Selfie Nation: How Does Social Media Influence Plastic Surgery?
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social networks play key roles in most Americans’ daily routines, which is reflected in recent data.
According to Pew Research Center, nearly 70 percent of Americans currently use social media. Pew Research Center also indicated Millennials, i.e. individuals born after 1980, use social networks at higher levels than all other demographic groups – a trend that appears likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
Social media empowers Millennials to share information, engage with news content and entertain themselves like never before. However, social media may be driving an increase in cosmetic procedures among Millennials as well.
Analyzing the Link Between Social Media and Plastic Surgery
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) “2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report” provided insights into the following cosmetic plastic surgery demographic trends:
- 64,000 surgical procedures were performed on individuals between the ages of 13 and 19 years old, up 1 percent year over year.
- 249,000 surgical procedures were performed on individuals between the ages of 20 and 29 years old, a 1 percent increase from 2014.
- 365,000 surgical procedures were performed on individuals between the ages of 30 and 39 years old, a 2 percent year-over-year increase.
There is a strong correlation between social media and the way people view themselves, regardless of age. Today, social media has far-flung effects on the way a person is viewed by others, as well as his or her self-confidence. It may even lead a person to pursue plastic surgery more adamantly than he or she would in the past.
Social media has brought about an unprecedented wave of digital “self-love” reflected in selfies and other social images. People can use social apps to filter their personal images so they can create one-of-a-kind self-images that are instantly shareable online. Individuals can also take advantage of various social apps to dictate how they are perceived by others – for better or worse.
For example, consider what may happen if a person has a bad hair day at work or school. In the past, a bad hair day might have been a minor problem. Because at the end of a bad hair day, an individual could forget about the incident and move forward from it.
In a social media-driven world, however, one person’s bad hair day can immediately be shared with millions of people worldwide. Social media makes it simple for people to connect with one another from any device, at any location and at any time. Thus, if a person suffers a bad hair day at work or school, anyone can snap a photo on a smartphone or tablet and share it via social media. And once this image is live on the internet, it likely will stay there forever.
Conversely, social media sometimes leads people to take additional steps to ensure that they look their best at all times. Yet allocating significant time and energy to apply makeup to cover up even minor facial wrinkles and blemishes may prove to be difficult. Plus, the costs associated with doing so may add up quickly.
Social media has transformed the way that people interact with one another and the world around them, along with changed the way that people perceive cosmetic surgery. Whereas plastic surgery was previously viewed by some people in a negative light, it now presents a great option for a person to look his or her best on social media.
Plastic surgery often helps people correct facial wrinkles and other blemishes and prevent them from recurring. It also makes it tough for people to spot facial imperfections and share them with others online.
At the same time, cosmetic surgery can help a person bolster his or her self-confidence. For instance, a person who feels good about his or her appearance may be more likely than ever before to share selfies on Instagram, Facebook and other social networks. As the social likes and shares accumulate, this individual may feel more confident in his or her appearance than ever before.
Celebrities Increasingly Embrace Plastic Surgery
The stigma once associated with plastic surgery has disappeared, thanks in large part to celebrities who are upfront and honest about their recent decisions to undergo cosmetic procedures. Some of the celebrities who have used plastic surgery to enhance their appearance include:
- Kaley Cuoco: Actress Kaley Cuoco may be best-known for her role as Penny on the hit TV comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” Meanwhile, Cuoco told Redbook that a decision to get breast implants earlier in her acting career proved to be one of “the best” decisions she has ever made.
- Lisa Kudrow: “Friends” actress Lisa Kudrow received a nose job when she was a teenager, according to The Saturday Evening Post. The procedure was “life-altering,” Kudrow stated, as it helped her improve her facial appearance.
- Betty White: “Golden Girls” star Betty White underwent an eyelid rejuvenation procedure in 1976, she told People. White said she “scolded herself” when she first received the procedure, but she’s now glad that she received the surgery.
- Kylie Jenner: TV personality and model Kylie Jenner originally received lip fillers in 2015. She also started a vlog in 2018 detailing her “lip filler journey.”
- Christine Brinkley: Actress Christine Brinkley told People in 2017 that she underwent ultherapy, which uses ultrasound technology to lift and tighten the skin. With ultherapy, Brinkley has lifted her skin and reduced visible signs of aging on her neck.
- Robin Wright: Actress Robin Wright told The Telegraph in 2014 that she receives Botox treatments twice a year. Botox treats fine lines, wrinkles and furrows caused by excess muscle movements in the face.
- Jillian Michaels: Fitness trainer and TV personality Jillian Michaels underwent rhinoplasty surgery at age 16. Michaels said the procedure helped reshape her nose and boost her self-confidence.
- Kelly Ripa: TV personality Kelly Ripa told Elle in 2013 that she receives Botox treatments on her eyelid skin approximately every seven months.
