Can Cosmetic Surgery Change Peoples’ Perceptions Of You?

Update 16/09/2018


While it is a well-known fact that having a cosmetic surgery procedure in a Thailand clinic can make you look younger, a lesser known effect could be the way people perceive you. According to JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery, a well-respected journal, women who surgery to rejuvenate their faces were perceived to be more likeable and attractive than before the procedure.

Facial Profiling

This is the witty, if a little risqué, sobriquet given to the cognitive shortcut used by us to collect information about people based on visual cues. Facial expressions are among the most obvious cues.

In a nutshell; we judge people based on their resting facial expressions. Not only that, we have a tendency to ‘overgeneralize’ the dynamic facial expression another person bears the closest resemblance to. For example, we think someone is angry if their resting facial expressing involves the corners of their mouth being turned down. Alternatively, we think someone with high and full cheeks is happy.

According to numerous studies, we make judgments about people within seconds of seeing their face for the very first time. This makes it a little easier to understand why our impressions of people can be altered by cosmetic surgery.

An interesting study, albeit a very small one, involved taking before and after pictures of 30 women who had undergone a variety of facial cosmetic surgery procedures. Then, dozens of volunteers were asked to rate each photo according to six personality traits including likeability and trustworthiness.

It was found that the post-op pictures ‘scored’ significantly higher in terms of attractiveness, social skills and femininity. This is not a surprise since the surgeries made the facial expressions of the women seem happier which made them seem more likeable.

While this is interesting information, being seen as more likeable is NOT a good reason to have cosmetic surgery.

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