Does Social Media Play a Role in Plastic Surgery?
As social media becomes ever more prevalent, a higher number of people are experiencing anxiety about the way they are portrayed in their profile pictures. Many of these people have turned to plastic surgery and other cosmetic procedures to boost their self-confidence in person and on digital platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Pursuing the Perfect Profile Picture
In a recent interview on ABC News, Dr. Ramtin Kassir, a triple board-certified plastic surgeon in New York, explained how his office has been utilizing Google Glass technology to take video documentation of patient encounters. He stated that many patients cite selfies and other photos on social media as a factor in their decision to undergo different cosmetic procedures. The national rate of plastic surgeries has skyrocketed in recent years, says Dr. Kassir. People now have more access to their social media sites through their mobile devices, and they are aware of the very real possibility that future employers or partners will form their first impressions based on a profile picture.
Procedures to Help You Look Your Best (on Camera)
The most common procedures among all age groups are non-surgical procedures that have no recovery time. Cool sculpting (freezing away unwanted fat), dermal fillers, and ultrasound facelifts are popular non-surgical options that many use to feel more confident online. Liposuction, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, and face lifts are the most common surgical procedures that women and men will undergo (with the majority of patients being women). Social media posts of engagement rings have even inspired women to have hand rejuvenation procedures before posting about their happy news.
Is Plastic Surgery for Everyone?
Plastic surgeons have to be careful about new patients who request cosmetic procedures, making sure that the person is a good candidate for the operation. Dr. Kassir told ABC News that he is a proponent of non-invasive procedures with natural results, and refuses to do irreversible operations such as snake tongue (where the tongue is split lengthwise down the middle an inch or two – like a snake’s tongue). Some people who come in asking for plastic surgery may be suffering from a chronic mental illness known as Body Dysmorphic Disorder, in which a person is obsessed with one real or imagined flaw in their appearance. In this case, doctors should recommend therapy before granting the surgery.
When asked if his patients did indeed experience a boost in their self-esteem after a cosmetic procedure, Dr. Kassir said that you need only to look in the face of someone after their operation to know that the answer is yes. He believes that social media simply brings attention to body image issues someone may have, and plastic surgery can be life changing for the right candidates. He notes that people between the ages 30-50 in particular make excellent candidates for non-surgical facelifts or cosmetic procedures.
Ultimately, there are many different considerations and factors involved in making the decision to undergo plastic surgery. However, the explosion of social media in our daily lives has made people more aware of their body image (as well as others), leading a higher number people to request cosmetic procedures and surgeries.