Age of “Selfies”

It’s official; the word “selfie” has been added to our dictionary. Not only has it made a way into our lexicon, I think it mirrors the narcissism of pop culture and our obsession with social media. The unfortunate popularity of reality TV has given rise to a generation of people imitating this self-absorbed behavior. Enter the “selfie,” which often reflects an inflated and grandiose view of the taker. Social media has made it possible for anyone to become a sensation on YouTube, a trending topic on Twitter or gain millions of random followers on Facebook.

Social media has focused superficial attention on looks, spurring a boom in cosmetic surgery. “Seflies” demand an extraordinary critical eye on the part of people posting the photos and often harsher criticism still on the part of the viewers.  For a cosmetic plastic surgeon, our challenge is to effectively evaluate a patient’s reasonable expectations regarding requests for surgery during routine our consultations, because motivations aren’t always forthcoming. So in an age where it seems everybody wants to be a star, at least in his or her own social sphere; I find it’s increasingly important to keep one foot firmly planted in reality!

2 Responses to “Age of “Selfies””

  1. Tim Isaacson Says:

    Well stated Dr. Bashioum. Do you feel you are seeing an increase in “body dysmorphic” syndrome? I run into some of the same issues when doing cosmetic reconstructions, I may be able to improve the appearance of their teeth and soft tissue support, but it won’t fix the negative messages we all have sent to ourselves. That being said, helping improve peoples confidence can be one of the most rewarding aspects of our jobs, as long as their expectations are realistic.

  2. nipntuck editor Says:

    Dear Dr. Isaacson,
    Thank you for your kind comment on the “Selfie” post today. I have seen a small increase of patients seeking perfection and as a matter of policy, I try to utilize the consultation visit for education in realistic expectations for cosmetic surgery. I most certainly agree that by helping to appropriately improve a physical appearance, we often bolster a patient’s self-esteem.
    But unfortunately we are not miracle workers!

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