Studies showed that social media photo sharing has led to an increase in the desire for cosmetic surgery, especially in people under 30
The selfie obsession is leading more people to seek plastic surgery, according to a study conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“One in three facial plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for procedures due to patients being more self aware of looks in social media,” stated the 2014 study. “AAFPRS members surveyed noted a 10 percent increase in rhinoplasty in 2013 over 2012, as well as a 7 percent increase in hair transplants and a 6 percent increase in eyelid surgery.”
A follow-up study of 2014 data stated 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.”
“I have noticed more people becoming obsessed with the way they look in their selfies,” Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr. Marc Mani tells PEOPLE. “When we see ourselves in pictures, we notice more things that we may want to change, as opposed to looking in the mirror. The selfie obsession has fed into this and made more people come in asking if plastic surgery can help them.”
Mani says that among his patients, the nose and neck are the two body parts patients have been most concerned about due to the way they look in their self-taken photos.
“The nose looks bigger in close-ups, and all selfies are close-ups, so they think it should be smaller,” he says. “Since selfies are often shot from below, the neck looks either fatter or saggier from that angle.”
However, Mani does not believe that the selfie craze is leading people to get excessive cosmetic procedures, but rather that it is just bringing already underlying insecurities to the surface.
“The desire to take a perfect selfie may push someone to have plastic surgery, but I think people who are obsessed with selfies are often insecure and lacking in confidence,” he says.
“Plastic surgery is intended to boost self-esteem by enhancing confidence, so if it’s done right, maybe the selfie-taker will have the confidence to put down their camera phone and share their beauty in person!”