, which is more advanced and natural looking than ever. If you are thinking about getting breast implants, consider the latest in implant technology, the IDEAL IMPLANT® Structured Breast Implant. Designed to give you the natural look and feel of silicone gel implants with the safety of only saline inside, the IDEAL IMPLANT gives women the best of both worlds. Don’t let ridiculous beauty standards break the bank and don’t let anyone shame you for the money you do spend on feeling beautiful. The key is finding the healthy inbetween, where you feel good about how you look so you can focus on what’s more important in life.

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