Selfie, selfie, on my wall, who’s the fairest of them all?
In the modern world, a great deal of social interaction is done online. Romantic partners or new friends are met, business contacts are made and lost acquaintances are found yet again. The increased popularity of selfies has made physical appearance the center of attention as a result, shining a spotlight on a person’s imperfections.
Anyone can now have their own stage to broadcast themselves to the world via social media. Users produce their own content via pictures and status updates and create an online identity for themselves. For some, this may just be reflection of their true selves, however for many, the image that they want the world to see is one that is the most beautiful version of themselves as possible. The decision of which filter to use for a selfie can sometimes take several minutes in order to make the subject as attractive as possible. The selfie trend of everybody becoming a “mini celebrity” within their own social network has spawned another trend: plastic surgery to improve selfies. An increased number of people are choosing plastic surgery to improve their less desirable traits such as a crooked nose, facial wrinkles or even imperfect hands.
According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, one out of three surveyed plastic surgeons reported an elevated level of facial plastic surgery requests due to patients desires to improve their online appearance. The same surgeons reported consistent increases between 2012 and 2013 of key procedures with a 10% gain in rhinoplasty, a 7% gain in hair transplants and a 6% gain in eyelid surgery. Doctors surveyed in 2013 reported a 58% increase in plastic surgery requests from patients under 30 years of age.
Both sexes have developed a keen awareness of the natural aging process and both seek to combat those effects through different means. Women remain the primary consumers of plastic surgery, up to 81% of reported procedures. Lip injections, facelifts and eyelid lifts are among the most common female requests. An increasing amount of men are plastic surgery consumers, though their focus lies on lessening wrinkles and transplanting hair. Botox and rhinoplasty remain the most popular procedures for both sexes.
Plastic surgery was once considered something that was only used by celebrities in order to maintain their public image and look as young and beautiful as possible. Now that everyone can have their 5 mins in the spotlight with the selfies they post online, more everyday people are adapting the practices of celebrities in order to hold onto their public image and look better to their fans, even if they are only on Instagram.