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As a generation, millennials are experiencing life in an entirely different world than their parents and grandparents. Technology has changed everything about the way people communicate, socialize and perform daily tasks and activities. Social media and online dating are the new norms when it comes to staying in touch with friends and meeting someone special, and that means a constant stream of selfies and photos shared online in vivid, high-resolution detail.

The Celebrity Effect

Millennials are understandably very aware and concerned about their appearance, which leads them to be open to and interested in cosmetic procedures to look their best in the digital world. The social media phenomenon extends beyond keeping in touch with friends and acquaintances and includes an ever-growing obsession with celebrities.

America may not have a royal family, but we do have a plethora of celebrities that are idolized, particularly by millennials. How did Kourtney Kardashian get her body back after three pregnancies? How can I get ScarJo’sbreasts? How do I get curves like Beyonce’s or lips like Kylie’s? Plastic surgeons report that over 80 percent of the people who visit them cite celebrities as their inspiration for having cosmetic surgery.

A Shift in Priorities

Many have accused millennials of being the “me” generation, with a larger focus on their personal desires than previous generations have had. Many millennials have bucked the system and refuse to follow the traditional path of young adulthood that includes college, marriage, house, and children. This enhanced focus on self, coupled with a constant awareness of one’s aesthetic presence in the virtual world, has led millennials to shift their priorities in the interest of looking their best and improving imperfections.

The pursuit of physical improvement is leading millennials straight to plastic surgeons’ offices, and finding a way to pay for cosmetic treatments and procedures means sacrificing other things in life. Some treatments, such as BOTOX® and dermal fillers, are readily accessible and have become relatively affordable. However, more extensive procedures like breast augmentation, rhinoplasty or liposuction can cost several thousand dollars that millennials don’t always have in their monthly budgets.

Nice Work if You Can Get It

A budgetary restriction isn’t enough for this age cohort to sideline their aesthetic goals. Almost half of all millennials say they’ve put off at least one big ticket item or major life event to be able to afford cosmetic surgery. Buying a home or car, going on vacation, getting married, having children and paying for college are just some of the things they’re willing to sacrifice or put on hold in order to have plastic surgery.

Have Surgery for the Right Reasons

Having plastic surgery isn’t inherently wrong and neither is doing something for yourself. Some may call millennials selfish for not conforming to traditional rules or for placing such a high value on appearance. However, if having plastic surgery will help you put your best face forward and feel more self-confident, then go for it. As long as you can maintain realistic expectations about what plastic surgery can do for you, and you’re not having surgery to please anyone else or in hopes that it will fix life’s problems, there’s no harm in investing in yourself in the way that makes you happy.

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