Petition launched to protect children from cosmetic surgery advertising on Instagram

Save Face and Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors have launched a petition to urge the UK government to require Instagram to do more to protect young people from having unfiltered access to content from influencers and celebrities that can undermine their self-esteem and stimulate interest in surgical procedures that are unlikely to be suitable for them.

The petition follows a survey that discovered 23% of people who see images that promote or demonstrate the effects of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic procedures report feeling more negatively about their own appearance as a result.Significantly, this figure dramatically increased in correlation to how young the survey participant was. 

These findings follow the 2017 #StatusofMind report from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH), which found that, of the top five social media platforms, Instagram has the most negative impact on young people’s mental health. 

Michael Saul, partner at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors, said, “Our goal is to protect and support young people on Instagram so they can make a more informed decision.Seeing these kinds of images on Instagram can lead to the normalisation of cosmetic enhancements, which in turn can cause anxiety, depression, lack of confidence, body dysmorphia and other mental health-related issues among users. 

This comes as parliament has been debating the impact of social media on the mental health of young people, following the publication of a report from the Science and Technology Committee that described how ‘provocative pictures’ from celebrities and social media influencers ‘can put pressure on young people to replicate that behaviour’.