Surgeons talk about facial procedures and mention how facial surgery and fat infusion have become an attractive option in the present times. Social media happens to be playing a huge part in the whole market of demanding surgical modifications to enhance appearance.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons executed seventeen million cosmetic surgeries in 2016. These involved chemical peels, laser hair removals, and other similar minimally invasive procedures. Over 290,000 breast augmentations were performed.
The focus of most of these operational enhancements revolved around the face. Additionally, fat relocation based surgeries soared to new heights of popularity within the concerned time frame.
Redefining Plastic Surgery with Fat
Silicone implants, artificial boosters, chemical fillers- plastic surgery was loosely defined around such elements not long ago. However, the trend shifted to using more natural ways in the process. It is where fat made it's grand entrance.
In 2016, the use of cosmetic fat injections in minimally invasive procedures went up to 13 percent. A 26 percent increase was reported in the buttock fat graft procedure. Use of fat injection in breast augmentation processes saw an increase of over 72 percent in 2016.
The fat involving procedure works in phases. The surgeon performs liposuction to extract fat from a part of the patient’s body. This fat is injected in other areas of the patient’s body to enhance their appearance.
Not only these processes are less invasive, but they also are more affordable. Fat freezing, skin tightening, fat removal, and fat relocation are a few processes that became more popular. Liposuction alone was performed about 235,237 times in 2016.
Face Is the New Focus
Surgeons performed about 15 million procedures involving face-lifts, eyelid surgery, nose reshaping, and a few others. While BOTOX remains the most performed procedure, soft tissue fillers, laser hair removal, chemical peel, and microdermabrasion follow it closely.
All these procedures produce fast results, demand little downtime, and point to an increasing desire among the people to appear different and better.
How Does Social Media Fit in the Equation?
The trend of selfies, likes, comments, and the popularity of applications like Instagram and Snapchat suggest the increasing levels of obsession with looks and reactions to how people look.
Filters and airbrush editings are momentary. The surgical modification is long-lasting, if not permanent. The feeling of pride and significance that a filtered, edited picture can grant for a few seconds, plastic surgery offers for years to come. Instant improvements are captivating.
Social media is also increasing awareness about issues related to self-image. Every story of personal experience brings such people together who share similar concerns. While it makes a positive impact on self-esteem, it also creates pressure on people to alter their looks, build self-imposed expectations, and drive themselves to attain a perfect image.
While unpleasant, it is true that social media promotes preoccupation with one’s looks. Judging others based on appearances has become the new thing. People regularly put up their pictures on social platforms and eagerly rate themselves based on the reactions to the post. Wanting to make a change to how they look comes as no surprise under such conditions.
The Pressure Isn't Restricted to the Visible Aspects of a Human Body; It Extends beyond
Between 2015 and 2016, the number of labiaplasty surgeries went up 39 percent. This procedure reshapes the labia, by filling out some vagina areas by injecting them with fillers or by lifting skin around the labia.
Women have the reference of social media, pornography, and sexting trends to compare themselves to and this forces them to feel different, even abnormal. They worry about how they aren’t good enough which increases their insecurity.
Also, laser removal or waxing of pubic hair has exposed the labia to critical examination by women. They choose an invasive procedure like labiaplasty over their health, driven only by self-imposed expectations fuelled by the social platform population.
It, however, is essential to consider how social media has decreased the fear and negative vibes around labiaplasty, or other procedures of the kind. Women feel motivated to talk about their issues, to share their concerns with others on the same page, without much embarrassment.
Men Aren't Far behind Either
Over 1.2 million plastic surgery procedures were performed on men in 2015. Liposuction, nose surgery, eyelid enhancement, male breast reduction, and facelift are the top five operations that folks chose to get.
Today, men care about how they look openly. While women are known to have struggled with their body image for decades, the other half of the population have faced their fair share of the stress as well. Social media impacts women considerably, undoubtedly. However, it also has passed on the trend of unhealthily working out in men, as it did with the ladies by promoting the trend of starving to get in shape.
The Body Positivity Campaign
We blame the social platforms for the spike in cosmetic procedures, partially if not entirely. However, their ability to reach the masses is a powerful tool to send the right message across.
The #WhatMakesMeBeautiful is a Project Heal campaign that encourages people to be proud of their bodies irrespective of their shapes and sizes. The ‘This Girl Can’ campaign from Sports England motivates women to opt for healthy choices, regardless of their body sizes. Body Gossip of United Kingdom recalls the self-esteem by using art.
The idea behind these campaigns is to change the belief that a surgical procedure can make people perfect. Since self-perfection is a strict matter of perception, it is crucial to make people understand the importance of accepting themselves.
England shows the improvement and the advantage of these self-love movements. After hitting a very high number of surgical procedures in 2015, the data saw a 40% decrease in 2016 in England for similar surgeries.
But, If Plastic Surgery Is Needed, the Surgeon Has to Be Picked Extra Carefully
With plastic surgery, it is possible to find non-plastic surgeons who offer advice. It is better to do some research instead.
If cosmetic surgery is necessary, the surgeon must be certified by a board. It is better to get details on where the doctor practices, what licenses and certifications they have, their speciality, their staff, etc. It is always ideal to get another opinion, be it second or third if the doctor is not exactly making the process seem more comfortable or isn’t very supportive of the whole idea.
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