By Faye Vergara
Job seekers are not only putting their best foot forward during interviews, but also their best face.
All over the United States, men and women are using plastic surgery to remedy their unemployment status.
“When you increase your self image, you increase your self esteem,” said Ron Aguilar, 24, a junior from Bakersfield, Calif., majoring in information systems. “I guess I can see why they do it.”
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of plastic surgery patients grew from 412,901 in 1992 to 1,917,739 in 2001.
A 2003 study done by the Yankelovich Partners showed that 69 percent of Americans felt that the appearance of a woman is very important on the job.
From the same study, 65 percent of Americans said they believed that it does not take a lot of money for a woman to have the kind of clothes, hair and makeup to make a good impression at work.
However, the total 2001 expenditures for both men and women were $6,963,341,343, reported the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
“That”s ridiculous,” Aguilar said. “I think that if you have to get plastic surgery, you must have a plastic personality.”
Richard Cox, advisor at the BYU Career Placement, recommends being as true and honest as possible.
“We teach people here to certainly be well groomed and dressed appropriately,” he said, “But we would never recommend any alteration to physical appearance.”
Another factor of the increase of plastic surgery could be the growth of unemployment among older applicants.
Some popular procedures done by older patients include facelifts and eyelid lifting.
Botox injections are also used to smooth out wrinkles.
The percentage of people getting this procedure done jumped 61 percent from 2000 to 2001.
“At BYU career placement we recommend strongly that they be absolutely professional,” Cox said. “Their appearance, dress and their presentations should be defined only in terms of how they are prepared to help the employers achieve their goals and objectives. So the conditions and values and integrity are of course inherent in what we encourage students to do here.”
A survey of plastic surgeons showed that 47 percent of female patients and 46 percent of men said that one of the top reasons for their surgery was to look younger.
Out of the same group, 19 percent of women and 33 percent of men said that one of the factors was work-related.
The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 protects those who are 40 and older with hiring for job opportunities.
“That”s a natural expectation,” Cox said. “There are lengths that in order to be competitive people will undertake particularly in a difficult job market. But we recommend the natural and absolutely professional approach to the job market and we feel that is going to ultimately determine a person”s success.”