Summary: That Selfies and plastic surgery go hand in hand will be news to few. However, the ways that Selfies are now becoming tools of plastic surgeons—and for patients—might be surprising. One of the most difficult tasks is predicting precisely what final results of a procedure may be—and then communicating that to the patient. This is one area where Selfies might really be helping. But it’s not the only one.
The Purpose of Selfies with Plastic Surgery
We’ve written before about how many plastic surgery patients will often use celebrities as a shorthand for discussing their desired final look. I want Megan Fox’s lips or a Angelina Jolie’s breasts—that kind of thing. Much of this, I think, is due to these celebrity’s pure visibility. It’s easier to talk about Megan Fox’s lips because, well, we’re used to seeing Megan Fox’s lips; they’re available.
Of course, that’s changing these days, thanks to the ubiquity of cell phones and the digital cameras contained within. Don’t worry, I’m not going to pretend that digital cameras or even cameras in phones are some kind of amazing revelation. That’s not what this article is about. Instead, it’s about saturation.
Look at it this way: phones in cameras are now everywhere (which is kind of terrifying thought if you dwell on it for a particularly long time). And because these cameras are everywhere, photos of us are everywhere. All of this means that now, suddenly, Megan Fox isn’t the go to model anymore; now the models are us.
Using a Selfie to Plan Your Plastic Surgery
Many plastic surgeons have remarked that patients used to come in with a picture of a celebrity (remember our Megan Fox example) and point to it: I want that nose or I want those lips. Now, however, patients are bringing in photos of themselves that they have taken themselves (the infamous selfie). For plastic surgeons, this presents a number of advantages:
- Patients will have a more accurate picture: One of the big challenges with any kind of plastic surgery procedure is giving the patient a good idea of what the final outcome will look like. Using Selfies to plan a procedure (especially in conjunction with modern Photoshop techniques) gives patients a much more accurate and much more visual prediction of their final appearance.
- Surgeons have a better idea of what the patient wants: Sometimes, Megan Fox’s lips just aren’t going to work on your face, no matter how great they look on Ms. Fox’s. Part of a plastic surgeon’s job is to figure out the “balance” of the face (or any area of treatment). Working with an actual patient photo is the next best thing to working with the actual patient. It means that surgeons will be better able to help patients achieve an overall excellent look.
- It encourages patient individuality: So, when someone says “I want Megan Fox’s lips,” they aren’t really saying that they want to look more like Megan Fox. It’s more complicated than that. But there’s still a little room for some maybe not great celebrity worship there. Using Selfies, on the other hand, totally takes the celebrity out of the picture. This puts all of the emphasis on the patient and really allows the patient to achieve the most individualized results possible.
Whether we like it or not, we’re now a part of Selfie Culture. This isn’t such a bad thing—people have been taking pictures of themselves for ages and before they did that, they were painting self portraits. Certainly, the frequency of these images has increased. It’s so much easier to take a Selfie today than it ever has been; but it’s easier to take a picture of anything than it ever has. The sheer volume of images has increased by such a huge degree.
I suppose to a large extent that’s another conversation. What I’m really trying to get at is this: Selfies are not inherently bad. It’s just that there are a lot of them and they’re easy to produce. This means that we see them often.
For some people, this can be incentive enough to get plastic surgery, or to at least schedule a consultation. When you see the selfies all over the place, it gets easier to start to notice the flaws in your face—and over time, some people might want to do something about those flaws.
The Best Thing is Confidence
To be sure, this doesn’t mean that everyone who sees their Selfies is going to want to get plastic surgery. That’s not really the way it works. What I mean to say instead is that some people will see their selfies and be totally fine with them; for others, it will highlight issues that were already known. And for some in the second group, plastic surgery of some kind will be the answer, whether that’s Liposuction in Newport Beach or a facelift in New York.
So if you fall into this second group—your Selfie might encourage you to get plastic surgery and it might help you get the results you want.