Plastic Surgery and the Rejection Factor

During consultation for plastic surgery, plastic surgeons dedicate time to discuss the reasons why the procedure is desired. Some people interested in plastic surgery voice that they would like to improve their appearance. This may involve altering a slight or significant imperfection. Others may wish to improve medical conditions, functionality or enhance quality of life in daily activities that are otherwise avoided. When the concerns are reasonable, plastic surgeons will perform plastic surgery. It is rare for people who see a plastic surgeon to have unreasonable concerns about their appearance. Yet, this may occur for some people afflicted with body dysmorphic disorder. Body dysmorphic disorder is characterized by unreasonably elevated concerns about minor physical flaws. Plastic surgeons screen for body dysmorphic disorder to reduce the risk of unnecessary surgery and re-operation. It is important to note that there is a difference between body dysmorphic disorder and seeking out plastic surgery to resolve rejection.

Plastic surgery is sought after to reduce the risk of rejection by some people. The Body Image published the results of a study in the June issue showing that people who experience rejection because of their appearance are more likely to be interested in plastic surgery. This is particularly true when people recollect negative comments that people have made about their appearance. The study combined the expertise of a group of psychologists from the University at Buffalo and the University of Kent. The report highlights are interesting, as follows:

  • Over 100 U.S. college students wrote an essay about negative and positive comments that they had received in the past.
  • Students that the receipt of negative comments and experienced rejection about their appearance had a greater interest in plastic surgery.
  • Negative appearance comments were most often related to bodily features and positive comments were more often associated with overall appearance.
  • The most often sources of comments were peers, friends and romantic partners.

People are vulnerable to the effects of negative comments about their appearance. They can be sensitive to rejection. Plastic surgeons do consider this factor when qualifying people for plastic surgery treatment. Yet, this factor does not mean that these types of individuals will be excluded from treatment. Plastic surgery has been known to improve self image and self esteem.

Back to List of Articles

view our videos

like us on facebook

connect on twitter

follow on instagram