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Reality TV driving demand for aesthetic treatments among teens, says survey

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A whopping 92% of girls aged between 15 and 18 surveyed in a Safety in Beauty campaign say they are keen to try aesthetic treatments.

The research attributes this demand to reality shows like ‘Love Island’ and the influence wielded by contestants.

Aesthetic Magazine reports that, most concerningly, 92% of the girls surveyed would seek treatment irrespective of it being legally allowed or not, meaning they were prepared to lie to get access to the treatment or provider.

The findings are likely to reanimate conversations around young peoples’ self-image, especially the body image and mental health of young and impressionable reality TV show viewers. Indeed, 79% of those surveyed believed that female contestants on ‘Love Island’ represent what boys look for in girls in relation to beauty.

There is a noticeable spike in demand for certain procedures within certain age groups when shows such as ‘Love Island’ go on air.

For example, in another survey by Safety in Beauty, conducted on 100 UK-based women, the most popular enhancements searched for after watching ‘Love Island’ were lip fillers, hair extensions, and breast augmentation. Permanent make-up, cosmetic nose enhancements, and fat reduction treatments also showed increased demand.

"We do typically see increases in enquiries when a celebrity or influencer undergoes a particular procedure," says the consultant plastic surgeon and founder of CLNQ, Mr Reza Nassab. “Love Island’ contestants are often in swimwear, which may make people more conscious of their bodies. We frequently get patients seeking breast augmentation saying that feel very self-conscious in bikinis.”

For practitioners, the findings should provide cause for concern but also opportunities for education, especially around why aesthetic treatments are suitable or not suitable for an individual. Plus, it has never been a more important time to emphasise the value of expertise and experience over discounts, social media following, or the trend for cheap cosmetic surgery abroad.

Controlling client expectations is important too: "During my consultations, I discuss with patients their goals, and sometimes they will show me a photo of a celebrity,” says Nassab. “I frequently have to say that those results will not be achieved as, although before and after images are helpful to educate patients, if the before does not look like them, the after is not going to either.” (Source: https://aestheticmed.co.uk/site/shownewsdetails/92--of-girls-surveyed-would-seek-aesthetic-treatme)

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