Has widespread social media use caused people to become more self-conscious about their looks? According to a recent poll conducted by the American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), the answer is yes.
“We live in a very visual world, and have come to expect that we will be ‘Googled’ or ‘Facebooked’ even before actually meeting someone socially or professionally,” concludes Dr. Sam Rizk, an AAFPRS member who sees working professionals all the time who are concerned with how they may appear in the public eye. With outlets like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, our persona is out there for all to see – and in High Definition no less. The survey polled 752 board-certified plastic surgeons who reported a 31 percent increase in cosmetic surgery requests, all prompted by how people wanted to look on social media.
The poll also revealed that the demand for plastic surgery has outgrown that for reconstructive procedures. In 2012, cosmetic procedures – both non-invasive and surgical – made up 73 percent of all plastic surgeries in the United States, a jump from 61 percent the previous year. Statistics from the American Society for Plastic Surgeons show that breast augmentation is still the most popular plastic surgery in New York City and across the nation, with others being rhinoplasty, facelifts, and less invasive treatments like Botox injections.
Upper arm lifts are also trending upward, as more women have become entranced by Michelle Obama’s perfectly sculpted triceps. Given America’s obsession with celebrity personalities and their physiques, it’s not surprising that people try to emulate certain body parts or address perceived flaws. And now with the prevalence of photos and video in social media, this influence extends to friends, acquaintances, and family members.
And while social media outlets may trigger more men and women to get cosmetic surgery, it hasn’t affected how people research their prospective surgeon and/or procedure. Dr. Rizk stresses the importance of vetting your plastic surgeon and understanding all the risks prior to any kind of surgery. Those that go in with realistic expectations often have much better outcomes.
“They really do their homework. They go online, are more open to talking about their experiences, and usually see a few doctors in consultation before deciding. The more educated patients are, the better for surgeons,” explains Rizk. The survey found that a mere 7 percent of patients use social media to research physicians and options before undergoing surgery – a major drop from 35 percent last year.
For individuals who are considering cosmetic surgery in Manhattan, Dr. Thomas Loeb begins every consultation with a one-on-one, in-depth discussion of your goals and motivation. He will outline all possible surgical and non-invasive options, and discuss your candidacy for each one. Whether you’re interested in rhinoplasty, a neck lift, or facial rejuvenation, Dr. Loeb utilizes the latest techniques and equipment, and is straightforward about post-surgical risks and results.
Your private consultation will include a computer analysis to better demonstrate your anticipated outcome. For more information or to book your consultation, we invite you to call his Fifth Avenue office today at 212.327.3700.