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"Selfies" And Cosmetic Surgery - Which Comes First?

Type “selfie” into any program on your computer and it’s likely to produce a little red, squiggly line underneath it. That’s certainly the case on the machine that this blog is being created. That makes sense, of course, because “selfie” isn’t technically a word. Not yet. Everyone under the age of 30 knows exactly what a selfie is, though. And even most baby boomers are likely to have an inkling. Selfies are that common. Anything with such a degree of prevalence in society is going to start to have other effects, too. In the case of selfies, there just might be a direct relationship with cosmetic surgery.

First, just to make sure nobody is left behind, let’s cover what a selfie is. Should you type into Google – “what is a selfie?” – you’ll actually get a dictionary style definition, which means those red squiggly lines underneath the word in your word processor aren’t long for this world. And here’s what the definition says: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” There you have it. The modern world of social media and selifies are joined very much at the hip. You’re not likely to be able to spend more than a few minutes in any crowded location without witnessing a selfie being created. And since the whole idea behind a selfie is to show the world what you look like in any given moment, it only makes sense that selfie-takers might start to yearn for any number of cosmetic procedures to make those selfies just a little more… perfect.

And that’s what’s happening, according to some doctors. As a whole, the popularity of cosmetic procedures is on the rise. In 2013, the American cosmetic surgery industry generated around $12.8 billion. From 2012 to 2013 there was a 6.5 percent growth in the number of cosmetic surgical procedures performed, and injectables increased by 21 percent. It’s widely believed that selfies – wanting to look good online – are a major driver in the continuing popularity growth. In some instances, the beliefs are quite specific. For example, engaged women. When a woman gets engaged, what is the first thing she and all her friends do? Look at the ring. In today’s world, that means photos across all the social media platforms. And that means high-resolution pictures of the ring, yes, but also the newly engaged woman’s hands. Hence an increase in the number of women electing to have cosmetic procedures done on their hands.

Selfies could very well be having another effect on the world of cosmetic surgery: youth. That is, if the perception of cosmetic surgery has traditionally been women (or men) in their middle ages or even senior years are the people who typically elect to have a procedure, social media and selfies might be skewing that demographic younger. Way younger. After all, if Mom and Dad aren’t the ones taking the ubiquitous selfies, and selfies are at least in part fueling a boom in cosmetic surgery demand, it makes sense that the average age of cosmetic procedure patients is shrinking.

Is this a good thing? A bad thing? At GLOW Surgical Arts in Redwood City, we actually aren’t concerned with the selfie craze either way. Selfies are just like anything else when it comes to a patient’s motivation for considering a cosmetic procedure. The reasoning could be perfectly valid, or it might be flawed. That depends entirely on the individual. Your reasons are your reasons. We are just here to help you come to a conclusion that makes the most sense for you, your self-image, your body-image, and your life. That begins with the decision whether or not to have a cosmetic procedure at all. And should that decision move forward to a procedure taking place, our cosmetic surgeons make sure you get the best possible results.

For you. Looking good in a selfie probably isn’t, on its own, a great reason to elect to have a cosmetic procedure. But we’ll help you wade through that process during a free, no obligation consultation ((650) 241-2209) with one of our cosmetic surgeons. In the end, we’re confident that whatever decision you make, it’ll be the right one.

And should that mean getting a cosmetic procedure, well then yes. Yes, just like your self and body images will improve, so will your selfies!

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