Nowadays, it seems as though you can’t walk down the street or sit at a restaurant without seeing someone whip out their iPhone to update their Facebook status, post a photo to Instagram, or any other social media-related action. According to a new survey, these social media outlets are now also influencing the way American society goes about cosmetic surgery.
HOW SOCIAL MEDIA IS CHANGING OUR LOOKS
A recent survey by the American Academy of Facial Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) showed that requests for cosmetic surgery have increased by 31% as a result of social media photo-sharing. Facial cosmetic procedures like the face lift and non-surgical anti-aging treatments have gained popularity with those looking to improve their appearance after spotting something in an unflattering photo they were tagged in. Others simply are looking to spice up their profile picture by simply having some Botox injected for a younger look.
Now, there are three big reasons that photo-sharing on social media has been sparking these patients to pursue cosmetic surgery, and here they are.
SOCIAL MEDIA-INSPIRED COSMETIC SURGERY REASON #1: THE BAD TAG
This happens to even the best of us. In any type of social setting, there will always be someone (and often multiple people) snapping away and taking photos with their smartphone. In more cases than we would like, these photos often end up being shared over Twitter, Facebook, Instagram (or whatever the next big social media app is) and then someone comes along and tags you in one of these unflattering photos. Essentially, through social media, society has made something of a paparazzi-hounded celebrity of us all. When other people tag you in a picture they took, that means you can no longer can pick and choose the photos where you look model-ready and posed. This increased awareness has made us as a society more conscious about our appearance and flaws. When somebody sees themselves tagged in a picture and realizes that they have more wrinkles than their friends, or something else they have never noticed from their own controlled photography, they are more likely to pursue cosmetic treatment.
SOCIAL MEDIA-INSPIRED COSMETIC SURGERY REASON #2: The Social Media Celebrity
Television and movies are no longer the sole place for celebrity. As the popularity of apps like Instagram and the video-sharing app Vine climbs ever higher, ordinary people are finding fame. Several of these Vine-famous users have even been sourced by companies to create short, six-second ads to promote their products. Earlier this month, Trident Gum had Vine users Rudy Mancuso and Nicholas Megalis create an ad promoting one of their newest flavors. And if this trend continues? Frankly, it’s almost to be expected that cosmetic treatments would become as much a staple with this new breed of social-media celebrities as they have with movie and TV stars.
SOCIAL MEDIA-INSPIRED COSMETIC SURGERY REASON #3: Online Dating
We all have a friend or coworker who’s found and courted their perfect match online. Wait, strike that – we all have friends, we all have coworkers. Plural. According to a survey published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, over a third of marriages now begin online. That’s more than 33%. See, the thing of it is, online connections are no longer just made through dating sites like eHarmony. Now more than ever, single people look for love in casual social media settings, especially Facebook.
One of the biggest factors in initially attracting a potential mate is your profile picture, and consequently people have begun seeking out cosmetic treatments to let them get the profile pic they’ve always wanted. In India especially, the Facebook Facelift has led to a huge spike in patients seeking out facial cosmetic procedures to increase their chances of finding true love via the Internet. Says one Indian woman who had laser surgery: “I’m getting a lot of marriage proposals since the stitch marks were fixed.”
But everyone would do well to be cautious: However, many untrained and unlicensed people are taking advantage of this heightened interest in cosmetic surgery by illegally administering Botox to patients on the hunt for a good deal. Even with minimally invasive procedures, it’s critically important to seek the expertise of a board-certified cosmetic surgeon to ensure your safety and the best results.