Are Cosmetic Surgery Marketing Restrictions a Good Idea?

Three weeks ago, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) announced that it had drafted a number of proposed restrictions on cosmetic surgery marketing in the UK and submitted it to the Committee of Advertising Practice there.

The BAAPS’s concerns about current plastic surgery-related marketing efforts across the pond stem from two places: a study released earlier this year that revealed that half of UK citizens suffer from negative body image (something that the BAAPS attributes to an overload of ads on billboards, buses and TV), and the increasing number of botched dermal filler procedures that UK plastic surgeons have been reporting (something that the BAAPS says is the result of overly lax dermal filler regulations).

The organization has outlined twelve restrictions that they believe should be put into effect in order to combat these issues; no decision has been made yet, but there is, of course, an upswelling of controversy surrounding the matter, with supporters on both sides of the issue.

Some of the BAAPS’s opinions regarding what should and should not be allowed seem a little extreme; for instance, they want to ban “all forms of discounted offers” when it comes to plastic surgery (which seems more like a punishment for patients than for plastic surgeons).

On the other hand, some of their ideas hold promise, especially those regarding closer regulation of dermal fillers. I’ve written more than one post about the dangers of underground plastic surgery and how to keep yourself safe when you’re using cosmetic injectables, but my warnings bear repeating: do not trust your face or body to anyone unless you’re absolutely sure that they are qualified—and licensed—to be performing the procedures they’re offering! Even a licensed doctor should not be treating you with cosmetic injectables unless he or she is a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon.

I’ll leave it to you to form your own opinions about what the BAAPS is trying to accomplish across the pond. Just remember: if you’re getting plastic surgery, your number one priority should always be your own well being, both physical and emotional—regardless of who’s advertising what.