Ten million Americans spent US$11 billion on cosmetic surgery last year, a jump of 106% from the previous year.
Yet opinions on the practice are still divided.
Female politicians, actors and other public figures attract both admiration and scorn, in a ‘damned if they do, damned if they don’t’, approach to plastic surgery.
Founder of Ms. magazine
, Letty Cottin Pogebrin, said sexism and ageism go hand in hand.
She noted that female public figure Elizabeth Warren was called “Granny” at 63, but a notable male figure would never be called “Grampa”.
Actresses such as Nicole Kidman and Jamie Lee Curtis tried and ultimately rejected plastic surgery. Curtis said it added to her insecurity. New York therapist Vivian Diller said women whose self-image was based on authenticity would not want to act against that image.
However, Diller said the newest generation of feminist women were likely to accept cosmetic surgery, while their forebears might not.
Young women feel they have earned the right to look their best, said Dr Diller.
It is not only women enhancing their looks. It has been rumoured that Michael Douglas, Paul McCartney, Bruce Springsteen and politician John Kerry have had procedures.
One million American plastic surgery patients last year were men.