Objective: There have been calls from health professional organisations and advocacy groups to regulate and ban cosmetic surgery advertising due to concerns about increasing uptake of elective cosmetic surgical procedures that are often accompanied by substantial financial, medical and psychological costs. To date, the impact of cosmetic surgery advertisements on body image and intentions to undergo cosmetic surgery has not been examined experimentally. Method: A community sample of British women (N=193) were randomly assigned to view one of four conditions: cosmetic surgery advertisements with models, cosmetic surgery advertisements without models, beauty product advertisements with models, and beauty advertisements without models. Participants completed validated measures of state body dissatisfaction, intentions to undergo cosmetic surgery, internalisation of cultural beauty ideals and appearance comparisons. Results: Women exposed to advertisements featuring models reported significantly greater body dissatisfaction post exposure compared to women exposed to advertisements without models. No differences in body dissatisfaction emerged post-exposure between cosmetic surgery and beauty product advertisements with, and without, models. There were also no differences between conditions on intentions to undergo cosmetic surgery. Internalisation of cultural beauty ideals and appearance comparison tendency did not moderate these effects. Conclusion: Compared to exposure to beauty product advertising, exposure to cosmetic surgery advertising did not result in increased state body dissatisfaction and intentions to undergo cosmetic surgery. The effect of cumulative, longer-term exposure to cosmetic surgery advertising and the inclusion of models in advertisements should be examined in order to guide policy makers towards the most effective strategies involving this form of advertising.
Paraskeva, N. (in press). An experimental study examining the impact of exposure to cosmetic surgery advertising on women's body image and intentions to undergo cosmetic surgery. (Thesis). University of the West of England. Retrieved from https://uwe-repository.worktribe.com/output/915421