Styles of the Recession: People Are Cutting Back on Cosmetic Surgery, or They Are Not!

It was just reported, in an article titled "Putting Vanity on Hold," that cosmetic procedures, in recessionary times, are becoming less popular.

Vanity addicts are opting for the cheaper Botox treatment over a costlier face-lift. It’s because of the recession!

Worse still, some are stretching out the times between visits for even these less invasive procedures: injections and fillers.

Celebrities like Lisa Rinna and Courtney Cox are quoted in women’s magazines saying they’d like to cut back on cosmetic procedures. And Amy Krakow, the president of the Manhattan PR firm Propaganda Marketing Communications, is quoted last week in The New York Times saying that she got bangs to cover her forehead to save some cash on Botox injections.

“In Orange County, where plastic surgery is a part of their culture, doctors told me business is down 30 to 40 percent,” Thomas Seery, the president of, a Web site that rates cosmetic treatments, told The Times. “That tells me something is fundamentally changing there.”

And Victoria Pitts-Taylor, author of Surgery Junkies: Wellness and Pathology in Cosmetic Culture, said, “Cosmetic surgery is going to become the new S.U.V., something that you can do without, that is less justifiable for you and your family."

But wait! Now comes word from The Wall Street Journal that plastic surgery is having a recession heyday!

"Vanity appears to be trumping frugality in a looks-conscious society," reads the fist line of a piece titled "Keeping Up Appearances in a Downturn."

It goes on to say that plastic surgeons reported an increased demand this fall for minimally invasive procedures. (O.K., so the two newspapers agree on actual face lifts.)

"Things are so bad [in financial markets] that investments aren’t even worthwhile anymore, so people are investing in themselves," the paper quotes an Omaha-based dermatologist, who treats a patient named Maralyn Barr.

Ms. Barr lost her job in June as a district sales manager for bookstore chain Borders Group Inc. She is $140,000 in debt from her 22-year-old daughter’s education. She has cut back on eating out and other lavish spending, but not her Restylane and Botox injections. "It’s like comfort food," she said.


Styles of the Recession: People Are Cutting Back on Cosmetic Surgery, or They Are Not!