Leading UK body The Committee of Advertising Practice, is considering placing a ban on cosmetic surgery advertising aimed at children. There has been growing concern over the cosmetic surgery content targeting teenage girls through social media.
If the ban is put in place, it would be the first time that restrictions have been placed on cosmetic surgery promotion.
What are the new rules being proposed?
The new rules would see all cosmetic surgery advertisements banned which were targeted at those under the age of 18. This would apply to all media channels, including online content and TV programmes.
The procedures included in the new rules are breast enlargement, Botox and nose jobs. It will not apply to creams or haircare products and ads can still be targeted at adults.
Why is the cosmetic surgery advertising ban being considered?
There are several reasons why a ban on cosmetic surgery advertisement aimed at children is being considered. In recent years, there has been growing concern about the body pressures placed upon children. Thanks to social media, many young children are already developing insecurities over their appearance. Cosmetic surgery adverts contribute to this.
It isn’t just cosmetic surgery adverts that could be banned either. Dieting and weight loss products will also be looked into. The bans are being considered as a way to better protect young people from potential harm.
How lockdown contributed to negative self-image
The recent lockdown has impacted all of our lives. However, it has had a particularly worrying effect on the confidence of teenagers and children. A survey carried out by Girlguiding, revealed a third of young women and girls aged 11 to 21, wouldn’t post an unedited photo of themselves.
The lockdown has certainly contributed to negative self-image due to how much additional time has been spent on social media. So, limiting the amount of content they are exposed to online that promotes cosmetic surgery could help go some way towards developing a more positive body image.
In 2018, an advertisement for breast enlargement by MYA was the first to be banned. It was shown during Love Island, with critics arguing teenage girls would have been exposed to the content. The ad saw a 21-year old talking about how much better her life had been after a breast enlargement. After receiving a record number of complaints, the ad was eventually banned. Now, it looks like experts want to crack down on similar ads which notoriously target children.
While cosmetic surgery can greatly improve a patient’s life, it is only recommended for those aged 18 and over who have realistic expectations about what cosmetic surgery can achieve.