Why Cosmetic Treatments Are Still Taboo and How to Overcome It


It’s no secret that cosmetic treatments have a bad rap. While some non-surgical procedures seem to have now mostly bypassed the stigma, such as non-invasive anti-aging radio frequency treatments, many patients may be less likely to share their experiences with other procedures, such as fat reduction treatments or more invasive procedures.

From the launch of The Real Housewives franchise in 2006 to stories of celebrity plastic surgery gone wrong, and all the tales between, there is no shortage of sensationalized depictions of aesthetics patients and procedures. Though the image of so-called “overdone” women seems to still be the reigning stigma surrounding cosmetic treatments today, it is far from an accurate or even remotely fair portrayal of the medical aesthetics field today. So how can your medical aesthetics clinic fight back and overcome the taboo?

Go With What’s Authentic

Authenticity is a buzzword cropping up everywhere these days, particularly in social media and digital content. For those watching from the outside, the cosmetic surgery industry seems counter to the authenticity movement, selling the idea of blanket beauty standards that apply to all, rather than embracing individual beauty. Naturally, the conversation sways to body positivity and individual beauty standards, as beauty influencers strive to broaden the definition of beautiful. With a 2017 consumer survey noting 90% of millennials and 80% of baby boomers rate authenticity as important when connecting with brands and businesses, authenticity and body positivity are a topic your medical aesthetics clinic cannot ignore. This statistic is clear proof that real and relatable should be prioritized over pretty and perfect, especially in your social media marketing. But be careful: nearly six out of every 10 consumers believe brands are failing to sell the authentic message they’re attempting to convey.

To fight back against the taboo of overdone results and show consumers how cosmetic treatments can help emphasize their authentic selves and their natural beauty, make diverse and unposed images a priority in your advertising and social media campaigns. If your budget permits, partnering with an influencer who brings an honest take on your treatments to their loyal followers may be another way to increase your brand’s authenticity, showing consumers the overall process of cosmetic treatments and the natural results as the outcome. Finally, have your ideal patient be your inspiration and identify the values that can help you connect to them, incorporating those values into your monthly social media and marketing plans and ensuring you’re always staying on message to better attract and connect to your ideal patient online.

Focus on the Why

Although the authenticity movement is gaining steam, at this time, cultural beauty ideals and personal confidence levels are still intrinsically tied—just consider that 55% of patients in 2017 sought cosmetic treatments to look better in their selfies. But the pressure to adapt to a rigid beauty standard to improve social media selfies is only one reason patients may inquire about cosmetic treatments. Many patients commit to medical aesthetic treatment plans that allow them to fulfill the desire to have their outer appearance match their perception of their authentic self, while still others seek treatment to erase marks that may remind them of events they’d now like to leave behind, hit their aesthetic goals to live their most vibrant and confident life, or improve their career success. In fact, according to a 2017 survey by The American Society of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the majority of patients (57%) who sought treatments did so as a means to refresh their appearance to remain competitive in the workplace.

Asking prospective patients the reason they’ve sought out your medical aesthetics treatments can assist your clinic in better focusing advertising and social media marketing, as well as your digital content strategy, on what matters most to your ideal patients. By sharing the reasons your patients have sought out your services—while protecting their anonymity and privacy—you’ll also be able to help shed the stigma that cosmetic treatments are all about vanity.

Don’t Forget the Men

As sexist as it may seem, more often than not, consumers associate cosmetic treatments with women and the cultural idea of female beauty standards. While female-identifying persons may comprise the majority of patients, as a medical aesthetics treatment provider, it may be obvious to you that this isn’t a women-only trend. According to the 2017 annual survey by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, men have become more drawn to cellulite reduction, non-surgical fat reduction, and laser skin resurfacing in the last year. Meanwhile, another 2017 surveys estimates that 70% of male respondents noted they were interested in cosmetic procedures. To help shed the sexism surrounding cosmetic treatments, male patients should not be ignored in your medical aesthetics clinic’s marketing efforts.

To help fend off the idea any females-only assumptions, look to your advertising and social media marketing to get the word out to interested male patients and ensure they are well represented. Seek to include an even number of images of men as you do women and craft a message that specifically speaks to the concerns of your male cosmetic treatment patients. Further still, if your clinic is looking to grow into the cosmetic treatments for men niche, it may be a wise decision to dedicate a portion of your website to explain to prospective patients how procedures may be adapted for male clients and market them in a way that will be capture this particular audience’s trust and business.

At the end of the day, what will best help your medical aesthetics clinic stop the stigma surrounding cosmetic treatments is to offer treatments that are safe, effective, and in-demand — and to improve your service offerings to meet the latest aesthetic treatment trends.

To get the ideas flowing, browse our medical aesthetic devices, powered by cutting-edge technology and bolstered with seamless upgrades and access to our dedicated in-house marketing team. Contact us to speak to an expert today.

Interested in learning more about Venus Concept devices and treatments?

Speak to an Expert