Between magazines, television and social media, it’s almost impossible to be completely confident in the way you look (let alone some other aspects of your life). At the moment I’ve got two Cosmopolitan magazines right next to me and just glancing at the covers is enough to make people feel insecure: photoshopped women posing sexy in skimpy clothing, not to mention the taglines! “Summer Shape-Up: Tone Every Zone in Just Minutes a Day.” “Sun’s Out Buns Out! Easy Moves to Shape a High, Tight Tush.” “Could He Be Faking It? You Sure?” Gee, thanks. These things all scream “you are not enough as you are” and is that really the kind of message readers need?
Television is no better. Commercials try to force you to buy things you don’t need. Reality television shows make you jealous of people’s lives, when a majority of it is staged and not reality at all. Then there’s social media with people posting the highlight reel of their lives or editing/photoshopping their own photos or sucking in or posting only the best angles etc., etc., etc. Not to mention all the bullying that goes on, starting from a young age all the way through adulthood. These comments affect people, whether they’d like it to or not.
The point is society is making people feel inadequate left and right, and for what? All just to get you to buy a product or read their magazine or gets likes/comments from strangers? The problem is that these things go deeper than that for many individuals. Sure, some of us can look at a picture and chalk it up to someone looking great because the photo was edited to look flawless. But there’s many people out there who look at these things and find that they can’t stop dwelling on their own flaws because from what they can see, these other people don’t have any. That’s where cosmetic procedures come in.
Getting cosmetic work done seems to have become the norm. People used to be embarrassed about getting a nose job or breast implants. Nowadays, while some still do remain very secretive about the work they’ve had done, others have no problem sharing it with the world and trying to convince their friends to go to the same doctors they went to (which is not necessarily a bad thing because if you’re going to have work done, it’s much better to have it done by someone who comes recommended/has great reviews).
The other day I was looking at Instagram and noticed a sponsored post from one of the accounts I follow for lip fillers. I clicked on the tagged page and started looking through the posts to see what kind of work they did (why, I’m not sure). Some of the people who were on the page had had multiple procedures done and it got me thinking, how much are people spending on this stuff?! So, naturally, I decided to do some research.
Did you know that in 2016, there were 17.1 million cosmetic procedures performed in the U.S.? The cost of these procedures totaled $16.4 billion (data from American Society of Plastic Surgeons). These numbers do not include reconstructive surgery; this is strictly cosmetic procedures. And while a small portion of cosmetic procedures may be done for medical reasons, most of these are not. Here’s the individual cost of some common surgeries.
Rhinoplasty, a.k.a. a nose job, involves reshaping the bones, tissues and cartilage in your nose. While some people require rhinoplasty for breathing purposes, many people get this surgery done for cosmetic purposes, to enhance their look. The average cost of rhinoplasty in 2016 was $5,046.
Breast augmentation, commonly known as a boob job, uses implants or fat to increase the size and change the shape of one’s breasts. The average cost of breast augmentation in 2016 was $3,719, although the cost varies depending on the type and size of the implant, as well as the geographic location.
This procedure entails using butt implants, fat grafting or a combination or the two to increase the size of one’s butt. When you think of buttock augmentation, think of the Kardashians, who most likely led to a spike in these surgeries when their show became popular. The average cost of buttock augmentation in 2016 was $4,356 using fat grafting and $4,860 using butt implants.
Botulinum toxin, more commonly known as Botox, is a non-surgical injection that reduces or removes frown lines, forehead creases, crow’s feet near the eyes and thick bands in the neck. But remember, the results of Botox are only temporary and last about 3-4 months. The average cost of a Botox injection in 2016 was $385.
Liposuction works by removing excess fat deposits to help slim and reshape the patient’s body. It can be performed on various parts of the body including abdomen and waist, thighs, upper arms, buttocks and more. The average cost of liposuction in 2016 was $3,200.
Laser Hair Removal
Laser hair removal uses highly concentrated light to penetrate hair follicles to inhibit future hair growth. It does not completely stop hair from growing altogether, so you may require touch up sessions as time goes on. It typically takes 3-4 sessions to complete. The average cost of laser hair removal in 2016 was $306, per session, so approximately $1,000. This amount varies depending on the area being treated and geographic location.
Dermal fillers are injections that are used to plump lips, soften facial creases, remove wrinkles, improve the appearance of scars and more. As there are several different types of dermal fillers, the cost differs, but the average cost of dermal fillers for 2016 ranged from $644-$1,930.
With just 7 procedures, this puts you at a cost around $20,000. Again, these are averages, so the cost would differ depending on circumstances on your geographic location. For example, living in Westchester, NY I could expect the costs for these cosmetic procedures to be much higher in my area.
Regardless, as a personal finance blogger, I can’t help but to be appalled by these numbers. Nobody chooses to feel insecure or self-conscious about their body, but companies prey on this and use it to make more money for themselves. I get it; it’s business, but I can’t help feeling sad about it. While I have never gotten any work done myself, I do know plenty of people who have and I’d be lying if I said I never feel insecure myself. It’s just crazy to me that there’s a multi-billion dollar industry that thrives on people feeling insecure. And, what’s worse, with costs this high, there are plenty of people who take on debt to be able to afford to have this work done; whether it be prioritizing the cost of their procedures over bills/savings or simply financing the cost of the procedures.
Have you had any cosmetic procedures done? Did it help boost your confidence? Do you think it’s worth the money? Any other comments you’d like to share?