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1 in 5 Consider Cosmetic Surgery

April 8th, 2015

age of selfies, self-esteem

A new study has found that 1 in 5 American women actively have considered having cosmetic surgery. According to the New York Daily News, a report commissioned by RealSelf.com showed a rising trend to consider cosmetic surgery. Young women aged 25-34 were among the most likely to want to change for some part of their body. Women over 45  particularly expressed  displeasure about the appearance of their neck/jowls. The survey seems to coincide with that age range within my own practice.

It is surprising how influential social media has become, as reflected in dissatisfaction of having photos taken being in the top 5 reasons that patients wanted cosmetic surgery. The survey results about patient expectations for wanting cosmetic surgery are ranked as follows: 1. Self-esteem, 
2. Confidence level,
 3. Happiness, 4. Comfort having photo taken, and 5. How I look clothed.

Now compare results to the same survey after having cosmetic survey. They are basically the same, except that patient’s opinion of their own sex appeal rises to the number 5 spot. In my 30 years experience as a cosmetic plastic surgeon, I believe that patients are sometimes embarrassed or reluctant to share the real reasons that they want cosmetic surgery. Perhaps after having surgery, their boost in confidence enables patients to accurately report their personal opinion in evaluating their sex appeal. I find that people in general follow the old adage, that if you think you look good, you also feel better about yourself. I think the survey reflects these same attitudes. In the age of social media and the popularity of “Selfies,” it’s probably more important than ever.

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Age of “Selfies”

May 20th, 2014

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!

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