Summary: It’s true that selfies might be creating a new emphasis on facial plastic surgery, but the jury is still out whether this is a good thing or a bad thing. It may also simply be a neutral reality. There are plenty of reasons why selfies themselves have caught on (and they aren’t going anywhere), and even more explanations for why they inspire this particular type of plastic surgery. That’s what we’ll be looking into today.

Are Selfies Creating a New Emphasis on Facial Plastic Surgery?

Nearly everyone these days is taking selfies. Younger generations may have been the first (and most enthusiastic) early adopters of the photos-of-yourself-you-take-yourselves. But in recent years, selfies have become incredibly common. To borrow a phrase you might have heard during your high school years: everybody’s doing it.

Indeed, the average adult is expected to take tens of thousands of selfies during his or her lifetime. That’s a lot of photos of yourself! So we’re not shocked that selfies might be creating a new emphasis on facial plastic surgery.

The interesting questions revolve around what that new emphasis on facial plastic surgery means and what it could do for the patient. We’ll also take a look at the selfie itself, examining why it’s had such a profound impact on patients of plastic surgery. In other words, what makes the selfie so special anyway? How is it different from any other picture. Easily accessible photographs have been around for nearly a century–why did selfies change the game more than they did? If selfies might be creating a new emphasis on facial plastic surgery, we’ll look at the how’s and the why’s.

What Makes a Selfie Special?

The first step in answering this question involved taking a minute to figure out what makes a selfie so special in the first place. Clearly, a selfie is not like any other photograph. Selfies have had an outsized impact on plastic surgery, yes, but also on society more generally speaking. It’s difficult to go to an event–family or public–in which selfies are not being taken.

There are a couple of things, I think, that make selfies pretty special:

  • Frequency: If you think about it, people are taking selfies all the time. Every day, there’s another selfie. Special occasion? Selfie. You get the idea. Whether you like your face or not, you’re seeing it a lot more often. And if there’s something about your face that makes you feel self-conscious, you’re going to be seeing that particular thing much more often.
  • Shareability: It’s not just that there are more selfies than ever before. It’s that those selfies are so easy to share. If you’re self conscious about your nose, the thought of sharing your selfie might not make you very happy. But there’s a certain social pressure to share selfies, so you could feel trapped between a rock and a hard place.
  • Easy of use: Back in the day (I know, I’m old), you used to have to know your camera settings to take a good picture. But today, you can just point and click. What’s more, you tend to see what you get. This means that taking selfies–or any photo–is easier than ever before.

You can see how selfies have become a significant trend in our lives!

How Do Selfies Impact Facial Plastic Surgery?

Now that we know what selfies are and (at least partly) why they’ve caught on so successfully, we can talk about how those selfies impact facial plastic surgery. There are a couple of things happening.

First, because photos used to be lower quality, it was often the body that was the target of self-conscious feelings and discomfort. But with high resolution images (and with the easy enhancements available from photo filters), suddenly the face is seen in a significant amount of detail. I think this makes the face the instant center of attention. And so it’s what patients tend to want to address first and foremost.

That photo filters give patients such easy access to “what ifs” only increases the desire for facial plastic surgery. Patients see the filtered photos and think, “I’d be happy with how I look if only my nose wasn’t crooked” or something to that effect.

Is This a Good Thing?

It’s difficult to tell whether this selfie-fueled focus on facial plastic surgery is a good thing or not–at least, it’s difficult to tell yet. In some ways, it’s doesn’t really matter. Selfies are here to stay. What’s more important is that surgeons know the right questions to ask, so they can get an accurate read on a patient’s motivations and expectations.

Selfies might be creating a new emphasis on facial plastic surgery, but the overall mission is still the same: helping people feel better about the way they look. Sometimes–and for some people–plastic surgery is a good way to do that. But your first stop really should be to your plastic surgeon in order to figure out exactly what kind of surgery is best for your needs.

References

  • Belluz, Julia. “Selfie Face Distortion Is Driving People to Get Nose Jobs.” Vox, Vox, 21 June 2018, www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/3/1/17059566/plastic-surgery-selfie-distortion.
  • Fisher, Nicole. “Our Addiction To Selfies Means Big Business For Plastic Surgeons.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 10 Apr. 2018, www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2018/04/10/our-addiction-to-selfies-means-big-business-for-plastic-surgeons/#4d32b9612786.
  • Chiu, Allyson. “People Are Desperate to Resemble Their Filtered Selfies. Plastic Surgeons Alarmed by ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’.” Chicagotribune.com, 6 Aug. 2018, www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/ct-plastic-surgery-selfies-20180806-story.html.

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