Have you ever wondered how social media shapes the way you see yourself? With today’s influx of Instagram models and the rising popularity of the Kardashians, social media may actually change the way we see ourselves.
Research has proven that social media can cause users to become more lonely and self-conscious than infrequent- and non-users. But the consequences of social media may extend even further than that.
A recent survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFRS) featured in TIME Magazine, set out to determine the latest trends in plastic surgery. They surveyed 753 AAFPRS board-certified plastic surgeons and found one particular trend to be very evident, and it has to do with the impact of social media on our self-esteem.
The survey found that surgeons have seen a 31% increase in patients requesting cosmetic surgery in order to look better online. This includes patients bringing in “favorite selfies,” hoping to turn the most flattering filters and photo editing tricks into everyday beauty.
While the use of plastic surgery to help patients become more self-assured and confident is something to be celebrated, it begs the question: is the effect of social media on plasticsurgery something to be worried about?
Social Media Affects Our Self-Image
In the midst of the age of technology, we have grown accustomed to documenting our entire lives online. This documentation—a phenomenon that generations before never had to experience—can chip away at a person’s sense of self. Your Instagram full of years worth of images (mainly of yourself) makes it easier to notice if you’ve gained weight or developed wrinkles. That, coupled with the constant bombardment of the “ideal” look, can make it easier for us to notice our own imperfections and want to change how we’re portrayed online and thus, the way we look.
Plastic surgery can be a great solution for those wanting to enhance their appearance. For example, a smaller facelift in your 40s can save you from having a far more extensive facelift later on in life. This preventative maintenance can be very beneficial, as it reduces risk and recovery time.
However, cosmetic surgery isn’t the best solution for everyone and is especially not the right option for those who seek surgery for all the wrong reasons. A drastic change via plastic surgery should be for you, and you only. Using surgery to impress others, especially followers online, can be a slippery slope. The goal of plastic surgery should be to enhance your natural beauty, not to change who you are entirely. Dr. Rednam wants you to not only look beautiful, but to feel beautiful. That’s why it is important to consult with a plastic surgeon, like Dr. Rednam, to ensure a permanent cosmetic change is the right choice for you.
The moral of the story is, social media isn’t going anywhere. And while the lasting effects of consistent social media use may still be unclear, the only way we can ensure our health and happiness is to stay true to who we are. Looking great is a good thing, but the most important thing is to love yourself and your body.