Perfectionism and undergoing cosmetic surgery

This study compared 16 women who had undergone cosmetic surgery (i.e., patients) to 16 women who had not (i.e., controls). Patients and controls were matched on relevant demographics (e.g., age). Socially prescribed perfectionism (i.e., perceiving that others demand perfection of oneself) and perfectionistic self-promotion (i.e., assertively promoting ones supposed perfection to others) were significantly elevated in patients relative to controls. Extreme perfectionism was also shown to substantially increase the likelihood of undergoing cosmetic surgery. Results are discussed with respect to perfectionists’ cognitive style, interpersonal needs, chronic dissatisfaction, and hyper-competitive orientation. Perfectionism is considered as a possible contraindication for cosmetic surgery.