Is taking pictures of yourself to blame for the steady rise in cosmetic surgeries being performed? Fox’s Dr. Keith Ablow believes that it is the case.

Selfies = Narcissism

Digital narcissism is on the rise, thanks to a market that is saturated by cellular phones with high quality cameras. The definition of a narcissist is someone who is obsessed with receiving recognition or praise based on their looks, and that is exactly what the selfie-crazed social media networks provide. People will sit around their computers or mobile devices just to watch the number of likes or favorites go up. It is, at its heart, an addiction and a mental illness. As bad as this may sound, this is the positive side of the story.

Selfies = Low Self Esteem

On the other side of the coin, selfies and social media can cause devastatingly low self esteem. On good days, this leads sufferers to seek out plastic surgeons for cosmetic surgery procedures. On bad days, such as in the case of Danny Bowman of the UK, they can lead to dramatic unhealthy weight loss, drastic altering of behavior, and even suicide. Danny would spend 10 hours a day for nearly 6 months trying to take the ‘perfect selfie’ and was devastated when he couldn’t manage it. He dropped out of school, lost 30 pounds and eventually attempted to take his own life.

Who is to Blame?

The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Experts like Dr. Ablow blame things like selfie-saturated social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as image-only applications like Instagram and Snapchat. Also to blame are socialite stars like the Kardashian family, who spend a lot of time on camera and taking selfies of their own. There is no one culprit when it comes to plastic surgery and selfies, but there is plenty of blame to go around.

Break it Down into Numbers

Of all of the plastic suergons polled, more than 58% have reported that they have seen a marked increase in patients under the age of 30, and 81% of these patients are female. In the last year, they have reported a 10% increase in nose jobs, a 7% increase in hair transplants, and a 6% increase in eyelid surgeries. This is only expected to increase as selfies become a bigger and bigger part of daily life.

Not Just for the Young

This trend is not limited to young patients. There are a growing number of parents and grandparents who are taking selfies to send to friends and children across the country. This brings into stark relief things about their appearance that they may not see in the mirror. 53 year old Hannah states “There’s a lot of pressure to look good at my age.” Selfies are making people look at themselves in a way that they would not otherwise do.

Plastic surgery has been a growing trend for the better part of a decade, but there is a now a stack of evidence that the selfie trend is contributing strongly to that growth.

Image Source: Flickr/CreativeCommons

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Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

Dr. Jeffrey Spiegel

With special expertise in all aspects of facial plastic surgery, and a particular skill for revision surgery, it’s clear why Dr. Spiegel is one of the most celebrated facial plastic surgeons in the world. If you are seeking the best possible results, or have a uniquely challenging problem, you’ve found the right doctor.

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Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir L. Spiegel

Dr. Onir (pronounced “oh-near”) has years of experience in facial aesthetics and treats some of the most recognizable and famous faces. Dr. Onir started her career in oral health, earning doctorate degrees from both New York University and Boston University. She has been the recipient of numerous awards for her cutting-edge medical research as well as her technical skills in dentistry.

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Dr. Jacob Tower

Dr. Jacob Tower

A board-certified specialist in facial plastic surgery, Dr. Jacob Tower brings a thoughtful approach and an artistic eye to New England’s premier plastic surgery practice, The Spiegel Center in Newton, Massachusetts. In addition to being an in-demand surgeon, Dr. Tower is an assistant professor at the Boston University School of Medicine, a sought-after lecturer, and an expert in facial plastic surgery.

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