USC study seeks views on wrinkles and botox


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University of the Sunshine Coast PhD candidate Odette Norton

A University of the Sunshine Coast psychology study hopes to find out how middle-aged and older women cope with the signs of ageing such as wrinkles and facial sagging.

USC PhD candidate Odette Norton is seeking women aged 35 years and over to take part in the “Face Esteem" research project, supervised by Lecturer in Psychology Dr Kate Mulgrew and Senior Lecturer in Psychology Dr Geoff Lovell.

“Although women’s attitudes to facial ageing may vary widely, the high demand for anti-ageing cosmetic procedures suggests many are interested in attaining a more youthful facial appearance as the signs of ageing become more apparent,” Ms Norton said.

She said botox, dermal fillers, face lifts, chemical peels and eyelid tucks were some of the popular surgical and non-surgical options to rejuvenate the face and neck.  

“We are investigating psychosocial and body image characteristics to see if there is a difference between the women who use, or intend to use, these cosmetic interventions and those who don’t.

“Are they happy with the way they look and do they believe they look their actual age? We also want to know what procedures they would consider using to modify their appearance.”

Ms Norton said most body image research had involved studies of younger women and had not included facial appearance.  

“It is anticipated our findings will broaden understanding of ageing, body image, and psychosocial wellbeing among women.”

Initial survey results indicated that women disliked looking older, whether they were for or against using cosmetic procedures. In particular, women staying longer in the workforce were more conscious about the way they looked.

“We live in a society that adores youth and beauty, however we are getting older as a population,” she said. “As women age it becomes increasingly difficult for them to comply with idealised appearance norms and pressure to look younger.”

The study involves a confidential demographic and psychological online survey, and the option to participate in a second section involving a simple computer stimuli response task.  

For more information or to participate go to: or contact Odette Norton on

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