Survey results have shown that the rise of selfie photos has played a significant role in the increasing amount of plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures being performed each year. It’s been suggested that this could be due to the fact that patients have become hyper aware of even the smallest flaws in their looks thanks to increasing social media usage.
Sharp Rise in Procedures being performed
A poll compiled by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery noted that one out of three respondents out of a pool of 2,700 of its members noted a sharp increase in the amount of procedure requests being logged due to patients’ social-media awareness. Procedures like hair transplants, rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery were among more popular options, rising by 10%, 7% and 6% respectively. Dr. Sam Rizk, a plastic surgeon in New York, said in a Reuter’s interview, “There has been a 25% increase over the past year and a half to two years. That is very significant. They come in with their iPhones and show me pictures. Selfies are just getting to be so crazy.”
Not Limited to Young Patients
It’s important to note as well, that the selfie trend that is causing plastic surgery figures to escalate is not limited to the younger generation. In fact, an increasing number of parents and grandparents are now snapping selfies to send to friends and family all over the world via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and even Snapchat. A 50-something woman who only identified herself as Hannah stated, “There’s a lot of pressure to look good at my age.” This further confirms that age has nothing to do with feeling self-conscious these days.
Not Everyone is a Suitable Candidate
Rizk also mentioned that not everyone who passes through his office requesting surgery actually needs it because selfies can in fact produce a distorted image that doesn’t truly represent how someone looks. “We all will have something wrong with us on a selfie image. I refuse a significant proportion of patients with selfies because I believe it is not a real image of what they actually look like in person,” he said.
He further mentioned that some patients get extremely upset when he informs them that surgery isn’t necessary, and he knows that they will just approach another surgeon. He stated, “Too many selfies indicate a self-obsession and a certain level of insecurity that most teenagers have. It just makes it worse. Now they can see themselves in 100 images a day on Facebook and Instagram.”
Although there are a few unscrupulous plastic surgeons out there who will perform any procedures that patients ask them to, it doesn’t mean that plastic surgery is suitable for everyone. However, in cases where a patient has a genuine concern about one of more aspects of their appearance, they need to speak with a surgeon who is highly experienced and qualified so they can find out more about the options that may be available to them.