Body image, weight management behavior, and women’s interest in cosmetic surgery

Meghan M. Gillen, Charlotte H. Markey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


In the current study, we examined body image and weight management behavior as potential factors associated with young women’s interest in obtaining cosmetic surgery. Research focusing on objectification theory, problem behavior syndrome, and positive body image provide support for considering these factors as predictors of interest in cosmetic surgery. Female undergraduates (N = 170; M = 20.27 years old) at a college in the northeastern United States completed assessments of interest in cosmetic surgery, body image, and weight management behavior. Regression analyses indicated that women who had higher BMIs, higher body surveillance, higher body shame, and who engaged in more unhealthy weight management behaviors were more interested in obtaining cosmetic surgery. Body appreciation was significantly negatively correlated with interest in cosmetic surgery but did not significantly predict it when other factors were considered in a regression model. Results suggest that self-objectification and engaging in a constellation of appearance-related risk behaviors may place women at risk for pursuing cosmetic surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-630
Number of pages10
JournalPsychology, Health and Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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