Older women worldwide are more obsessed with having plastic surgery once or twice in their lifespan, according to the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).
Why are women between 40 and 60 really obsessed with plastic surgery?
I believe the reasons for the increasing popularity of plastic surgery among older women are complex and numerous. For instance, the want to look attractive like olden days, losing the sense of femininity with withering girlish charm, the wish to conform to the contemporary definition of beauty, and garnering more projects, if possible, into the glamor world—are some of the existent grounds behind this obsession.
The ASPS report opines that 55% of American women at 50 and older have opted for cosmetic surgery last year. The number is around 4,168,693, a 28% jump compared to the 3,252,430 procedures done by older American women in 2010.
Apparently, the obsession with plastic surgery in aging women is getting crazier. Let’s try an insight with WomenMinds into our older women’s mindset about why they are craving their age reversal.
Women Desire to Seize Time to Capture Beauty
As women age, they mostly spend their time in and out, wondering how they look on the surface now.
Unfortunately, slim, attractive, and beautiful women in their heydays get reshaped over the senior years. And being so delicate about their figure by their very nature, women even after the 50s become fixated on discovering something magical– hence, the plastic surgery flaunting as their savior.
The old saying, “beauty reflects through the eyes of its beholder,” has now become an irony since modern women have internalized this idea of looking beautiful no matter what and how. It’s much owing to the comparison of a woman as an epitome of beauty.
Unfortunately, as a woman ages, she doesn’t get as much appreciation as her younger, beautiful form did.
That’s why aging women take the archaic saying very seriously, making them desiring to emerge perfect and flawless in front of their beholders.
To restore their former charm, they take shelter under the mercy of plastic surgery such as facelifts, chemical peel, chin tucks, and whatnot.
This natural inclination to look charming all the time regardless of age and setting have made women enthusiastic customers of cosmetic surgery around the world.
However, don’t think that this preoccupation with mending facial appearance is something new.
In fact, women’s wish to change their looks dates back from the time Cleopatra’s milk baths to kohl’s use to darken and enhance the eyes, from vegetable dyes on cheeks and lips to hair adornments.
Trust me, this ancient notion of captivating beauty through many crazy ways has not changed yet only improved with time and technology advancement.
An article titled “Why are women over 50 turning to plastic surgery?” reports that most aged women prefer cosmetic surgeries to enhance their looks.
According to the American Society for Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), individuals aged 55 or over make up nearly 1/4 of all patients who go for cosmetic treatments. It further says that it’s not surprising that those in the age bracket of 40-54 make up over 1/3 of all patients.
I know that this information can come as a surprise to those who assume that only the 20 or 30-something-year-olds long for plastic surgery.
Guess what; it’s not!
From the above stats, you can easily deduce that they wish to look like bygone days are more persistent on women aged 45-60 than young women because of their incorporated notions of beauty.
And who doesn’t want to seize the time and behold the beauty of those blazing summer days?
Women Fear Losing Their Femininity
The onset of middle age, 40 to 50, has created a sense of diminishing idea in women losing sexual and feminine identities.
The more women age, the more the concept of losing sexual desires overpowers their thought process. As sexual competence is considered one of the intrinsic qualities of womanhood, the older women try heart and soul to prolong their femininity.
That is when plastic surgery’s magical uplifting emerges because the aged women want to resurrect their mental image by over-compensating their body image in society.
A perfect body image is a significant factor in the quest for cosmetic surgery. It’s been reinforced by an online journal titled “Aging and cosmetic enhancement,” written by Roberta Honigman and David J Castle.
The journal says that body image in the elderly suggests that appearance is a motivating factor for surgery, and body image as a determinant of psychological well-being.
Therefore, older women want to reinstate their former body image, and that works as an appropriate starting point to satisfy their needs of undergoing surgery.
Let’s check a small anecdote here. While I was in my troubled teenage period, I was a huge fan of American drama Desperate Housewives.
Mind that, movies and series reflect human lives, and here, Desperate Housewives showed a woman’s psychological relationship between her aging body and the sense of femininity.
Women do not want to compromise with the idea of losing their feminine side as they grow older. Hence, they choose to go for various kinds of plastic surgery so that the body image remains intact, at least within their minds, if not reversing it altogether.
However, at the same time, the procedure to reverse the aging process has a lot to do with their psychological issues. Since the middle-aged women think that they can stop the biological clock ticking with these cosmetic procedures and keep feminine and sexual aspect in good condition.
As a result, more and more middle-aged women are going for plastic surgery because as long as it keeps the women sane, the surgeries work fine.
Conforming to The Contemporary Definition of Beauty
We all know how modern western society is obsessed with success, youth, and beauty.
