Plastic surgery appeals to people who expect rejection based on their appearance, a recent study shows. The study, which was conducted on college students, also found that most appearance-related comments made to the students – good and bad – had come from peers, friends and lovers, not strangers.
A new study confirms what many of us have long suspected: The people most likely to get cosmetic surgery are the ones who fear — and expect — rejection based on their looks.
The study was conducted by a professor from the University of Buffalo together with two grad students and a professor from the University of Kent. They began by randomly recruiting 133 college students. Each student was told to write an essay about either a positive or negative comment that he or she had received about their appearance at some point in the past.
The researchers found that most of the comments – good and bad – had come from peers, friends and lovers, not strangers.
In addition, most of the negative comments were insults directed at a student’s body weight or size or shape – while most of the positive comments were less specific, and regarded a student’s overall appearance.
The researchers also found that the students who remembered negative comments showed more sensitivity about their appearance in the essays they handed in.
The study factored in variables such as self-perception and self-esteem. But in the end, those who wrote about negative comments indicated that they expect to be rejected because of their appearance.
And – perhaps not surprisingly – many of them expressed strong interest in fixing the perceived flaw with cosmetic surgery.