Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Women's Magazines Downplay Emotional Health Risks Of Cosmetic Surgery, Study Finds

Date:
December 13, 2008
Source:
University of British Columbia
Summary:
While the emotional health implications of cosmetic surgery are still up for scientific debate, articles in women's magazines such as the Oprah Magazine and Cosmopolitan portray cosmetic surgery as a physically risky, but overall worthwhile option for enhancing physical appearance and emotional health, a new study has found.

While the emotional health implications of cosmetic surgery are still up for scientific debate, articles in women's magazines such as The Oprah Magazine and Cosmopolitan portray cosmetic surgery as a physically risky, but overall worthwhile option for enhancing physical appearance and emotional health, a UBC study has found.

The study, published in Women's Health Issues journal, is the first to examine how women's magazines portray cosmetic surgery to Canadians. It also finds that male opinions on female attractiveness are routinely used to justify cosmetic surgery and that a disproportionate amount of articles are devoted to breast implants and cosmetic surgery among women aged 19-34.

"Alongside beauty, clothing and diet advice, women's magazines present cosmetic surgery as a normal practice for enhancing or maintaining beauty, becoming more attractive to men and improving emotional health," says Andrea Polonijo, who conducted the research at UBC as an undergraduate honours thesis in the Dept. of Sociology.

Polonijo, now a graduate student at University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health, examined how Canada's five most popular English-language women's magazines – Chatelaine, Cosmopolitan, O: The Oprah Magazine, Flare and Prevention – portray cosmetic surgery. The study focused on 35 articles published between 2002 and 2006.

"Magazines are communicating the physical risks of cosmetic surgery more than the emotional health risks," says Polonijo, noting that studies have found that emotional health issues such as anxiety and depression may arise or increase in women who undergo physically successful cosmetic surgery, regardless of their preoperative emotional state. Of the articles that mention emotional health, only 18 per cent suggest cosmetic surgery may be detrimental to emotional well-being, the study found.

Magazines routinely present two "ideal" cosmetic surgery candidates, the study found: an unhappy, insecure, lonely woman looking to boost low self-confidence and self-esteem, and a successful, attractive, confident woman with high self-esteem who seeks cosmetic surgery to maintain perfection.

"These two profiles represent extremes of a wide range of attitudes, for which many women may view themselves as being somewhere in-between," says UBC sociology professor Richard Carpiano, a co-author of the study. "This potentially allows for cosmetic surgery to be presented as an option for many women regardless of their preoperative emotional state."

Men's opinions were often considered in these cosmetic surgery articles, with 29 per cent discussing the impact that women's cosmetic surgery has on the male population.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of British Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Polonijo et al. Representations of Cosmetic Surgery and Emotional Health in Women's Magazines in Canada. Women s Health Issues, 2008; 18 (6): 463 DOI: 10.1016/j.whi.2008.07.004

Cite This Page:

University of British Columbia. "Women's Magazines Downplay Emotional Health Risks Of Cosmetic Surgery, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211093548.htm>.
University of British Columbia. (2008, December 13). Women's Magazines Downplay Emotional Health Risks Of Cosmetic Surgery, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211093548.htm
University of British Columbia. "Women's Magazines Downplay Emotional Health Risks Of Cosmetic Surgery, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081211093548.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins