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Friday, 30 March 2012

“Offensive” and “misleading” cosmetic surgery advertising under attack

BioEdge, By Michael Cook: Several prominent feminists and cosmetic surgeons have published a letter in the Guardian (UK) calling for a ban on cosmetic surgery advertising. The signatories include the president and the president-elect of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. There are no restictions on advertising for cosmetic surgery in the UK. The letter claims that advertising is trivialising risky surgery. "In addition, the messaging and imagery commonly used in cosmetic surgery adverts contributes to undermining body confidence, which in turn drives demand. The negative psychological impacts of poor body image are severe and have prompted a parliamentary body image inquiry into the matter, due to report later this year. "At present people have no choice but to be exposed to the aggressive marketing tactics of some cosmetic clinics, whether they be in public spaces, in magazines, on the internet or on TV. So these adverts affect everyone, not just individuals already considering surgery. Just as rules prevent prescription medicines being advertised in the interests of public health, we urge the government to prohibit the advertising of cosmetic surgery." Across the Atlantic, in Miami, a controversy over a YouTube video commissioned by a cosmetic surgeon has come under fire for all the reasons mentioned in the letter. Dr Michael Salzhauer engaged a Jewish pop group to make a music video called “Nose Job Love Song” about a high school student with a "beak like Jewcan Sam” who has cosmetic surgery to attract a pretty girl. As part of the deal, he gave the band leader, Doug Staiman, a free rhinoplasty. He also appears in the video as the surgeon."This is just disturbing that a doctor would play into the frailties of the human condition," said Dr. Malcolm Roth, president of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The ASPS says that the video is "offensive and inappropriate" and is studying whether Dr Salzhauer has violated the Society’s code of ethics. Source: BioEdge