- - Body image
- - Interventions, treatment
Cosmetic surgery (CS) – an elective surgical procedure performed to alter people’s appearance – has witnessed a dramatic worldwide increase in the past decades. This substantial rise has been even overstated in Asian countries, particularly in China.
CS is more complex than we think. Though it could help enhance people’s appearance, it could also induce serious or detrimental risks (e.g., disfigurement, side-effects, infection, permanent body damage). Meanwhile, motivators to undergo CS could also be psychological problems (e.g., a negative body image, body dissatisfaction, body dysmorphic disorder) which could not be improved by receiving CS. Also, some studies reported that receiving CS could even worsen symptoms of depression and anxiety.
To further understand the motivators for CS, my 4-year PhD project will be mainly focused on understanding 1) the differences between Western and Asian women’s attitudes towards (the acceptance of) CS, and their body perception/body (dis)satisfaction and 2) whether focusing on body functionality instead of appearance could increase body appreciation (BA) and/or reduce body dissatisfaction (BD), in order to prevent them from undergoing CS.
For doing my PhD studies, I obtained a CSC (China Scholarship Council) scholarship, which made it possible to do my project in Maastricht. Before I came here (October 2018) I studied in the UK for 6 years and completed a Bachelor in Psychology (University of Leicester), a Master’s degree in Health Psychology (University of Bath) and a second Master’s degree in Psychology of Education (University College London). My first Master’s project aimed to understand what and how factors could affect psychological well-being in patients with Type-2 Diabetes. My second Master’s project was focused on investigating the experience and the effectiveness of inpatient treatment for Eating Disorders in China.