Cosmetic surgery reflects class divide

Cosmetic surgery marketing strategies “seem to betray class preferences”, a new study from the University of Leeds has found.

The study analysed the internet marketing strategies of cosmetic surgeries in Spain and the Czech Republic that target the burgeoning market for cosmetic surgery tourism. Spanish surgeries target working-class Britons by linking beauty to obvious signs of wealth, such as yachts. Czech sites are understated and emphasise skill, hygiene and regulation.

Contributions from the University of Sydney and the Sydney University of Technology found that Thailand offered a hybrid model to Australians.

“Rather than addressing the wealthy, they address the aspirational with a promise of ‘luxury you can’t get at home’,” authors noted.

“Middle-class clients are more likely to be fully informed about risk, since their bodies and lives are extremely valuable already,” the study found. “Working-class patients may be attempting to accrue value through beauty itself when other sources of capital have been kept firmly beyond their grasp.”

Read more at The University of Leeds