Millennials tend to think of themselves as free thinkers who are open to change and see their bodies as canvasses for self-expression. Inked and pierced, this is a generation of women and men who don’t have hang-ups about making long-lasting changes to their appearances.
So it’s not surprising that RealSelf, a website that serves as a resource for people considering cosmetic procedures, discovered that millennials are frequent visitors to the site.
“Compared to older generations, people under the age of 35 aren’t as ‘weirded out’ by the thought of using medicine to change their bodies,” says a RealSelf article. “That said, they don’t want those changes to be overly noticeable. Baywatch bodies and Barbie smiles are out. Smaller breasts and incremental progress are in.”
It’s also safe to say having grown up in the age of the Kardashians, millennials are used to plastic surgery and other cosmetic alterations being discussed routinely. BOTOX® is a household name, and selfies have made us more self-conscious. In short, millennials consider themselves less judgmental about cosmetic procedures.
According to RealSelf, the cosmetic options that generated the most interest among users 35 and younger included:
Brazilian butt lift
Stretch mark treatments
Acne scar treatment
Of those, stretch mark treatments might raise a few eyebrows. But 90% of all new moms in 2014 were millennials. Topical retinoid creams, light and laser therapies, and microdermabrasion all fall under the category of stretch mark treatments. And even though women are waiting longer to have children, once they’re finished, a mommy makeover is an acceptable way to “get their bodies back.”
A mommy makeover typically combines body contouring procedures such as a tummy tuck and liposuction with a breast lift or breast augmentation. Albany, New York, plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Rockmore says on his website that women want plastic surgery after having children because changes that occur during and after pregnancy “can make it difficult to find clothes that fit the way they used to and for them to feel as good about their bodies as they once did.”
It’s also worth noting the popularity of tattoo removal among millennials. Nearly 4 out of every 10 people between ages 18 and 35 have at least 1 tattoo (and those with tattoos usually have more than 1). But it appears that having second thoughts isn’t unusual. Millennials made up about half of the people who research tattoo removal on the RealSelf site.
The popularity of Brazilian butt lifts and lip augmentation for this generation can probably be traced in part to the aforementioned Kardashian clan. It was Kim who famously broke the Internet with her provocative pose showing off what many considered an enhanced rear, while Kylie Jenner’s lip kit triggered an increased interest in fillers to create a more sensuous pout.
What does all this mean?
“Young people aren’t afraid to research their medical options,” sums up the RealSelf article. “Maybe you’ll get work done, maybe you won’t, but letting negative stigma hold you back has never been more out of style.”