The business of looking beautiful

13 February 2015

By Plastic Surgeon Dr Dirk Kremer

Lipstick photo by Wecore Teo on Flickr [CC2.0]What makes us beautiful is a question that many media outlets from all over the world often try to answer for us and there is a lot of pressure on both men and women to look their best and live up to pre-determined standards. A recent report compiled by Statista revealed that the cosmetics industry in the United States is currently worth over $55 billion, incorporating the combined sales of skincare, perfume, make-up, deodorants and more. This is expected to increase to over $62 million by 2016, which begs the question: just how much time and money are we willing to spend on looking beautiful and is it worth it if it makes us feel better about ourselves?

Battle of the sexes

Women are often said to take longer than men to get ready, but this is just a stereotype and a survey published last year confirmed that this is not necessarily the case. After asking 1,000 American adults how long it takes them to get ready in the morning, The Huffington Post revealed that 52% of men and 52% of women said it took them just 10 – 30 minutes and 25% of men took over 30 minutes compared to just 21% of women. When it comes to a night out, however, women are more likely to take longer to get ready than men, with 42% of women saying it takes them longer than 30 minutes, compared to just 20% of men. It takes the majority of men interviewed (58%) between 10 and 30 minutes to get ready before a night out while another 42% of women claimed it took them the same amount of time.

The cost of cosmetics

Reporting on the results of the survey, The Huffington Post concluded that there was likely to be one major factor that contributed to the fact that women take longer to get ready for a big event, and that was make-up. For most men, getting ready is a fairly straightforward process for the most part – styling hair, shaving, maybe a splash of cologne – but there is arguably a greater societal pressure on women to ‘make themselves up’ for big events. As the UK Government’s Body Confidence Campaign revealed, 77% of adults agreed that society puts too much pressure on females to have a sexualised appearance. As a result of glamorous, often photoshopped, pictures of celebrities in magazines and the depiction of beautiful women on television, there is a clear beauty ideal that we hold women up to in the Western world, and many women turn to cosmetics or even plastic surgery to achieve these beauty standards.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that men don’t battle with the same concerns when it comes to the way male actors and celebrities are lauded in the media. The male grooming market is undeniably one of the fastest growing in the world, but I do believe that it’s fair to say that the cosmetics industry is still seen as a predominantly women’s market. Research and beauty firm The Beauty Company reported that, in a typical year, women aged between 16 and 65 will spend around $215 a year on make-up, fragrances, hair care and skin care in an effort to prettify themselves. Indeed, women have been turning to a variety of different methods and products to achieve a more beautiful aesthetic for years, but the public’s growing acceptance of plastic surgery has provided all members of society with another option.

A growing appreciation of cosmetic surgery

The most recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reveal that in 2013, 15.1 million cosmetic surgery procedures (both surgical and minimally-invasive) were performed, up 3% since 2012, and here in Britain, inquiries about nose jobs and facelifts have increased by 1000% in 2014 compared to 2013. Plastic surgery can achieve truly life-changing results, whether you’re battling cancer and are seeking reconstructive surgery or choosing Botox injections to provide relief from asthma, muscle disorders or migraines. The cosmetic industry is often criticised for its perceived focus on superficial appearances, but in a society where many women are unhappy with the way they look, the existence of make-up and plastic surgery can provide an ideal solution to remedy the problem, whatever their cause.

At Harley Street Aesthetics, I meet every one of my patients for an in-depth consultation before agreeing to proceed with any cosmetic surgery. During this consultation, we will discuss your reasons for wanting aesthetic surgery, as well as providing you with a realistic expectation for the results that can be achieved. If you’re considering plastic surgery and would like some advice, or have any questions, please contact us on 0845 519 7232 or email us at


emailContact Dr Kremer

phone 0845 519 7232

info Virtual Consultations


Virtual Consultations

Dr Kremer is now accepting virtual consultations, via Skype or WhatsApp. If you would like a virtual consultation, or would like more information, simply get in touch with us via phone, email or through our contact form and we will schedule a date and time for your consultation.