Head tilted, face at an angle, camera positioned above and center–all of these things go into crafting the perfect selfie. It seems harmless right? A shot of a smile or two (or 100) on your Instagram account just goes to show the world how friendly and fabulous you are. Except, 2013’s word of the year is actually not that harmless. According to a new survey from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), one in three facial plastic surgeons saw a rise in the demand for plastic surgery because people were more aware of the way they looked thanks to social media.
Edward Farrior, president of AAFPRS, says that the rise in use of social platforms like Instagram and Snapchat, which are completely image based, “force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before.” And because everyone is taking selfies, everyone is being affected.
Surprisingly, that means a lot of young people. So let’s consider these youths (as Schmidt on “New Girl” calls them)–the under-30 crowd, if you will. In 2013, plastic surgeons saw a 58 percent increase of cosmetic surgery or injectibles in this age group. At the lower end of the spectrum, teens and young adults have it particularly bad because of bullying on the web and social media; the study finds that 69 percent of children and teens who get plastic surgery do so as a result of bullying, not to prevent it. At the higher end of the spectrum, twentysomethings are looking to stave off the visible signs of aging with measures such as Botox, a procedure that actually made up about half of all the minimally invasive procedures done in 2013.
In terms of the most-common surgical procedures of 2013, we’re talking rhinoplasty, facelifts, eyelifts, skin resurfacing, and revision surgery, aka fixing what unhappy patients didn’t like from their first go-round.
Though most people getting these procedures are indeed women (mothers, to be specific) who want to stay looking younger and have nice-looking noses, men aren’t afraid to slide under the knife (have you seen Bruce Jenner lately?) in pursuit of a full head of hair and fewer visible wrinkles.
Our thoughts? To each his or her own, but we wish that more people could be happy with their natural beauty. It’s a bit unfortunate that apps like Instagram and Snapchat, which are intended to be community based and bring people together to share good memories, are turning out to provide a dark under-belly of opportunity for self-criticism.
StyleBlazers, did any of you get plastic surgery in 2013?