Fletchers Solicitor’s Junior Litigation Executive, Darya Amin asks the question, ‘is there a direct correlation between a growing mental health crisis and viewing the world through social media’s ever-present ‘looking glass’?
With the growth of social media a new plague has developed, whereby personal ambitions are fuelled by images of idealistic lifestyles seen online’.
With the wave of celebrity endorsement on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, one of the largest targeted markets, is that of body image.
Concerns have been raised with regards to the omission of any health warnings on products and the unregulated marketing of special offers for cosmetic procedures, which promise the delivery of a body which looks healthy and fit.
Mr Nigel Mercer, President of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons acknowledged back in 2009, that: “Cosmetic procedures are often marketed using special offers, including vouchers, two for one deals and surgery holidays, and that these practices contribute to an “unregulated mess.”
The promotion of products and services which “at best are useless and at worst as damaging” has already been identified to have a growing detrimental impact on the physical and mental state of users – who often have an expectation of unrealistic results.
There has also been a rise in the number of negligence claims for cosmetic procedures.
Despite the continuing great investment by the NHS, it is questionable as to how the NHS can address this growing issue and not be faced with an onslaught of corrective procedures for both mental and physical injuries sustained following the use of the cosmetic products and services.
Perhaps it is time to adopt Mr Mercer’s suggestion made back in 2009, which was to implement a Europe wide ban, akin to tobacco, on the advertisement of cosmetic surgical procedures; and further extend this to DIY cosmetic procedures and products.
Such a ban could potentially alleviate pressure from the NHS with resources being reallocated to other areas of need.