RealSelf Stats Reveal Surprising Number of Real Women Are Getting Cosmetic Procedures

Jager Weatherby on 12 Feb 2015 at 8:00pm

"As cosmetic procedures continue to become mainstream, millions of women are overcoming social stigma to pursue cosmetic changes they have been researching, often for years.”
— RealSelf CEO Tom Seery

Renee Zellweger and Uma Thurman’s Faces

With celebrities like Renee Zellweger and Uma Thurman becoming hot topics for their “new and unrecognizable” faces, plastic surgery has once again found itself at the center of American gossip-mag fodder. Both actresses have made recent red carpet appearances after a significant time out of the spotlight, and people haven’t been able to stop themselves from speculating on their “drastically” different looks.

“What HAS Renée Zellweger Done to Her Face?” read one headline back in October. “Uma Thurman Has Gone and Completely Changed Her Face” read another just this week.

MORE: Renee Zellweger’s Face: We’re Missing the Point

Let’s forget for a moment that the most noticeable change in Uma’s appearance is the fact that she’s  barely wearing any eye makeup. (No one seemed to think she looked any different when she walked the red carpet less than two weeks before.) Let’s ask the real question: Why is it such a big deal? Sure, Uma’s in the public eye and therefore people seem to think they have free reign to speculate about her life. But even if she did have a cosmetic procedure, why do we care? Who are we to judge what anyone does to feel confident in themselves?

Despite the Stigma, Plastic Surgery’s Going More Mainstream

What we find most baffling is that, despite the stigma associated with going under the knife, plastic surgery is more common than ever. According to new market research findings, one-third of women say they themselves would consider paying a visit to the plastic surgeon to get help with an area of their body they’re not happy with. That’s one out of every three women you know! What’s more, one in five are actively pursuing or plan to pursue cosmetic surgery, with 7% having already undergone it in the past.

Being surrounded by the RealSelf community every day, we know that not all of those who choose to undergo a cosmetic procedure have low self-esteem or are youth-obsessed (as the media so often likes to portray). They simply want to become the best versions of themselves — to have their outside match the way they feel about themselves on the inside. In fact, of those polled who are considering a procedure, nearly every single one of them cited some form of confidence as their main motivator. Top expected outcomes post-op include increased self-esteem, overall confidence level, overall happiness, and comfort when having your photo taken.

And where do everyday people stand on the polarizing matter?

It’s All About That Self-Esteem

It’s the community of RealSelf — who’s actually been there, done that — who truly says it best:

“If the surgery makes you feel significantly better, then it’s worth it,” says RealSelf user JustineBaby, who had her rhinoplasty in 2014. “I shouldn't be ashamed of my new nose because I love it so much! Plastic surgery is such a taboo subject, but it shouldn't be! It's up to us ladies to NOT make it a taboo subject. Can you really put a price on confidence?”

If you ask us, that’s a much more interesting conversation than idle celebrity speculation.

Agree or disagree? Share your opinions in the comments below!

Read more about the RealSelf consumer study here.