Would You Get Plastic Surgery To Boost Your Online Image?
Nicole Fukuoka on 1 Oct 2013 at 9:00am
Last weekend, I went to a bar with my girlfriends, and had a night so miserable, we all wished we'd stayed home in our sweat pants. The music was dismal, the drinks were overpriced, and the guys were creepier than an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
As we complained during the cab ride home, one of my friends piped in, “At least we got some good pictures, so it will look like we had a good time.”
Proving your social medial clout via photo posts on Facebook is nothing new -- but a recent American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery poll says there's been a 31 percent increase in surgical requests to improve online image.
“We are seeing this trend all the time. Many patients see their images online – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and realize they have no control of an image once its out there in cyberspace. As social media continues to play an increasingly large role in how consumers view themselves, patients are becoming more self-critical,” said Dr. Ed Williams.
That said, New York-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Steven Pearlman, says social media isn’t creating new insecurities — it’s just highlighting ones that already exist.
“We’re a visual society and Facebook is certainly prevalent, which may cause an issue because it’s about posting pictures. I don’t think someone discovers they have a nose they don’t like through seeing their photo on Facebook -- but it can magnify that feeling,” says Dr. Pearlman.
The value we place on our online image also has a huge impact on our increasingly virtual love life -- as more people gravitate toward Internet matchmaking.
“I did plastic surgery for a girl on Dateline [a dating website]. She wanted dynamite pictures for her social media pages so she could get more dates. So, we worked on getting that look for her,” says Los Angeles-based plastic surgeon, Dr. Richard Ellenbogen. “People come in and show me their Facebook pictures, and ask what they can do to look hotter, and we work backwards from that.”
RealSelf community members also echo this quest for online perfection. Manacosha says, “I always delete pictures when I'm caught in profile, and hate when people drag me in pictures where I am displayed from an 'unfavourable angle'." While uglynomore says, "I used to cringe whenever I was tagged in a photo on Facebook that was a side view.”
And, Sprit64, a novice to Internet dating says, "I am 58 and recently widowed, but not ready to retire socially. I had a sagging neck area due to weight loss, but still felt somewhat attractive. I decided to go with the Lifestyle Lift. My life has changed so much. I joined an online dating website for singles over 50, and my dates have been over scheduled to say the least.”