Worldwide, the numbers of cosmetic procedures continue to climb. However, cosmetic surgery (CS) continues to be plagued by negative stigmatization. This study reviews the literature to identify how attitudes toward CS vary by sex, age, race, culture, and nationality, and aims to determine how other factors like media exposure interact with demographics to influence how well CS is accepted.
A PRISMA-guided systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify all English-language papers reporting on CS or plastic surgery acceptance, attitudes, or stigmatization, specifically examining for data on age, sex, race/ethnicity, culture, and media influence.
In total, 1515 abstracts were reviewed, of which 94 were deemed pertinent enough to warrant a full-text review. Among the potential demographic predictors of CS acceptance, the one with the most supportive data is sex, with women comprising roughly 90% of all CS patients in virtually all populations studied and consistently exhibiting greater CS knowledge and acceptance. Culturally, the pursuit of beauty through CS is a universal phenomenon, although different countries, races, and cultures differ in how willingly CS is embraced, and in the aesthetic goals of those choosing to have it. In countries with culturally diverse societies like the United States, non-Hispanic Whites continue to predominate among CS patients, but the number of CS patients of other races is rising disproportionately. In this trend, social media is playing a major role.
Healthcare practitioners performing cosmetic procedures need to consider demographic and cultural differences of the patients in order to enhance their understanding of their patients’ aesthetic goals and expectations.

Copyright © 2021 The Author. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons.