Special panel discussion event

'Getting under the skin of the cosmetics procedures industry'

The multi-billion pound cosmetic procedures industry is positively booming and increasing numbers of people around the world are electing to undergo surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. This phenomenon, however, raises fundamental ethical questions regarding consumers’ motivations, the extent to which their expectations and desired outcomes are achieved, the narrowing standards of beauty and the marketing of such procedures.

This panel discussion will explore these contemporary debates and will also consider the regulatory, financial and social context within which the industry exists before deliberating the future of the cosmetic procedures industry.

Confirmed Speakers

Caryn Franklin MBECaryn Franklin

Former Fashion Editor and Co-editor of i-D Magazine and BBC Broadcaster, Caryn Franklin, has explored the politics of image and self-esteem extensively in over 30 years of working fashion practice in commercial, educational and activist positions. Her projects have involved refugees in battle zones, workers in free-trade zone slums, mental health experts, MPs and Government Ministers as well as international design names and the fashion industry’s innovators.

She has written for magazines, newspapers, produced four books, authored television documentaries and co-created groundbreaking campaigns. Co-chair of Fashion Targets Breast Cancer since 1996, and co-founder and former Director of the award-winning All Walks Beyond the Catwalk 2009–2015, Caryn has recently completed an MSc in Applied Psychology. Her drive to empower men and women by addressing sustainable body and beauty ideals as an ethical imperative continues through her post at Kingston University, where she is visiting Professor of Diversity.

Katharine Wright

Katharine Wright photoKatharine Wright is Assistant Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, responsible for the Council’s 2017 report on the ethical issues arising out of growing 'normalisation' of cosmetic procedures. Her background is in health policy, law and ethics including stints at the UK House of Commons, briefing MPs of all political parties on health issues; in the English Department of Health, working on patient consent; and in the NHS, monitoring the effects of the Human Rights Act on health law in England.

Her work at the Nuffield Council has included consideration of ethical issues arising in dementia; the donation of all forms of bodily material for treatment or research; the sharing of information in the context of people born as a result of the donation of gametes and embryos; and the involvement of children and young people in clinical research.

Mr Nigel MercerNigel Mercer photo

Nigel Mercer enjoys an excellent, national and international reputation  in the field of aesthetic surgery and non-surgical procedures. He gained his medical degree from the University of Bristol in 1980 and rapidly followed this by becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons by examination four years later. In 1993, he successfully completed a Masters Degree in Plastic Surgery. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health in 1997.

Nigel Mercer divides his professional time between Bristol Plastic Surgery, the Presidency of the Federation of Specialist Surgical Associations, coordinating all the surgical associations in the UK, his charitable work chairing the European Cleft Organisation, chairing the national committee examining the new disease BIA-ALCL, which is a rare lymphoma associated with breast implants.

On top of his extensive experience in all areas of plastic surgery, he has special expertise in the care of children with cleft lip and palate. In addition to his clinical roles, Nigel Mercer has served both his profession and the public in the office of President of The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS), President of The British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and the European Association of Societies of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (EASAPS). He continues to champion the safeguarding of patients, and is currently also studying for a Masters degree in Medical Law.

Professor Shirley TateShirley Tate photo

Professor Tate is a cultural sociologist who is based within the Carnegie School of Education at Leeds Beckett University. She was appointed as the UK’s first Professor of Race and Education in spring 2017. Professor Tate works as a qualitative researcher interested in intersectional thinking. In her writing, research and teaching, she draws on black feminist, gender, critical ‘race’, queer, post-colonial and Caribbean decolonial theory within her overall focus on black Atlantic diaspora studies and emerging identifications.

Professor Tate's research and writing so far has been on the body, black beauty, ‘critical mixed race’ and the nation, domestic and care work, beauty, black identity, positive and negative affect, pain, anti-black racism in organisations, food, ‘race’ performativity, decoloniality, transracial intimacies, skin bleaching/toning/lightening and the politics of skin.

Her research interests include the body, ‘mixed race’, domestic and care work, beauty, black intersectional identifications, migration, affect, the culture of Britishness, food, ‘race’ performativity, decoloniality, transracial intimacies, the Anglophone Caribbean, the cultures of skin, race intersections and institutional racism.

Professor Tate is Patron of Black British Academics, an independent organisation working proactively to enhance race equality across the higher education sector, and Editor of Emerald’s Critical Mixed Race Studies book series. She is also Visiting Professor and Research Fellow in the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State, South Africa, and Research Associate in the Centre for Critical Studies in Higher Education Transformation at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa.

The Right Honourable Ann Clwyd MP

Ann Clwyd has been the Labour Member of Parliament for Cynon Valley since 1984. She is a long-standing human rights activist and has campaigned for international and domestic issues. In the UK, she introduced a Bill on the regulation of cosmetic surgery and, abroad, she acted as Special Envoy on Human Rights in Iraq. In 2003, she received the Channel 4 Political Award for Campaigning Politician of the Year. She lives in Wales.


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