Mobile devices are so advanced that they have become more than just communication tools; they’re mirrors, devices for preening. The only difference is that these reflections are in full view of everybody—through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the works.
Behold, the selfie: a truly 21st century phenomenon, borne out of an ADD generation and the social media giants that abet them. Despite the ready availability of Photoshop and smoke-and-mirror apps, people just want to make sure they look as good offline as online.
Crunching The Numbers
According to the latest numbers released by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), one in three surgeons witnessed an “increase in requests for procedures due to patients being more self-aware of looks in social media.”
“Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before,” said AAFPRS President Edward Farrior.
“These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests and employers and our patients want to put their best face forward.”
AAFPRS noted that, spurred by the kind of self-consciousness caused by selfie culture, patients have increased the number of rhinoplasty procedures by 10 percent; hair transplants by 7 percent; and blepharoplasty procedures by 6 percent.
Should You Have Selfie Surgery?
Asking whether you should have cosmetic surgery or not depends on what you want out of the operation. If your goal is to please your social media linkages, know that praise and blame are just the same. For every exaltation you get, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Having cosmetic surgery because you care what your followers, friends, circles, etc. thinks is the most unsustainable reason to elect plastic surgery. You are essentially pegging your self-worth on everybody else’s opinion about you. This is very unfortunate, seeing as nothing is more uncontrollable than people’s opinions, much less their behaviour. You only set yourself up for disappointment; people may still not find you beautiful after your surgery.
Doing aesthetic surgery for secondary gains can really be disappointing. You may find that you still can’t hold down a job after the procedure, or your cheating spouse is still up to his or her old ways.
So go for cosmetic surgery because it benefits you; because it makes you esteem yourself higher; because it makes you happy—not because you expect it to change someone else. If nothing else, the best parts of the body to perform surgery on are those that you don’t actively dislike.
Don’t Fall Into The Trap
Fortunately, there are many ethical cosmetic surgeons who would refuse to operate on someone with apparent psychological issues. The standard process lets a patient go through a round of interviews that catch personality flaws and thereby stave off addiction problems later on.
Selfie enthusiasts are at high risk for falling into a trap. Instead of chalking up a bad shot to poor lighting or wrong angling, they may just resort to the scalpel of preying surgeons. A cycle of addiction easily begins.
It is in your best interest to fix any underlying mental problem before undergoing surgery. Self-esteem issues are best treated with a little talk with a shrink. All the surgery in the world isn’t going to make much difference if you believe yourself ugly, if you’re your biggest enemy. Work on your self-confidence first, and let beauty work outward. Then, when you finally undergo surgery, you can count on two layers of beauty, one visible, the other deep within.