Cathy O’Leary, Medical Editor in The West Australian
Saturday, 24 November 2018 11:20AM
One of Perth’s top plastic surgeons has blasted parts of his profession for promoting “post-op soft porn” on social media.
Australian Medical Association WA vice-president Mark Duncan-Smith said some of his colleagues were using soft porn to get a marketing advantage on social media and they should be prosecuted by health regulators.
Dr Duncan-Smith, who helped victims of the Bali bombings, said it was fuelling more serious body image issues in young women.
Writing in the AMA’s Medicus magazine, Dr Duncan-Smith said some of his surgical colleagues “share photos of naked bodies on bathroom floors, shots of cleavage in lingerie and other body parts at certain angles”.
He said there was not even the pretence of “before” and “after” photos, they were just “post-op soft porn”.
Dr Duncan-Smith said the Australian Health Practitioners Regulatory Agency’s had very clear guidelines that photos needed to be clinical in nature and reflect the before-and-after results in similar setting, lighting and background.
“The longer AHPRA remains a toothless tiger and does not prosecute peddlers of porn on social media, the more we will see a greater proliferation of soft porn photos by those who are getting away with it,” he said.
Some experts have blamed social media influencers such as Kylie Jenner for the trend of bathroom and bedroom selfies on Instagram, presented in the guise of fashion shots.
Dr Duncan-Smith said the use of inappropriate photos by plastic surgeons had been prevalent in the Eastern States for some time and had snowballed to WA.
“The danger is that once it starts, people try to outdo one another in what they can get away with, and it gives them an advantage over those who follow a more professional and ethical course,” he said. “If you have proper clinical photos there’s less chance of creating unrealistic expectations, whereas the glamorised soft porn-type shots appeal more to emotions and body image issues.
“More people will go down the path of using these extreme shots if no one is held to task, and ultimately that will lead to more body image issues.”