Published On: Wed, Jun 8th, 2016

The Pursuit for Perfection

dIn a heavily digital age where the internet’s fixation on ‘fitspo’ has encouraged a culture of body image obsession in men and women of all ages, the definition of a normal body has become something of an extreme, and often unattainable concept. This ideal of the perfect body has been widely publicised through the media and presented as a singular image for what all healthy bodies should look like. It is also not an image that is easy to escape either, with immediate and constant imagery projecting what a healthy body is, how it should look, how to eat and how frequently to exercise.

Dr Megan Lim, a researcher at the Melbourne-based Burnet Institute has conducted studies that suggest up to 38% of young people are subscribed to receive regular updates on fitspo related pages and become fixated on social media personalities which emphasize fitspiration, and extreme dieting, detox and fitness plans. This obsession with attaining the perfect thin body-shape often leads to obsessive tendencies, unhealthy weight loss practices, depression and often eating disorders.

This behavior sets a tone for unrealistic body expectations from a young age which then translate to adult life and expectations of bodies that are designed to grow and change throughout various stages of life – and women aren’t the only ones affected. Eating Disorders Victoria’s communications and media officer, Megan O’Connor comments that many individuals affected by body obsession issues are, in fact, young men whose image obsession issues often develop into anxiety and unhealthy dieting. Commonly, these issues remain untreated as there is a culture  which implies that seeking help for body obsession is portrayed as unmasculine. Data also suggests that these these trends aren’t projected to decrease any time soon.

Research by the Australian Psychological Society suggests that body image dissatisfaction has as much as tripled in the past 25 years, mostly due to the prevalence of unrealistic body imagery promoted and circulated by contemporary media. The major concern is that many affected by body obsession issues will resort to unhealthy measures to reduce weight and build muscle including eating disorders, extreme dieting and muscle enhancing supplementation.

The alternative becoming more and more popular for those who find it difficult to maintain healthy weight easily is cosmetic surgery, under the guidance of medical professionals. One such institution, offering safe cosmetic solutions is the Australian-based Cosmos Clinic. Many individuals who have found themselves in a position where healthy eating and regular exercise are not sufficient to maintain a healthy weight find cosmetic procedures like liposuction to be an affordable and safe alternative, with 96% percent of women around Australia alone saying they would change their body if they could.

Modern cosmetic surgery technology has come a long way, and there are now many different types of liposuction procedures available, many with less than 5 days recovery time, requiring only local anaesthesia and can be performed on a range of different types of body to achieve results that help each individual reach a healthy weight with the guidance of a trained and certified professional.

Many patients of Cosmos Clinic have found success in their liposuction results, with many new mothers finding that cosmetic surgery aids in tightening the skin loosened by childbearing and helps to get them on track for getting back to a healthy, pre-baby weight range.

Many patients who make the choice to opt for cosmetic surgery, instead of unhealthy weight loss practices, and establish a healthy training and diet regime, with the advice of their GP create the perfect platform for a more successful and healthy future.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, suggests that 90% of patients who establish a strategic and personalized fitness and diet plan after cosmetic procedures such as liposuction do not gain back the weight lost after the procedure.

The major points to note at the end of this discussion are that, while fitspiration feeds are a great source of encouragement, every body has a unique healthy range and that there are numerous safe avenues for achieving the ideal body shape. In addition, weight loss and body concerns should always be discussed with a regular GP to ensure health and weight are managed effectively.