For many years, competitions granting prizes have been a successful tool used by marketers to try to promote their cause or business.
However, there should be great concern when the prize up for grabs represents sexist ideas and targets women who feel inadequate about their appearance.
Last month, Sin City Nightclub on the Gold Coast promoted breast enhancement surgery “worth $10,000” as a competition prize.
In small print, the advertisement said the prize was actually $10,000 cash. However, the nightclub’s advertisement depicts a group of barely dressed women standing behind a sign labelled “Win a Boob Job!”
As well as perpetuating the idea that a woman must “look a certain way” to be deemed as attractive, the competition is promoting the cosmetic surgery industry, which is estimated to be worth about $40 billion.
This is a clear indication of how socially acceptable the phenomena of plastic surgery has become in Australia.
Its growth in popularity and representation in mainstream media has in turn caused a rise in popularity and demand among “everyday” women. Rather than having to pay thousands of dollars for it, you can now win the amount required to undergo breast enhancement surgery.
In a Sydney Morning Herald article on March 25, Queensland University of Technology body image expert and former marketing research analyst Evonne Miller said: “The advertisement is extremely sexist. We don't see any advertising for a $10,000 penis enlargement. It really highlights the double standard in society.”
There is no doubt that women face constant pressure from popular culture to fit a physical “ideal”, thus illustrating why cosmetic surgery is largely targeted towards, and mostly consumed by women.
Cosmetic surgery has become “glamorised” by the media in a way that makes it appear less serious and harmful than any other type of surgery.
This, however, is definitely not the case as there are many risks and dangers associated with cosmetic surgery. Health related risks include infection, nerve damage, blood complications, emotional conditions and in rare cases, death.
Alongside this, a recent study conducted by the National Institute of Medicine revealed that 25 to 40% of women who get breast implants end up needing another operation to correct something wrong with the first one. So it may not just be a one off “under the knife” operation.
Whether any cosmetic surgeons or doctors are affiliated with Sin City Nightclub’s competition has not been specified. However, Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery vice president Craig Layt said he would be most concerned if a doctor offering to perform the breast enlargement was involved in the promotion.
It is unfortunate that such a substantial amount of money is wasted every year on cosmetic surgery.
For this destructive cycle to end, women must be critical of the materialistic and shallow lies promoted by mainstream media, and awaken to what is truly meaningful and valuable.