No guts no glory – Michelle Kearney, Founder of Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine

Did you know Australians spent about $1 billion on cosmetic surgery and treatments in 2011 driven by an ageing population? An Australian survey conducted by Bella Media in March/April 2013 found face and neck lift surgery were amongst the top surgical procedures readers felt they were likely to undergo in future while almost 60% of respondents refer to magazines for information on cosmetic procedures.

15 years ago, Michelle Kearney, a pharmacist living in Italy, saw the lack of information available in the market to those considering cosmetic enhancements or surgery. This gap led her to introduce Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty magazine which is currently celebrating it’s 60th issue since launching in May 1998.

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Leaders in Heels talks to Editor in Chief and Founder Michelle about this milestone.

1. You have a background in Pharmacy, what sparked your interest in cosmetic surgery?
As a pharmacist I know the importance of research and factual information and, while I was living in Italy in the late 90s, a prominent Italian news anchor underwent a facelift and breast augmentation procedure after her public and very messy divorce. ‘New face, new body, new life’ was emblazoned across the media and the cosmetic surgeons I had become acquainted with socially, bemoaned the fact that the coming months would see hordes of women visiting them for all the wrong reasons.

There was no trustworthy information available on cosmetic surgery procedures and the biggest problem was with patients who had unrealistic expectations of their outcomes. I realised there was a need for an authoritative source of information on cosmetic procedures, devices and emerging technologies, and my interest was sparked. In Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Magazine we do not feature celebrity surgeries and avoid words such as ‘perfect’ or ‘normal’ – the role of the magazine is to arm prospective patients with reliable and balanced information that will enable them to make an informed decision.the role of the magazine is to arm prospective patients with reliable and balanced information that will enable them to make an informed decision

2. What was the cosmetic landscape like when you first launched the magazine 15 years ago?
15 years ago, cosmetic surgery was still largely seen as the domain of the rich and famous. Whilst an increasing number of people were interested in cosmetic enhancement, the procedures available then were nothing like what they are today – non-surgical procedures such as cosmetic injectables and laser resurfacing, for example, were yet to be popularised.

3. What are some of the challenges you faced when trying to establish and manage the magazine?
When I launched the magazine in 1998, cosmetic surgery wasn’t part of mainstream medicine and wasn’t ‘socially acceptable’. Cosmetic enhancement still had a stigma attached to it and many people associated it with vanity. The biggest challenge we faced was having to change the culture of Australia, and I’m proud to have played a role in altering the way cosmetic surgery is viewed today.

Of course, as an independent publisher, we also had to overcome the obstacles that presented. One of the achievements I’m most proud of is the fact we have weathered many of the storms other less targeted titles haven’t, and have come out bigger and better than ever, this year marking our 15th year and 60th issue of Cosmetic Surgery and Beauty Magazine.

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4. What is your life’s motto?
It may not be very ladylike but I’ve always lived by the motto, ‘No guts no glory’. I suppose another way of saying this would be, ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway!’

5. What is your definition of beauty?
I’m a firm believer that inner confidence exudes outer beauty.

6. What is the one thing that women considering cosmetic surgery need to know?
Both men and women should acknowledge that cosmetic surgery, whilst elective, is still surgery, and therefore carries the risks and potential complications inherent to any surgical procedure. It’s therefore important people do their research before hand in order to make an informed decision.

7. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To never wait for things to happen – make them happen yourself through hard work and never giving up.

8. Name 3 skills/traits that women in business need to have in order to achieve their goals.
Believe in yourself; believe in your vision; and never take things personally.

Cosmetic Surgery & Beauty Magazine is a quarterly publication published by Bella Media, RRP $14.95.