3 Reasons Why Social Media Is Changing Our Looks
September 11, 2013 - By Dr. Jules Feledy
A recent survey by the American Academy of Facial Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) showed that requests for cosmetic surgery as a result of this social media photo-sharing have increased by 31%.
Social media is taking over, and it’s more than just dinnertime conversation that’s being changed. Here are three main reasons why these sites that we have come to love, like Facebook and Instagram, are slowly but surely causing us to alter our appearance.
SOCIAL MEDIA MAKEOVER REASON #1:
THE UNFLATTERING FACEBOOK PHOTO TAG
So there you are, hanging out with friends, enjoying yourself, when somebody (or somebodies) gets camera-happy with their smartphone. You think nothing of it. But then the photos get shared via Twitter or Facebook or Instagram, and you end up tagged in them, and when you see them, you are horrified. It’s like they were taken specifically to show off your worst trait. This happens to the best of us – heck, at this point, it happens to all of us.
Essentially, through social media, we’ve created a culture in which we are all vulnerable to inopportune images of ourselves being spread around in a way that’s similar to what celebrities endure – only in a way it’s worse, because the paparazzi are our friends. We no longer have full control of the way we appear online, not when someone else can easily upload photos of us that we find unflattering. This increased awareness of our candid appearance has made us as a society more conscious of our looks. When somebody sees themselves tagged in a picture and maybe realizes that they have more visible wrinkles than their friends, or that their nose isn’t quite ideal when viewed in profile, they are more likely to pursue plastic surgery.
SOCIAL MEDIA MAKEOVER REASON #2:
THE SOCIAL MEDIA CELEBRITY.
The big screen is no longer the only place for celebrities. As social media apps like Instagram and Vine continue to gain extreme popularity, ordinary users are more often finding fame. A few Vine-famous users have even been sourced by larger companies and ad agencies to create short, six-second promos on the app to promote their products. Earlier this month, Trident Gum had popular vine users, create an ad promoting one of their newest flavors. Megalis was also used by MTV to cover their VMAs last month. As an increasing number of people continue to gain fame through social media, it’s to be expected that cosmetic treatments will begin to share the same high level of popularity with social media celebrities that they do with traditional movie and television stars.
SOCIAL MEDIA MAKEOVER REASON #3:
THE NEW SPOT TO FIND THAT SPECIAL SOMEONE.
According to a survey published by Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), over a third of marriages begin online, whether through a dating site, mutual Facebook friend, etc. When it comes to finding a romantic match online, the profile picture is king. While in the past a quick Photoshop tweak could do the trick (but could often lead to an awkward first meeting), people have now been seeking out plastic surgery. In India especially, the "Facebook Facelift" has led to an exponential spike in patients seeking out these facial plastic surgeries to increase their chances of finding love over the internet. Americans, meanwhile, continue to favor the anti-aging help of the nonsurgical injectable Botox, with over six million injections being administered last year.
However, many unqualified people have also taken advantage of this new interest in cosmetic surgery and are offering a cheaper solution to prospective patients. These untrained and unlicensed people are illegally administering Botox to people looking for a good deal. Even with minimally invasive procedures, it is important to always only seek the expertise of a board-certified plastic surgeon to ensure your safety and the best results.