The Plastic Surgery Pressure of Social Media

Social media is a powerful tool. It allows us to stay connected with our friends and see what is happening in their lives, get news and other updates, shop, and keep up with popular trends. 

Social media also has the power to drive trends and pop culture. The ice bucket challenge, the 10-years challenge and other trends are regularly seen on Facebook and Instagram. But social media is continuing to drive another trend: the demand for plastic surgery. 

Plastic Surgery and Social Media

The rise of social media has been one of the biggest changes in modern society. People have become more open about themselves and are more willing to share information online and on social media platforms. This means that people can now access information about different topics like health, beauty and fashion. They can read reviews from others who have used products, plastic surgeons or services before them. And they can even watch videos of how to do something or watch how an aesthetic or invasive procedure is done. 

All these factors contribute to an increased interest in cosmetic, aesthetic and plastic procedures. This is where social media comes into play.

Another factor is filters. You know what we’re talking about. Many social media apps and photo tools have built-in filters that can change how you look. Want to look thinner? Sure. Want to look more curvy? Add this filter. But these filters aren’t always accurate. Some will make your skin appear smoother than it really is while others may exaggerate features. 

And these filters go hand in hand with the ever popular selfie. Selfies are everywhere. We take selfies at parties, weddings, graduations, vacations – everywhere. And many times, we post those selfies to social media sites. So when someone sees a picture of you looking good – with or without the help of a filter – they might think, “I want to be just like her.” Or, “I wish I had her body.” These thoughts could lead to a desire to undergo a cosmetic procedure. 

Snapchat Dysmorphia

Yes, it’s a thing. Snapchat dysmorphia as a condition characterized by feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem and dissatisfaction with one’s appearance after viewing oneself through the lens of a smartphone camera. TechTarget defines it as “a body-image disorder characterized by the need to heavily edit one’s own digital image. At its most severe, the disorder may cause people to seek out cosmetic procedures in order to replicate the altered images they present online.”

Snapchat dysmorphia is similar to body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) but not exactly the same. BDD is defined as having a preoccupation with perceived defects in physical appearance. In contrast, Snapchat dysmorphia is focused on the way one looks through the camera lens and has driven an increase in cosmetic treatments. 

Snapchat dysmorphia is caused by the smartphones most people use to capture images of themselves. Because the camera is so close to the face, it magnifies imperfections and makes social media users feel worse about themselves. 

Some researchers believe Snapchat dysmorphia often leads to depression and anxiety. 

Are You at Risk of Snapchat/Social Media Dysmorphia?

If you spend time using social media, chances are you’ve probably come across some photos of yourself that made you cringe. Maybe it was a bad hair day, maybe you were wearing unflattering clothes, or maybe you looked tired. Whatever the reason, you probably felt like you didn’t look good enough. 

But did you ever wonder if you actually looked better than you thought? If you took a closer look at the pictures, you might notice things that you hadn’t seen before. Like cute freckles across your nose, for example. Or maybe your body is looking especially fit – it’s possible that you don’t realize how much weight you lost over the past year. 

So what does this mean? Well, it means that you should pay attention to your own reflection – without the filter. Next time you snap a selfie, try taking it from a better angle. And when you look in the mirror, if you do happen to catch yourself staring at a flaw, remember that everyone has them. Even celebrities! If you’re constantly comparing yourself to others, you’ll never stop feeling inadequate, whether you have Botox or lip fillers or a nose job. 

If you really can’t stand a flaw you see, consider getting professional help. There are plenty of therapists who specialize in helping clients deal with their issues related to social media as it relates to body dissatisfaction. They can teach you ways to cope with negative emotions and help you learn new strategies for dealing with social media. 

Let’s Talk

Are you considering plastic surgery or an aesthetic procedure and wondering if you’re a good candidate? Here are the criteria we look for when talking with patients about procedures: 

  • Have realistic expectations of results.
  • Be honest about any medical conditions that could affect treatment.
  • Understand the risks associated with each procedure.
  • Know what to expect during recovery.
  • Take responsibility for your health and safety.
  • Make sure you understand the cost of the procedure.
  • Ask questions throughout the process.

We want our patients to be informed and comfortable with their decision. So please contact us today to schedule your consultation.