In fact, the Phoenix-like rise of ‘selfies' has actually giving birth to an uptick in requests for such facial plastic surgery procedures as rhinoplasty, hair transplants, eye lifts, and BOTOX®. This is one of the main findings of the just-released 2013 annual statistics from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
One in three facial plastic surgeons polled reported an increase in requests for procedures due to patients being more ‘selfie' aware. What's more, 13 percent of AAFPRS members said increased photo sharing and patients' dissatisfaction with their image on social media platforms also spurred consultations and surgery requests.
"The ‘selfie' might find it's way to Instagram, Facebook or any of the other social networks that unfortunately may be beyond our ability to control," says Tampa plastic surgeon and AAFPRS President Edward Farrior, MD. "These images may not always portray us in the best or most flattering light." Just ask Anthony Weiner.
New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, agrees. "Patients in the 20's and 30's take their online appearance very seriously. Many patients have come for rhinoplasty consultations with ‘selfies' showing profiles they don't like or shadows that make their noses look crooked," he tells Health News Digest. "The trend has markedly increased over the past year. "
And tagging doesn't help matters much either, he says. "These photos are not posted by the patient but by their friends, and the patient might find themselves seeing an unflattering view of themselves that they didn't expect to be made public."
This ever-increasing self-awareness is leading to amplified requests for facial plastic surgery, he says.
According to Albany facial plastic surgeon and Past President of AAFPRS Edwin Williams, "There is no question that social media has helped make people more aware of the features that they don't like about themselves. The actual selfie is hard to capture without being close up - at which point the angle and the views can be unforgiving. We live in an information rich society. Consumers have access to solutions that can help them feel better about how they look. Facial plastic surgery plays into this well."
The selfie and social media trend dovetails with the findings that growing numbers of younger people are seeking facial rejuvenation, In 2013, 58 percent of facial plastic surgeons saw an increase in cosmetic surgeries or use of injectables, such as BOTOX®, Juvederm® XC, Restylane®, Radiesse® and others, among those under age 30.
"Undergoing less aggressive surgery at a younger age will create a more incremental change that looks more natural and less dramatic," Farrior says. "Maintaining a younger appearance, postponing the aging process and undoing it in an incremental fashion are all leading to a younger consumer of facial plastic surgery."
There are other reasons that facial plastic surgeons are seeing people under 30, adds New York City facial plastic surgeon Andrew Jacono, MD. "Increased celebrity worship continues to drive younger men and women to seek a 'picture perfect' look," he says. "With the growing number of media and social media platforms available, it's easier than ever to compare yourself to celebrities and in turn, aspire to look like them."
Wendy Lewis is President of Wendy Lewis & Co Ltd Global Aesthetics Consultancy, The Knife Coach®, author of 11 books and Founder/Editor in Chief of http://www.beautyinthebag.com.
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