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Photoshop Out, Plastic Surgery In: All for a Great Selfie!

Everyone wishes to look good, impress others, and feel good about themselves. It’s perfectly natural to want to look nice and presentable. Everyone has the right to do something about it too. When it comes to posting a photo online, people choose the one that gives the best impression or the one that hides all blemishes. This too is completely understandable

Doctoring Photos

A while ago, when image-editing software was first introduced, it became easy to look good. With a few clicks, the filters of these types of software could make faces look thinner, teeth whiter, and remove any flaws. This was seemingly a harmless way that involved no chemicals or surgery.

For example, researchers at the Royal Society for Public Health and Young Health Movement found that Instagram was most likely to cause negative effects such as poor body image, followed by Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

The fashion industry, most advertisements, and social media influencers tout certain image types that disregard diversity or inclusion. All these incite people to remove the flaws that make them unique and encourage their yearning for perfection.

Changing Bodies

Many opt for cosmetic procedures to permanently look their best. The phenomenon of young people seeking cosmetic procedures, unofficially known as the Facebook facelift, indicates the huge influence social media has on appearance. The reasons for this are many.

Although people can stage selfies or manipulate them to look their best, they have no control over the candid shots taken from the ubiquitous smartphone camera. These may be posted anywhere on social media, furthering their embarrassment.

Also, most people wish to look like their improved, filtered selfies rather than like celebrities. This is known as Snapchat dysmorphia.

Rising Cosmetic Procedures

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) says that in 2017, 55 percent of facial plastic surgeons had patients who wished to look better in selfies. The majority of cosmetic surgeries performed in the United States are for minor improvements, but they are non-surgical or minimally invasive ones.

Impact on Aesthetic Medicine

Celebrities and influencers openly admit to undergoing cosmetic enhancements. So, there is no social stigma attached to these procedures; instead, the awareness about them has increased. This is a bittersweet situation for aesthetic medicine.

On one hand, the free publicity, increasing awareness, and profusion of patients are welcome. On the other, the relevance of this branch of science may be seriously undermined.

Although complications are rare, these are medical procedures and need to be done carefully, as some of them may have minor side effects. For example, people who are not knowledgeable about them may be duped by quacks, thereby maligning the profession.

Not-so-urgent procedures may take away the services of qualified personnel and resources from patients who need reconstructive surgery for reasons, such as accidents, acid attacks, or breast cancer.

All patients seeking cosmetic surgery should undergo a medical consultation and counseling to ensure that they are doing so for valid reasons. Young patients, who are affected by social media and have self-image issues, should be educated about cosmetic procedures and steered in the right direction.

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