Social media is all about image. Who hasn’t spent hours deliberating over the perfect profile picture or strategically un-tagging less-than-flattering photos? In this age of photo-sharing, we are constantly bombarded with our own image, which can result in a more self-critical eye and intense scrutiny. According to a new survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), a greater number of people are turning to plastic surgery to get camera-ready.
The annual study found that there was a 31% increase in requests for surgery as a result of how patients perceive how they look online. Social media sites centre around photos and everyone wants to put the most attractive version of themselves on display. They want fast, perceptible results that will instantly make a visual difference in their online presence and erase any perceived imperfections.
‘Thanks to photo-sharing sites like Facebook and Instagram, patients are seeing themselves more often in photographs, which in turn increases the probability of them discovering flaws and focusing on insecurities,’ said New York Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, Sam Rizk, MD, and member of the AAFPRS.
‘The photos presented on social media are often the first impression you are offering to new ‘friends’ and prospective employers, so everyone wants to be seen as beautiful and youthful.’
According to a survey in the May issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, social media is making its way into the business end of cosmetic practices as well. The survey revealed that a little more than 50% of plastic surgeons reported using social media regularly as a marketing tool and forum for patient education and feedback. Facebook is the most popular platform, followed by LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.