You hold your cell phone up in the air, just in front of your face, and take a quick pic. After reviewing the photo, you decide that you’re not quite happy with what you see. It might be a new line by the side of your mouth or vertical lines between the eyebrows. There’s no denying that “selfies,” or self-portraits taken with cell phones and later plastered all over social media, are making people more and more aware of their appearance.
In March of this year, the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery released the results of a study of a select group of its nearly 3,000 members. About a third of member surgeons surveyed reported an increase in facial plastic surgery procedures due to social media. Thirteen percent pointed to more photos and selfies as behind the increase in requests for surgery. The surgeons also reported an increase in requests for non-surgical procedures, such as injections.
The selfie is thought to have played a role in the increased demand for both surgical and non-surgical procedures because it can be a particularly intense way to take a picture. The camera phone is usually held just a few feet from the person’s face. Since the subject of the photo is also taking the photo, it can be challenging to get the angle right. While a person can easily hide studio portraits that are unflattering, selfies are often shared online and can be passed around to strangers. The pressure to look and feel good is high.
Given that selfies are more common among a younger crowd, surgeons have started to see younger and younger patients come into their practices. The AAFPRS survey found that nearly 60 percent of respondents saw an increase in the number of patients under the age of 30 in 2013.
The news station Pix11, in New York, interviewed two women in their early 30s who had been receiving anti-aging treatments beginning their 20s. Both women pointed to the need to look good in photos and on social media as two of the major reasons why they sought out the procedures and will continue to seek them out. One woman, Audrey Matney had been getting chemical peels as well as injections since age 23.
The other woman, Shaela Thomas, now 32, noted that she used to not care very much, but eventually she felt the pressure to look good in every picture. She’s been undergoing non-surgical procedures since she was 28.
Women vs. Men
Both women and men are seeing their plastic surgeons in response to the selfie trend. But, the procedures they are after typically differ. Plastic surgery is still more common among women than among men, as 81 percent of all patients for both surgical and non-surgical procedures were women in 2013.
Female patients tend to focus on the face. Facelifts, rhinoplasty and eyelid surgery were the most common among women in 2013. Women were also more likely to opt for skin-care procedures such as laser skin resurfacing.
While Botox injections were popular with women, they were among the most performed surgery for male patients. Men were also more likely to go for rhinoplasty, hair restoration surgery and hyaluronic acid fillers in 2013.
There’s an App for That
If you’re not ready for plastic surgery or a non-surgical procedure, there is a way to look great in a selfie. Several apps exist that let you retouch your photos — no surgery required. An app such as Perfect 365 gives you the option of erasing dark under-eye circles, making your face look slimmer and adding makeup to a photo. It could also be a useful tool for getting an idea of what you would look like if you did decide to undergo surgery or a non-invasive procedure.
The Selfie for Business
One woman, Triana Lavey, depends on a successful selfie for her business. She’s a talent manager at the uFluencer Group, a PR firm specifically for social media talent. Her clients, who all have sizable following on social media, earn their money by posing in photos with branded products.
Lavey decided to spend $15,000 on plastic surgery to improve the way she looked in her own selfies. She had rhinoplasty, a chin implant, fat grafting and Botox. She noted that she was using retouching apps, but that those apps didn’t actually change the way she looked in real life. Plastic surgery allowed Lavey to look great in photos and to feel more confident about the way she looks everyday.
Face specialist Dr. Jessica Kulak is able to answer any questions you might have about surgical or non-surgical procedures to reduce facial signs of aging or to make you feel more confident about your appearance. Whether you take selfies regularly or simply want to improve the way you look, call the Naderi Center at (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kulak today