At this point, there's no question that social media has forever changed the face of plastic surgery. With tens of millions of photos being uploaded to the Internet every single day, people have ample opportunity to look at themselves. Not surprisingly, all of those selfies are having a tremendous impact on the world of cosmetic enhancement, and a recent poll from "Cosmopolitan" confirmed that the number one reason 18- to 24-year-olds undergo plastic surgery is to look better in pictures.
So it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that prospective patients have started showing up at plastic surgeons' offices saying that they want to look like the Snapchat-filtered versions of themselves.
To be sure, using pictures for reference is nothing new for surgeons. For decades now, people have been taking images out of magazines or pulling pics from online to serve as inspiration for the work they want to have done. What's interesting about this new trend, however, is that patients can easily use altered versions of their own pictures. So instead of saying you want a certain celebrity's lips, you can just adjust the photos to make your lips look like that celebrity.
All of this is made possible thanks to Snapchat's wide range of filters. At present, you can change the tone of your skin, make your lips look fuller, and your eyes wider. In effect, patients are creating the kinds of previsualizations that plastic surgeons typically make during consultations, allowing prospective patients to see what might be possible. The fact that patients can now do this kind of photo-doctoring on their own puts a tremendous amount of power in their hands.
And rather than trying to fight this latest trend, most plastic surgeons are embracing it wholeheartedly. For starters, using altered images of the patients themselves, rather than photos of a celebrity, gives everyone a better understanding of what could be possible through cosmetic enhancement. Therefore, patient expectations are kept in check, increasing the chances that they'll be happy with the end result. On top of that, the overwhelming majority of plastic surgeons use social media platforms, like Snapchat, to showcase their work and drive new patients to their businesses.
Without a doubt, the interplay between social media and cosmetic surgery is complex. But at its core, using Snapchat filters to inform surgery decisions makes a lot of sense. If you think that your eyes look better with this filter, or that your skin looks better with that filter, then cosmetic enhancement provides a way to apply the results of those filters directly to your body.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!