For That Picture-Perfect Look

NSoJ looks at the booming industry of cosmetic surgery and the obsession with looking better.


A pictorial representation of different cosmetic procedures

Hita Prakash

Bangalore: “Fair, slim, and long hair,” are the common terms used in the matrimonial pages of a newspaper or a website. They say regular application of facial creams, shampoos, or using fitness equipment is the secret recipe to achieve success or find a suitable life-partner. These promises made by most advertisements are shown on all television screens across the country.

How true are all these tempting offers? A persons’ obsession of enhancing his/her physical appearance has a more expensive and ‘guaranteed’ solution than the beauty products available at a nearby supermarket. In recent times, dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons are the most sought-after doctors who specialise in changing the appearance of almost any part of the body through medical procedures. The fetish among people, coupled with peer pressure, to look picture-perfect in this social-media-era has created a sudden demand for such experts.

Dr. Anil Joshi, London-based facial plastic surgeon: “There are weird requests from people sometimes, I remember a teenage girl demanding a nose surgery bringing in a picture of a celebrity as an example. There were no similarities in their facial features, and I politely refused.”

An urban city such as Bangalore too has many takers for this quest of improving one’s beauty standards. A popular actor in the city said: “I underwent a skin whitening treatment to hide the blemishes which used to be easily spotted by the technically advanced cameras during shoots. These days, applying make-up is not enough to guise or make one look appealing. Such procedures do help in enhancing the physical features but they are not always cost effective.”

“Cosmetic surgery should be accessible to everyone. There are a few service providers who only cater to the rich and the famous. Consequently, undertrained doctors have mushroomed, leading to suboptimal results and bringing the entire industry into disrepute. Most of the side effects are fortunately rare, provided the patients choose a highly experienced surgeon with adequate training,” said Dr. Anil Joshi.

Some of the common procedures are skin whitening, liposuction, eyelid and nose surgery, body contouring, facial reconstruction, and cosmetic implants. South Korea is known as the plastic surgery capital of the world, which people from far away countries visit to get surgical, as well as non-surgical procedures to look different. According to reports published in medgadget.com, the Global Cosmetic Surgery Market size is projected to reach $ 21.97 billion and would grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of approximately 7.8% throughout the forecast period (2017-2023).

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