Does social media change how you see yourself? Research suggests that it does and found that some people even turn to plastic surgery to enhance their look online. A survey from the American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFRS) featured by Time found that surgeons had seen a 31% increase in patients requesting surgery to look better online. Is the effect that social media has on plastic surgery something to be concerned about?
Social Media Is How We Portray Ourselves to the World
We live in a connected world. Our TVs and dishwashers can be remotely controlled from a smartphone. We can connect with the entire world in just a few clicks. But, the internet isn’t just a way to connect and learn; it is also the way we project our image to others. Social media allows us to share curated snippets of our lives. Just like you don’t want to be caught at the grocery store in sweatpants, you don’t want a bad picture to appear online for everyone to see. Yes, you have control over what you post, but friends, family, and others can post and share too. A picture of one bad hair day can live on forever online. This is one factor that drives men and women toplastic surgery; they don’t want to have bad pictures on social media.
Social Media Changes How We See Ourselves
We capture and document our lives online which means that many people are seeing a constant stream of pictures, often of themselves. You notice as those little lines develop and become wrinkles. When you gain weight you see it, often easier in pictures than in the mirror. Social media makes it easier to spot those imperfections. In some ways this is great. When you keep up on skin maintenance you can often avoid more invasive surgeries. A less extensive facelift in your 40s may save you from needing a more extensive facelift later on. It’s the notion of preventative maintenance, which produces less drastic changes and faster recovery times.
It also makes it easier to notice what we like about ourselves. One recent plastic surgery trend involves patients bringing in favorite selfies. Men and women show their surgeon photos where they love their look and ask for procedures that can make the perfect selfie into everyday beauty. Gotta love the look of some of those Instagram filters. Gone are the days of wishing you were someone else; social media makes it easy to see your most beautiful self.
Good or Bad, Social Media Is Here to Stay
There are certainly some upsides to the changes social media has had on plastic surgery. We love that men and women are more willing to embrace change and create their most beautiful self, but we do worry that some will take things too far. Remember, plastic surgery should be for you. It is okay to make changes if it is what you want, but if you’re just trying to impress others, it might not be needed. Love who you are. Cosmetic enhancement should be for you.
Let’s use social media to make positive changes. There’s nothing wrong with putting your best face forward as long as you do it for you. Looking great on social media is a good thing, but more important is loving yourself and your body.