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The rise of the plastic surgery selfie culture

Selfies can cause more young adults to go under the knife
Selfies can cause more young adults to go under the knife
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The selfie sensation has not only given rise to vain behavior based on showing off physical appearance, but it also has been linked to other biological and mental health consequences.

Recently the trend of taking photos of yourself on your smartphone, or simply the “selfie,” has raised concerns about the spread of head lice. Taking head-to-head photos with others could possible allow for these creepy crawlers to jump from one host to the next, especially since lice removal experts have reported an increase of lice among teens and young adults. However, selfies alone are not the cause of the recent spread.

But what might be more alarming is the mental health aspect the selfie culture can cause on millennials. According to research from the Pew Research Center, about 55% of millenials have reported sharing a selfie. The selfies edited for Instagram and shared across social media platforms often paint a flattering portrait with the use of filters that offer different lighting and effects.

Sharing these photos with those in our social circles in hopes of getting likes can both help and hurt out self-esteem. Not receiving likes can cause wounds to the ego, causing some to want to go under the knife. Research shows that selfies could force the younger generation to seriously consider plastic surgery. 69 percent of students surveyed who were bullied wanted plastic surgery to avoid further torments.

According to an survey by American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), there has been a ten percent increase in nose jobs, a seven percent increase in hair transplants, and a six percent increase in eyelid surgery.

“Social platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and the iPhone app Selfie.im, which are solely image based, force patients to hold a microscope up to their own image and often look at it with a more self-critical eye than ever before,” said Edward Farrior, MD, President of the AAFPRS in a press release. “These images are often the first impressions young people put out there to prospective friends, romantic interests and employers and our patients want to put their best face forward.”

The researched found that in 2013, woman accounted for 81 percent of all surgical and non-surgical procedures. However, nose jobs are still the most requested procedure among both women and men.

“Whether driven by a desire to stay competitive in the workforce, remain attractive to their mate or simply to look as good as they feel, advances in non-invasive anti-aging technologies are making it possible to delay the hands of time while retaining a natural outcome,” Farrior said.