Everyday the number of people using social media sites likes Facebook and Twitter increases. Terms like “tweet” and “friend request” didn’t exist a few year ago. Now there is a whole dictionary of words and phrases associated with social media. These popular sites have changed the way people interact. From status updates to Skyping with friends, the digital era has brought about a whole host of new communication opportunities. Aside from influencing how people connect with one another, some believe social media is behind a recent bump in cosmetic procedures.
Triana Lavey, a 37-year-old news producer from Los Angeles, recently told ABC News that she opted for a plastic surgery makeover because of how she looked online. She saw pictures of herself on Facebook and watched her expressions while Skyping at work and decided she didn’t like the way her chin looked.
“I have been self-conscious about my chin, and it’s all stemming from these Facebook photos,” Lavey told the news provider. “I think that social media has really changed so much about how we look at ourselves and judge ourselves. Ten years ago, I don’t think I even noticed that I had a weak chin.” Lavey says she was so bothered by her appearance she would untag herself in photos. “It’s my darn chin that bugs the living daylights out of me in this photo. … You keep looking and looking, and now it’s the first thing I look for in a photo. It all started with Facebook.” That prompted Lavey to consult a plastic surgeon. After a consultation, Lavey decided on $15,000 worth of plastics surgery, including a chin augmentation, nose job and fat grafting on her face.
Plastic surgeons say Lavey is not alone. “People will come in and say, ‘I saw myself in the mirror, but I didn’t really notice it until I saw myself on Facebook or on my iPhone or iPad,’” a New York plastic surgeon recently told Mashable.com. “When you look in the mirror you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself. But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you.”
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery there was a nearly 10 percent increase in the number of chin augmentations performed by member surgeons between 2010 and 2011, which could be connected to social media. Considering people frequently see themselves online, experts say they understand how social media could influence people to make cosmetic changes. It’s estimated one billion people are on at least one social media site. With numbers like this, health experts believe the phenomenon now dubbed “Facebook Facelifts” could continue.