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Beauty Author: Wendy Lewis, Beauty and Skincare Columnist Last Updated: Sep 7, 2017 - 10:06:33 PM

Do You 'Like' Yourself on Facebook?

By Wendy Lewis, Beauty and Skincare Columnist
Feb 25, 2013 - 1:00:10 AM

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New Statistics from AAFPRS Suggest Social Media is Sending Us Straight to the Facial Plastic Surgeon's Office

( - Gone are the days when we would rip celebrity photos from the pages of tabloids to show our facial plastic surgeon the exact lips, nose or other feature that we desire. Instead, we now tote our Iphones, Ipads and Androids to the consultation and regal him with a virtual slide show of our own photos from Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites.  This way, we can really hone in on perceived flaws, and blow them up with the flick of two fingers so our surgeon can see exactly what we don't like on or about our faces.

Social media is changing everything about how we live including how we see ourselves. This is one of the main findings from the 2012 American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) survey (

There was a 31% increase in requests for surgery as a result of social media photo sharing. At the same time, just 7% of consumers were asking for celebrity features (contrary to a recent report in the UK press about a surge in request for Kate Middleton's nose).  Of the procedures requested as a result of social media influence, rhinoplasty, BOTOX®, and facelifts topped the list.

"With today's social media, patients are seeing themselves more often in photographs, which in turn increases the probability of them discovering flaws, " says Great Neck facial plastic surgeon Andrew Jacono, MD, an AAFPRS board member.

And, he says, they are looking to fix the type of things that are not always visible when looking directly in the mirror, he says. These photos, their angles, the lighting and easy-to-use editing tools provide up close and personal views for us and all of our Facebook friends  (and their friends) to see. Some which can only be remedied with facial plastic surgery.

"If reality TV shows such as "Extreme Makeover" were key drivers in the growth of plastic surgery in the early 2000s, today it is clearly social media and likely such Apps as Snapshot, etc.," says AAFPRS member Jeffrey S. Epstein, a facial plastic surgeon in Miami.

Two-thirds of all cosmetic procedures requested in 2012 were non-surgical such as injectables, but this is less than 2011. By contrast, requests for surgical procedures are on the rise, with rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty and facelifts being the most requested in 2012. There may be some other reasons for this, adds AAFPRS member and New York City facial plastic surgeon Yael Halaas, MD. "Financially, it makes sense for patients to seek out blepharoplasty, facelifts, to invest in themselves with a longer lasting solution then temporary fixes," she says.


Overall, the new stats show that the number of cosmetic procedures is on the move  (compared with reconstructive ones), accounting for 73% of all procedures in 2012, up from 62% in 2011.

While women are still more likely to choose facial plastic surgery, men are also continuing to embrace it, the new stats show. Many men are choosing BOTOX, volumizing fillers or skin resurfacing to help them look younger and fresher as they find themselves competing for jobs against Generation Next colleagues.

The number of men having Botox was up 27% from 2011. Other procedures popular among males were hyaluronic acid fillers and microdermabrasion. "It is becoming increasingly accepted for men to undergo cosmetic surgery. Men often turn to aesthetic treatments to stay relevant in the job market, keep up with their significant others or if they are single, stay in the dating game," says Jacono.

And many are coming at their significant others' request, the new stats suggest.  Twenty percent of men say their decision to have plastic surgery was influenced by their partner. " The AAFPRS survey confirms the trend that more men are interested in cosmetic enhancements. We are seeing younger men in their 20s and 30s coming in for rhinoplasty, chin implants, and chin contouring," says Sam Rizk, MD, New York City Facial Plastic Surgeon and AAFPRS member.

Men in their 40s and 50s are interested in looking more refreshed and less tire and are opting for BOTOX, eyelid procedures, and rapid recovery neck lifts, Rizk says.  In their 60s, we see more men having necklifts and modified deep plane facelifts with eyelid rejuvenation.  "The pressure to stay looking youthful and to compete in their careers is driving this trend, coupled with the lifting of the stigma for men to look good."

The 2012 AAFPRS statistics are based on an Internet poll of AAFPRS members conducted from December 7, 2012, to January 7. 2013.

Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd Global Aesthetics Consultancy, author of 11 books and Founder/Editor in Chief of



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