Cosmetic surgery, body image and sexuality.

Reprod Health Matters. 2010 May;18(35):4-10. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(10)35518-2. LMEFREE

Cosmetic surgery, body image and sexuality.

Berer M.


OSMETIC surgery is not a new phenome- non. Facelifts, nose jobs, breast reduction and breast implants have been common

among women for decades, and the profession and practice of cosmetic surgery is well estab- lished in many countries, including many deve- loping countries. However, in the past 10–15 years, there has been a seismic shift in what is considered possible and desirable to change as regards the bodies we are born with. What has been labelled a “body-changing culture” is being popularised and becoming pervasive in many soci- eties, and now includes changes to almost all parts of the body, especially the most intimate ones, through a growing list of surgical procedures. Author Naomi Wolf argues in The Beauty Myth that the most frequent cosmetic procedures are currently being performed on the areas of women’s bodies most associated with “female- ness”: thighs, stomach, buttocks, and breasts.1 But this has gone further to include vulvas and vaginas, and for men, penises.

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