Plastic surgery has become entertainment. Here’s why it’s worrying.
Scroll through social media and you’ll find yourself sitting front-row in an operating room, watching a surgeon make incisions on a body. There’s blood. Implants. Discarded fat. The hum drum of music in the background.
And it’s all happening in real life.
With the rise of cosmetic surgery, platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have become extremely powerful marketing tools, with surgeons filling their feeds with before-and-after photos, videos of clients, memes, skits – and of course, surgery.
From injectable treatments to BBL surgery – it seems like nothing is off limits. These days you can consent to having your procedure broadcasted to millions of people all over the world. And bar a couple of well-placed emojis, there is often little to no censorship involved.
Here, it’s all about satisfying the public’s appetite for transformations – giving followers and viewers a sneaky ‘behind the scenes’ pass to see the performance of various surgical procedures.
And while these kinds of videos are hugely popular and literally watched by millions upon millions of people, you can’t help but fear we’ve crept into some very dangerous territory. And for good reason.
Some social posts – shared here in Australia – appear to show practitioners singing and dancing during procedures, even displaying bags of removed fat or tissue, possibly without consent.
Although they don’t represent the vast majority of responsible doctors, the popularity of this content could help share a dangerous misperception of surgery. A false illusion of something that is actually wrought with serious risks and complications.
And so we’re left asking ourselves questions – what are the ethics around plastic surgeons sharing content on social media? Is it really educational? Or is it increasingly just blurring the line between patient care and entertainment?
Let’s take a look.