And the Winner is! The Rise in Competitions giving Cosmetic Surgery as PrizesOctober 24, 2011
Cosmetic surgery has increasingly become more popular and mainstream. We, as a society, are more open and frank about plastic surgery. Generally, people nowadays are unashamed to discuss any procedures they may have had or would wish to have. However, it is much more recently that cosmetic surgery has been offered as a prize in the UK. Here we will look at the types of competitions offering these procedures and attempt to decipher why such offers have come about.
The idea of competitions offering cosmetic surgery as prizes originated in America. The Trump Casino in Atlanta regularly offers $25,000 of cosmetic surgery as one of its jackpot prizes. The concept has now spread to the UK. In early 2011, amid a blaze of publicity, a cosmetic surgery prize draw was held in a London nightclub. "My Big Fat Plastic Surgery Prize Draw" offered a main prize of £4,000 of plastic surgery treatments, including gastric bands and breast augmentation, at the Transpire Cosmetic Group. Tickets costs £25 ($40) each and runner up prizes included Botox, fillers and teeth whitening treatments. The magazine also offered readers the chance to win a makeover which included cosmetic surgery. The successful candidate elected for breast enlargement. Other plastic surgery clinics offer discounts and reward schemes on popular treatments such as gastric bands.
Why the Sudden Rise?
Cosmetic surgery is more acceptable in today's society and more and more people are undergoing treatment. Plastic surgery used to be a private, almost secretive, industry but now it is much more mainstream. Whereas in the past it was the richer person who could undergo surgery it is now open to a wider range of budgets. However, it is still expensive so these competitions are the only way for some to have surgery and for some it’s simply considered as another option to finance breast implants. The companies offering these prizes also receive a great deal of publicity, which attracts even more business for them.
Not everyone sees these competitions in a positive light. Indeed many, including plastic surgeons themselves, have labelled them irresponsible and dangerous. The fear is that a winner of such a competition would feel obliged to undergo surgery they do not really want or need. People may undergo treatment without thinking about the consequences. Someone may have a gastric band fitted without understanding the life changing affect it will have upon them. Competition organisers hit back arguing that every winner undergoes consultation with a surgeon before surgery and is not necessary guaranteed a procedure. They claim these competitions are simply a way of helping those who otherwise could not afford it.
There is no doubt that competitions offering cosmetic surgery as prizes are controversial. In the UK the creation of such prize draws was met with fierce criticism from the press and public. Even those within the plastic surgery industry voiced their concern. However, such competitions are growing in number and popularity largely due to society's increasing acceptance of cosmetic surgery. It looks as though, despite the backlash, we will continue to see more and more cosmetic surgery procedures given away as prizes.
Posted by verna luga
She earned her Masters in Applied Social Research at Ateneo de Davao University. She's a hard-core pluralist, an eternal optimist, a 40ish realist and a frustrated florist. She’s a mother, a teacher, a dreamer and who knows one day a potter.
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