The rise of the selfie isn’t quite as inconsequential as previously thought.
As one Reuters report reveals, our cultural affinity for the selfie is resulting in heightened demand for cosmetic surgery procedures across the U.S. And for America’s plastic surgeons, business is booming.
A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) revealed that one in three plastic surgeons have experienced an increase in the number of requests they get from patients who feel self-conscious about their appearance on social media.
From 2012 to 2013, there was a 10% rise in demand for rhinoplasty, a 7% increase for hair transplants and a 6% increase for eyelid surgery, the same study found.
And with virtually everyone, from Hollywood starlets to preteens, posting their selfies on social media these days, this trend will only continue to become more apparent.
“I agree with the study findings that increased social media has led to a more self conscious generation and increased consultations,” says Dr. Kian Karimi of Pacific Specialists. “Excessive amounts of photographing “selfies” may be correlated to narcissism, low self esteem and low self worth. These emotional qualities would be contraindications to cosmetic procedures.”
While cosmetic surgery can help an individual look and feel his or her best, some experts say the image we see in our selfies isn’t always the same face others see in person.
This is because the selfie produces a distorted image of our faces that isn’t really representative of the image other people see, according to Manhattan plastic surgeon Dr. Sam Rizk, who told Reuters he’s seen a 25% increase in demand for his services over the last year.
“Too many selfies indicate a self obsession and a certain level of insecurity that most teenagers have. It just makes it worse,” Rizk said.
For teens and others who might not necessarily need cosmetic surgery, a good way to make one’s selfies look better is to apply a natural makeup look, defining the eyebrows and adding color to the lips. There are also several smartphone apps offering photo filters and tools that can help smooth wrinkles and other imperfections.
Everyone deserves to look their best in their selfies — but cosmetic surgery might not be the go-to solution for every person who owns a smartphone.