If you take a quick scroll through any social media platform you will soon see that when it comes to the photos posted, things are not always what they seem. Whether it is a flawless complexion, enhanced curves, larger than life eyes or even a cute pair of puppy’s ears, many people routinely apply filters to their photos before uploading them to social media. This craze isn’t new, but it is growing in popularity, and experts suggest that it is actually changing the way we think about ourselves and how we would like to look.
Interestingly, it has been suggested that people who chose to change their appearance in images before sharing them on a public platform are more likely to have a greater acceptance of cosmetic surgery. It is believed that those who adjust their appearance digitally are more likely to feel that cosmetic surgery is something they would consider. Users of certain social media platforms are most likely to feel like this, the evidence suggests.
Recently, the JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery journal shared a report concluding that “increased acceptance of cosmetic facial surgery is associated with the use of certain social media and photo-editing applications.”
The survey reached out to over 250 respondents, asking their views and attitudes towards certain trends, and also looking at their behavioural traits such as which social media platforms they utilise. Users of YouTube, Tinder, and Snapchat photograph filters were the most likely to accept cosmetic surgery; in fact, the term ‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’ has been used to describe those who feel that are dissatisfied with their looks before a filter has been applied.
A hard habit to break
Users of these platforms can become so used to ironing out the creases and brushing out the imperfections, they can become unhappy with their natural looks. Dr Neelam Vashi from Boston University’s Ethnic Skin Center says “apps like this could focus a user’s attention on their perceived flaws. And the obsession with eradicating those ‘flaws’ – along with a desire to see in the mirror what one sees in a filtered photo – has been leading more and more young women to seek out plastic surgeons”.
What this means for plastic surgeons and their patients
Surgeons always assess patients’ suitability for any procedure they are interested in, and one area, in particular, is what has motivated them to make the change and what they expect to achieve from the end results. A responsible plastic surgeon will want to be reassured that expectations are achievable and aligned with reality before they will be comfortable to sign off on any procedure.
If you’d like to discuss any cosmetic surgery procedure in more depth, you can be assured that London cosmetic surgeon Mr Paul Tulley will always offer unbiased and expert advice as to whether you are suitable for surgery at this time. Call 020 7118 6887 to arrange a consultation.