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Selfie-Esteem – Social Media and Its Tie to Cosmetic Surgery

| February 13, 2015 | Reply


Self representation has been around for thousands of years. From the Ancient Egyptians immortalization of self through idealized drawings and carvings to painters in the 1800’s such as Degas, Cèzanne and Van Gogh rendering their images through self-portraiture, humans have a need to be seen, acknowledged and remembered. Fast forward to modern day and we have the latest form of self representation, the “selfie”. Modern day people documenting themselves through a self-taken photo (typically with a cell phone camera) at a particular place and time and sharing through social media outlets such as Facebook and Instagram.

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There are multiple ways to take selfies. You can simply hold up your phone or camera to capture your self-portrait, the “selfie stick” allows for more distance between you and the lens, and more recently in the financial district of lower Manhattan, a new kiosk lets you snap a selfie for free with a perfect view of One World Trade Center soaring behind you. Technology such as filters and Photoshop provide the most flattering light and color and can alter your appearance, allowing the user to present a perfected version of themselves to be posted online.

Everyday people, and celebrities, have started to become much more self-aware of their appearance due to social media, especially when pictures are posted of them or they are “tagged” in photos which may be unflattering. Many seek out cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery to “fix” imperfections like a prominent crooked nose, a double chin, visible wrinkles or body bulges.

One celebrity known for her infamous selfies is Kim Kardashian. Kim K. is taking selfies to the next level in her new book entitled “Selfish”— this 352 page book featuring all of her best selfies will be released on May 5th.  It is rumored that Kim may have had plastic surgery. She has publicly admitted to Botox and employs a top notch glam squad to perfect her image.

A poll of 2,700 American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) members showed that one in three had seen an increase in requests for procedures from patients who say they are more aware of their image since being on social media. In what is know as the emerging “selfie economy”, plastic surgeons in the US have seen an increase for procedures from blepharoplasty (eye lid lift) to rhinoplasty (nose job) for patients looking to improve their facial appearance in selfies. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) reports over 55,000 neck lifts being performed in 2013 alone, up 6% from 2012.

The face of plastic surgery is also getting younger, according to the AAFPRS survey. In 2013, more than half of surgeons surveyed said they saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectables in people under 30. Procedures to correct “selfie imperfections” vary from patient to patient. These include surgical procedures and also non-surgical options such as Laser Treatments, Peels and injectibles like Botox and Restylane, to enhance cheek bones or soften wrinkles and smile lines.

I don’t think that selfies are the main reason people are opting to have more plastic surgery, but it is a contributing factor. Patients are more aware and educated as they obtain information through the Internet. In addition, the technological advances especially with lasers have allowed for less invasive surgical techniques, less recovery time and the non-surgical options that are budget friendly.

There is no doubt that more people are accepting of and having plastic surgery. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), in 2013 alone, Americans spent $12 billion on snips, tummy tucks, and other cosmetic procedures.

First impressions have always been important, but today those impressions are likely to be made on social media. It is the images that you put online which will be seen by perspective partners and professional employers. Advances in cosmetic procedures and plastic surgery can be a valuable tool in putting your best face forward.

When planning a patients surgery, it is necessary to take professional clinical pictures as a more standard way for a patient to look at themselves. It is best to take a closer look at the face and body and talk about symmetry and balance as well as realistic expectations before undergoing any type of surgery. My job as a plastic surgeon is making sure that all my patients see their naturally present beauty and that they undergo procedures for the right reasons.

I welcome you, as always, to visit my office to discuss your aesthetic goals. For additional information on any of the procedures discussed in this blog, and to schedule your consultation, contact my office at212-988-5656or[email protected]and mention Bella “Selfie” Blog Post.

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Category: Dr. Theodore Diktaban, Health/Wellness, Home, MAB Blog

About the Author ()

As one of New York City’s Top Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Theodore Diktaban has been providing impeccable surgical and lifestyle enhancements to his clients for over 30 years. Dr. Diktaban is double board certified in both Plastic surgery and Otolaryngology and offers surgical and non-surgical procedures for men, women and selected procedures for teen’s and children.

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