The latest ‘must have’ on a bride’s pre-wedding checklist is bridalplasty, the name for one or more surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments to ensure that the engagement and wedding photographs are 'picture perfect.'
In this article, the Penningtons Manches’ specialist cosmetic surgery team looks at some of the social pressures behind this worrying trend.
A quick glance at any of the numerous magazines, TV programmes and social media channels dedicated to the promotion of celebrity culture suggests that the current bridalplasty trend has been inspired by celebrities at all levels of the A to Z list.
There is speculation that numerous celebrities have undergone cosmetic surgery before walking down the aisle. Kim Kardashian allegedly had a ‘Loub job’ to make her wedding shoes more comfortable, including ‘toe lipo’ and collagen injected into the balls of her feet to provide cushioning.
Big Brother contestants Steven Goode and Kimberley Kisselovich have also had cosmetic surgery in preparation for their wedding day. Steven reportedly underwent rhinoplasty and liposuction while Kimberley opted for a breast augmentation. And, according to a number of reports, Steven and Kim’s mothers also went under the knife for eye-bag and eyelid removal and a tummy tuck.
At the other end of the social scale, the beautiful wedding and flawless appearance of George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin was widely admired. British couples are reportedly trying to emulate this glamorous couple with brides seeking body-contouring procedures in an attempt to achieve Amal’s flat stomach and slim arms while grooms are requesting anti-ageing skin treatments to give them the ‘Clooney’ look.
For some brides-to-be, the desire for cosmetic treatment starts with the engagement and the posting of a ‘selfie’ of the engagement ring on social media sites. When capturing such an important milestone, women want their hands to look in tip-top condition – particularly if the bride is no longer in the first flush of youth.
While a manicure before your engagement party may once have ensured enough confidence to flash a beautiful ring to family and close friends, the scrutiny of several hundred social media friends adds to the pressure for hands to look young and feminine.
The harsh reality that hands show a woman's true age has led to the growth in popularity of ‘hand rejuvenation’ treatments which involves injecting fillers into the hands to plump up their appearance and hide visible tendon, bones and veins.
Although there are no official statistics yet for the number of bridalplasty procedures undertaken in the UK, the figures from a combination of reputable sources suggest that the most popular bridalplasty surgical procedures include breast augmentation and breast lift, liposuction, tummy tuck, arm lift, rhinoplasty (nose job), face lift and blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) while botox, fillers, chemical peels and laser liposuction are the most popular non-surgical treatments.
Although cosmetic treatments can have advantages, especially when the purpose is to improve a woman's confidence, a bride-to-be must think practically when considering pre-wedding surgery as things can go wrong. As well as thorough pre-surgery research, prospective brides must seriously consider the potential emotional and physical effects of any cosmetic treatment and how that could affect you on your wedding day.
Make sure that you know the answers to these questions before you go under the knife:
It is vital to consider all aspects of any proposed cosmetic treatment before making a decision, whether surgical or not, because every treatment has its own side effects and risks. For example, after some treatments, you are advised to keep out of the sun for weeks or months. No bride wants to be sore, uncomfortable or lacking in confidence on her wedding day and honeymoon because she has not healed properly, a procedure has gone wrong or the scarring is visible.
Sarah Gubbins, associate in the cosmetic surgery team at Penningtons Manches LLP, shares her concerns: 'We have seen many emerging trends over the last couple of years including eartox, Cinderella surgery and vampire facials but the new ‘bridalplasty' trend is particularly worrying as it indicates that some women feel so pressured to make their 'big day' perfect that they feel the need to change their appearance significantly.
“Surely, if your fiancé wants to marry you, you are already beautiful to him and he loves you as you are. Why are you having cosmetic treatment? Is it for your own self-confidence and happiness or because you feel pressure from the celebrity culture to look 'perfect'?
“Unless you are sufficiently well informed about the risks to your physical and mental health and are totally confident about the results of a cosmetic procedure, we would always advise caution. Don’t ruin the best day of your life.”
Penningtons Manches LLP has a leading clinical negligence practice that deals with clients nationwide. Within that practice, we have a specialist team dealing with cosmetic surgery claims relating to treatment performed in the UK and abroad. Members of the team can advise on issues arising from such treatment and the options in relation to any claim. For more details, please click here or call 0800 328 9545.