A backlash against aesthetic medicine has been noticeable in Australia for some time. Following the 2007 death of Melbourne woman Lauren James, who died following a liposuction procedure and has become a poster child for this phenomenon, Australian officials have repeatedly focused the spotlight on the lax controls imposed on the cosmetic and beauty industries.

Regulating the industry in that country may or may not be a good thing, but a recently published article focused my attention on the intense cultural backlash against plastic surgery in Australia. Drawing the line on the beauty industry:

While these are the tragic deaths that make the headlines, untold numbers of women volunteer to go under the knife each year, striving for physical perfection despite the risks.

The author of Skintight: An Anatomy of Cosmetic Surgery, University of Technology Sydney senior lecturer Dr Meredith Jones, says it's a recipe for unhappiness. "The makeover culture is a kind of state of being where nothing is ever good enough," she says.

"For women in particular it means they tend not to focus on the important things. They will spend a lot of time, energy and money trying to achieve something closer to an ideal body than what they have. The fact is they can never actually achieve an ideal body, so there is never going to be any rest."

It is impossible to obtain accurate figures on the number of cosmetic procedures performed in this country, with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons stating: "No-one knows exactly how much cosmetic surgery is being performed in Australia, as national statistics for the industry are not collected at this time.

"This is partly due to the fact that so many different practitioners perform cosmetic surgery, ranging from plastic surgeons to cosmetic doctors and dermatologists."

As Mr Spock would say, "Fascinating." Read it all.