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Summary: While cosmetic surgery has long been used to improve people’s appearances, its popularity seems to have steadily risen with the years. The ubiquity of cosmetic surgery is affected by many variables, among them cultural expectations and technological advancements. By examining some of the key differences between Millennials — the name frequently given to the generation born between the 1980s and the 2000s — and the Baby Boomers — those born in the post-World War II era between 1946 and 1964 — it’s easy to track cosmetic surgery trends based on certain generational factors.



Needless to say, the Baby Boomers today are much older than Millennials. In fact, many Millennials may have Baby Boomer parents. With this key difference between the two generations, the cosmetic procedures popular among Baby Boomers aren’t necessarily popular among Millennials — yet. Baby Boomers today tend to seek out rejuvenating procedures to help them maintain a youthful appearance as they age. Facelifts, brow lifts and eyelid surgery are all common procedures for Baby Boomers, and while women still undergo more cosmetic surgeries than men, this mature generation is seeing a significant rise in male cosmetic procedures.

Millennials, on the other hand, may be still relatively young, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to improve their appearance. This generation is all about body contouring with liposuction and breast augmentation, as well as facial enhancement. Body contouring is common even among younger patients, and in addition, Millennials are conscious of preventing signs of aging before they start. BOTOX® Cosmetic is popular among patients as young as their 20s as this hip generation strives to remain youthful forever.

The Technology Boom

The rise of technology has had a major impact on the cultural differences between Millennials and Baby Boomers. With the development of the Internet, information is literally at your fingertips, allowing patients to do their own extensive research on cosmetic procedures and find the best surgeon for their needs. Millennials are “digital natives” and have a much more intuitive understanding of how to use technology and the Internet than Baby Boomers do, an advantage that they certainly use. In general, Millennials tend to do more research before undergoing surgery, are more cautious about the procedures they choose and consult more valid sources, such as medical journals, for their information.

Social Media and the “Selfie”

But that’s not the only influence of technology on cosmetic surgery trends. The rise of social media and the “selfie” has increased the pressure to look your best around the clock, leading to more cosmetic procedures with the primary goal of looking good online. This may explain the Millennial concern with not only body contouring, but also facial enhancement. Small facial surgeries such as rhinoplasty or non-invasive enhancements like BOTOX® and laser resurfacing can provide tech-savvy social media users with a more flawless look for their online profiles. In an era when social media is not only about connecting with friends but also about making professional connections, your online presence is more important than ever.

As Millennials become more interested in the benefits of cosmetic surgery and Baby Boomers strive to maintain a younger look, the medical field continues to develop to meet their demands. Cosmetic procedures today are more scientifically advanced, more extensively tested and regulated, and deliver more natural looking results than ever before, providing patients of any generation with a host of options for addressing their cosmetic concerns.

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