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Higher self-esteem in Asian cosmetic surgery candidates

A study performed at the E-Da Hospital/I-Shou University in Taiwan and published in the medical journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery compared the psychological profiles of Taiwanese female cosmetic surgery candidates with a control group not interested in having surgery to try to better understand the motivation for seeking care.

The study measured such psychological processes as overall body image, satisfaction with a particular body part or area, self-esteem, degree of social support, perception of other people's opinions, and satisfaction with sex life. Results were compared with the matched non-surgical control group.

asian self esteem

About two-thirds of cosmetic surgery candidates received psychological support from all three main social groups, including family, partner, and friends.

The body image scores for the surgery candidates were not significantly different from those in the control group.

The surgery candidates showed significantly higher self-esteem than those not interested in having surgery as well as higher perception of other people's opinions.

The only significant statistical predictor for the likelihood of undergoing plastic surgery was body area dissatisfaction.


The study concluded that surgery candidates did not have higher general body image dissatisfaction or higher body image investment (more time spent thinking about appearance) than the controls.

Of most interest is the study's finding of "significantly higher self-esteem" in the surgery group, a notion that contradicts the commonly-held and often-expressed opinion that low self-esteem is a principal motivating factor for Asian patients seeking cosmetic care.


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