Selfies Prompt Increased Interest in Cosmetic Surgery

The trend for selfie pictures is making more people consider the benefits of cosmetic surgery, a new survey has revealed.

The study by the American Academy of Facial and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) has discovered that around one in every three plastic surgeons has noticed an increase in patients wanting facial alterations after being made more aware of their looks by postings on social media websites.

President of the AAFPRS, Edward Farrior, said imaged-based social platforms such as Snapchat, Selfie.im – an iPhone application – and Instagram were making people look at their own pictures more critically. These photographs are often the basis for creating first impressions of the subject, whether for potential employers, friends or would-be love-interests, and it seems that cosmetic surgery is being considered as the best way to ensure that these are as good as possible.

The survey also found that bullying is another factor that prompts people to seek the help of cosmetic surgeons. Most surgeons questioned – 69 per cent – said their patients saw changes as a means of putting an end to existing bullying, while 31 per cent said they had seen people who thought that it would prevent future bullying.

The annual AAFPRPS study is based on questions posed to 2,700 of the academy’s members, and is aimed at uncovering the most recent trends in facial cosmetic surgery. The 2013 study pointed to a rise in the number of people wanting procedures because of video-chat software such as FaceTime and Skype.

It seems that the more people are being forced to look closely at either moving or still images of themselves, the more they are noticing their jowls and wrinkles and seeing cosmetic surgery as a suitable fix. Dr Malcolm Roth, an American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ former president, said ‘social’ people were increasingly choosing fillers, neurotoxins, laser treatments, eyelid tucks, and face and neck lifts, as a means of showing a more perfect face to the online world.

The popularity of the selfie photograph, where people turn a camera on themselves, has boomed thanks to such technology as smartphones and photo-sharing applications. Even those who have previously shunned having photographs of themselves taken, have been bitten by the selfie bug as a result of a fundraising campaign that has taken the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social networking sites by storm. This campaign not only demands that people post a selfie, but one taken while the subject is not wearing make-up. The subject then has to nominate other people, causing the number of pictures of bare-faced women on the sites to rocket.

Many women, even those who were scared at the thought of seeing a post of their bare face, posted their pictures in order to raise awareness and more than £8 million for Cancer Research UK in just six days. Ordinary women were joined in the effort by British celebrities such as television presenter Holly Willoughby, singer Michelle Heaton, actress Kym Marsh, and pop star and talent show judge Cheryl Cole. Superstar singers Beyonce and Rihanna also posted pictures.