The Connection between Selfies and Plastic Surgery

If you own a smart phone, odds are good that at some point, you’ve taken a selfie. You are not alone in this. Some estimates say that more than 1 million people per day take selfies with their phones. Selfies have become such a phenomenon within popular culture that the Oxford Dictionary now includes the word, defining it as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.”

The Oxford Dictionary is not alone in acknowledging the current selfie craze. In fact, the rise in the number of selfies posted to social media has very likely led to a rise in requests for various facial cosmetic surgical and non-surgical procedures. This seems to be most evident in patients under the age of 30, who also post the greatest number of selfies to social media. A 2014 survey of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) has found a connection between increasing rates of selfies posted to social media and requests among younger patients for cosmetic surgery. The annual survey was sent to certain members to track the latest trends in facial cosmetic surgery.

Survey Results

As many as one in three surveyed surgeons reported that they saw an increase in requests for facial cosmetic surgery due to prospective patients being more aware of how they look in social media. Specifically, 13 % of those surveyed said that prospective patients had indicated both increased photo sharing on social media and being self-conscious about their appearance in those photos as strong motivators for considering facial cosmetic surgery. Furthermore, there was a 10 % increase in requests for rhinoplasties (nose jobs) from 2012 to 2013. There was also a 7 % increase in requests for hair transplants and a 6 % increase in requests for eyelid surgery during the same time period.

For many people, social media platforms (particularly ones like Instagram and Snapchat, which are heavily focused on uploading images) provide them with a way to interact with friends. As a result, they become much more critical of how they look on social media, which can often lead them to exploring the possibility of facial cosmetic surgery.

It should also come as no surprise that more young people are interested in undergoing cosmetic surgery. The AAFPRS survey found that more than half (58 %) of its members reported an increase in facial cosmetic procedures on patients under the age of 30.

There is some truth to the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. In today’s instantaneous global network of social media, that one selfie often can say more to potential friends, romantic partners, or employers than what you might express in words. As a result, more patients are looking toward how best to positively promote themselves in the pictures that they post to social media. Our staff at Jefferson Plastic Surgery can help you determine if plastic surgery is right for you, and which procedures may be most appropriate.

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Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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