Two recently-released studies offer surprising insight into the reasons why people choose to get plastic surgery.
A new report from RealSelf, an online community for sharing reviews of cosmetic surgeons, found that more women are looking to achieve “before and after” results similar to those of celebrities who have undergone a cosmetic procedure. With more celebrities fighting the social stigma surrounding cosmetic surgery, it’s hardly taboo for many people today.
Even more shocking? There has been a 200% increase in requests for cosmetic surgery, with an incredible one in five women — 20.2 million — in the United States either currently pursuing, or planning to pursue, plastic surgery, according to the Fashion Times.
But it’s not just celebrity culture that’s influencing our decision to go under the knife. According to People, society’s obsession with the selfie — a photo one takes of oneself, usually with the intent to post it on social media — is leading more people to the cosmetic surgeon’s office.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery’s 2014 data showed that the “surge in self-awareness and an increase in requests for aesthetic procedures (especially in the under 30 set) sired by ‘selfies’ […] shows no sign of declining,” the study stated. One in three cosmetic surgeons who specialize in facial procedures noted a rise in the number of requests they received from patients who were self-conscious about their looks on social media.
“We are definitely seeing more patients come in who have witnessed the transformation of an individual who displayed their results online and decided to explore those kinds of options for themselves,” said Dr. Kian Karimi, M.D. FACS at Pacific Specialists. “There are also those who come in assessing their own face or other features and want to do something about it. It is important to advise patients that plastic surgeon’s can just cut and paste a body feature from a celebrity onto their body — it has to look natural and blend with their features.”
Overall, rhinoplasty continues to be the most popular cosmetic procedure — the AAFPRS’ study saw a 10% increase in these surgeries, which transform a patient’s nose. Rhinoplasties tend to be more popular because the nose tends to appear bigger in most selfies, since these pictures are close-up shots, People reports. Hair transplants and eyelid surgery followed with 7% and 6% increases, respectively.
Another continuing trend is the typical demographic that seeks out plastic surgery. Women between 25 and 34 years of age continue to be the most likely people to visit a cosmetic surgeon’s office, with 86% of this demographic pursuing a change, the Fashion Times reports. About 40% of this age group will actually opt for surgery.
While some may see a rise in plastic surgery procedures as a bad thing, these procedures help people feel their most confident — along with encouraging them put down their phone’s self-facing camera to show off their beauty in person.