Since the latter half of the 20th century, the focus on females’ bodies had increased as a vehicle for identity and self-expression. More significant importance and recognition have been given to the female appearance in the media: television, movies, or social media platforms.
I believe we all know that it’s youth, which has become the paramount indicator of being valued and privileged, mostly women. Whereas, much lesser importance is being given to experience and skills.
At the same time, beauty has also emerged as the apparent new indicator of social worth.
Therefore, more and more aged women are now singling out plastic surgery as a recovery option to flexibly present themselves with the ongoing definition of social acceptance as women.
A contributing factor to the 21st century’s obsession with beauty and perfection has largely been responsible due to mass media lately. There’s been a significant change in portraying the female body and beauty in advertising and social networking sites.
Consequently, more aged women think that their beauties are withering. Since their age no longer allows them to be the members of what society addresses as “Young” and “Beautiful,” older women are willingly falling victims to plastic surgeries.
So, it’s easily noticeable that we have become a part of the world notion where aging women with experience are mostly deferred from respect.
Thus, a constant need is evident among older women to conform to the increasingly impossible cosmetic beauty standards.
Toward the end of the 20th century, advancement in medicine and nutrition, combined with an increasing awareness of individual healthcare, has enabled people to live longer, healthier, and lead more productive and active lives.
Nowadays, women are more careful about the way they look and present themselves in society. They also have financial freedom, which empowers them to spend as much as they want to be adequate as per societal norms of contemporary beauty.
“The number of women at 65 and older getting facelifts and cosmetic eyelid surgeries have more than doubled over the last two decades, with much of that increase occurring over the last five years,” comments the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Therefore, you can understand beauty and youth are becoming significant determinants of economic and social security.
So, middle-aged women, especially, have become a part of the growing culture of cosmetic surgery, considering it as a solution to the “tyranny” of middle age.
Needing More Projects in Glamorous World
Even if you consciously look at the glamorous world, you will see that more and more actresses are donning plastic surgery to strengthen their position.
Veteran actresses like Julia Roberts, Jennifer Anniston, etc. have been accused of using skin fillers to garner more lead roles.
I’ve already discussed how being young and fit are expected from women. We’re talking about glamorous actors, and being all the time “perfect” is their thing.
In one of her interviews, Julia Roberts, said that it’s a significant risk if you’re an older woman in Hollywood but not getting plastic surgery.
Unfortunately, they are female actors as well. And just like other women, they need to get fit in the “beautiful” category and work on their looks and shapes for getting better roles in the silver screen.
Female psychologist Figuroa emphasized the role of self-esteem with being beautiful in one of the articles titled, “Self-esteem and cosmetic surgery: Is there a relationship between the two?”.
She continues to say that the motivations for women to undergo surgery to reinstate a youthful appearance are complex.
In particular, she points to one of the motivations for cosmetic surgery being a “perceived inability to carry out a public role” as a driving force for cosmetic procedures.
With the advancement of technology and life, women celebrities have become more prone to plastic surgeries. Because this entertainment business is all about– the younger and glamorous you look, the more ideal you’re for movie roles, regardless of age and experience.
However, the flip side of this obsession with plastic surgery has destroyed many celebrities’ faces and lives.
An apt example of surgery going wrong is Bollywood heroine, Koena Mitra. Words are there that she went through at least five surgeries on her face to elevate her position in the industry. The last surgery she went through altered her nose so unrecognizably that it left her a little room to accommodate any suitable movie role anymore. As a result, a celebrity had gone lost in time before time.
This motivation not only works for female actors; this is even true for the aging women in other fields as well. In other workplaces, older women need to maintain themselves so that people take them seriously. But the truth is, skilled women, thrive a lot profoundly than those who strive to impress only through physical appearance.
In short, older women, be it from an entertainment or non-entertainment background, tend to maintain their aura to garner more works, films, and attention altogether.
The 21st century’s massive growth of the “looks industry” has not been passed by the aging population.
Various advertisements, promotions, and social pressures are some of the main reasons that push older women to pay money in an urge to stop themselves from aging.
It seems the western society has been increasingly denigrating rather than revering the elderly. Thus, more and more older women are trying to control time to maintain their bodies and looks.
I believe we need to ensure that the unnecessary pressures don’t get on older women’s heads to look young. Besides, they mustn’t carry unrealistic expectations and spend a significant portion of their savings on deteriorating plastic surgery procedures.
Remember, if once your time’s gone, it’s gone. All you now live with are your dignity and passion for your life– something that makes a living your life worth rather than dancing on the societal strings meaninglessly.