Smartphones, selfies and social media: If you’ve been experiencing an uptick in requests for facial procedures, you can probably thank that technological trifecta for it. After all, when everybody and their brother (and sister) is taking their own picture with a poor-quality lens from an arm’s-length away, there’s a good chance more than a few aren’t going to like the results.
And more of them, it seems, are showing up at doctors’ offices hoping to make a change for the better. In fact, according to an AAFPRS survey conducted earlier this year, 1 in 3 member-surgeons saw an increase in requests for procedures due to patients being more self-aware of their looks on social media. As this infographic from Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Center suggests, rhinoplasties, eyelid surgeries and hair transplants are among the procedures seeing a boost:
Self-portraits, of course, have been around forever but it took the combination of social media and the development of smartphones with front-facing cameras to create the tsunami of selfies — more than 1 million per day — that now flood the Internet and, by extension, the increased interest in facial procedures.
“There has been a 25% increase over the past year and a half to two years,” Manhattan-based facial plastic surgeon Sam Rizk recently told Reuters. “They come in with their iPhones and show me pictures. Selfies are just getting to be so crazy.”
Which, it should be noted, presents a potential dilemma for doctors. As Rizk notes, most selfies produce distorted images that don’t accurately represent how a person actually looks. For that reason, he turns away a significant portion of potential patients even though he knows many will simply go to another surgeon.
How those doctors respond to those selfie-obsessed aesthetic consumers — surgically or otherwise — will determine the future of the Facebook Facelift.