Non-Surgical Cosmetic Procedures: Older Women's Perceptions and Experiences
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This paper analyzes findings from in-depth interviews with 44 women aged 50-70 regarding their perceptions of and experiences with non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as Botox injections, laser hair removal, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and injectable fillers. While 21 of the women had used a range of non-surgical cosmetic procedures, 23 women had not. The data are discussed in light of feminist theorizing on cosmetic surgery which has tended to ignore the experiences of older women and has been divided in terms of the portrayal of cosmetic surgery as either oppressive or liberating. We found that some of the women used the procedures to increase their physical attractiveness and self-esteem, others viewed the procedures as excessively risky, and still others argued that the procedures stemmed from the social devaluation of later life. Treatments that involved the alteration of the surface of the body tended to be viewed as less risky than the injection of foreign substances into the body.
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