As the aforementioned examples show, celebrities of all ages are sometimes willing to undergo plastic surgery to bolster their appearance. But celebrities are just one of several groups of individuals who may consider plastic surgery in the hopes of looking their best both now and in the future. In fact, cosmetic surgery today represents a viable option for many individuals, including Millennials.
What Is the Link Between Millennials, Social Media and Plastic Surgery?
Social networks are exceedingly popular and show no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Moreover, the number of annual cosmetic procedures continues to rise among the Millennial population.
The Millennial generation is leading a “selfie” revolution – just consider some of the recent selfie statistics compiled by Frames Direct:
- On average, a Millennial will take up to 25,700 selfies during their lifetime.
- 55 percent of Millennials share selfies on social media.
- The average Millennial spends at least one hour per week posting selfies on social networks.
- To date, Instagram has more than 250 million #selfie posts, and this figure continues to increase daily.
Millennials highlight the link between social media and plastic surgery. With selfies and other social media posts, Millennials share personal information with a global audience. And going forward, Millennials may be one of the biggest groups to choose plastic surgery in the hopes of enhancing their facial appearance for social media.
Ultimately, many Millennials may consider plastic surgery to improve their appearance in selfies and other social media images. With an informed approach to plastic surgery, Millennials can understand the short- and long-term ramifications of a cosmetic procedure and make the right treatment decision based on their personal needs.
Plastic Surgery: Here’s What Millennials Need to Know
Many cosmetic procedures are available, and each treatment may impact an individual’s appearance in a variety of ways.
Some of the leading plastic surgeries include:
- Rhinoplasty: Commonly referred to as a “nose job” or “nose surgery,” rhinoplasty enables an individual to improve facial symmetry. It may be used to correct structural defects in the nose too.
- Submental Liposuction: Liposuction under the chin eliminates the appearance of a “double chin” and creates a thinner facial profile.
- Brow Lift: A brow lift enables an individual to raise drooping eyebrows and reduce the appearance of deep furrows and a heavy, sagging brow.
- Eyelid Lift: Thanks to an eyelid lift, an individual can remove bags that form under the eyelids, correct drooping lower eyelids and minimize excess fat deposits in the eyelids.
Also, many non-surgical cosmetic procedures are available, and some of the leading non-surgical cosmetic treatments include:
- Botox: Perhaps the most popular non-invasive cosmetic procedure, Botox helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes.
- Facial Fillers: With facial fillers, an individual can use injectable medications to fill in fine lines and creases throughout the face to create more cheek contour, erase under eye bags, or enhance the size and shape of the lips.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing: DOT Deka laser skin resurfacing treatments can help an individual improve the skin’s tone, texture and pigmentation.
The CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery wants to teach Millennials about cosmetic surgery, how it works and its benefits.
Now, let’s take a look at three questions that Millennials should consider about plastic surgery.
How will plastic surgery impact my appearance?
It is important for an individual to allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures before undergoing treatment. This will enable a person to understand a procedure’s impact on the facial appearance. Furthermore, it is very important to have a very honest conversation with the facial plastic surgeon to make sure both parties have the same expectations for the results of the surgery.
What should I expect after a cosmetic procedure?
The goals and results of a cosmetic procedure will vary depending on the individual. Therefore, it is paramount for a person to establish realistic cosmetic treatment expectations.
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery is a globally recognized facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who recognizes the immediate and long-term impact of a cosmetic procedure. He will meet with a patient to learn about the individual’s cosmetic treatment goals and ensure this person can get the best results possible.
Is a cosmetic procedure right for me?
Plastic surgery represents a major decision, regardless of a person’s age. As such, a person should learn as much as possible about plastic surgery prior to treatment.
When it comes to facial plastic surgery, working with an expert facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon like Dr. Azizzadeh is a must. This surgeon will be able to describe a cosmetic procedure in detail and respond to a patient’s concerns and questions.
A Final Word on Cosmetic Surgery for Millennials
Millennials are the largest living generation in the United States. They are tech-savvy individuals who understand the ins and outs of social media and are unafraid to share personal images across social networks.
At the same time, many Millennials have shown a willingness to undergo cosmetic procedures over the past few years. As the selfie revolution continues, Millennials may consider cosmetic treatments to enhance their facial appearance.
A cosmetic procedure rarely, if ever, represents a “quick-fix” solution to transform an individual’s appearance. Although some cosmetic procedures provide fast results, various treatments may require several weeks or months before the full results become apparent.
For those who are considering cosmetic surgery, meeting with a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon like Dr. Azizzadeh can provide a valuable learning experience. This consultation will enable an individual to learn about the short- and long-term effects of a cosmetic procedure and make an informed treatment decision.