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Is Social Media Making Us Get More Plastic Surgery?
When snapping a selfie, any good social media savvy smart phone owner knows that it's all about the angle. But, what if the pursuit of posting the perfect profile picture is causing an endemic desire to physically alter one's features for the sake of the lens? When the Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery polled members, they found that 1 in 3 plastic surgeons have patients who had requested a plastic surgery procedure in order to improve their appearance in photos posted on social media sites, like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. The most popular procedures requested were photo-friendly rhinoplasty and Botox. The study also found that the demographics of cosmetic surgery candidates were changing. Though Caucasian females still constituted the largest percentage of patients, 28% of surveyed surgeons reported seeing a surge in cosmetic surgery and injectables among patients under 25 years old. Even more of those polled confirmed an approximate 10% increase in the occurrence of procedures among Hispanic, Asian American, and African American patients. And, BROtox was already well on the rise with a reported 27% increase in instances of men receiving Botox injections between 2011 and 2012.
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In a later statistics report released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons in 2013, the group avoided making any direct correlations between social media and the increased numbers of Americans opting for cosmetic procedures. They did, however, release a statement about one of the study's more notable findings: in 2012, Americans spent $61 million on procedures targeting the back of the arm, constituting a 4,378% increase in the number of arm-lift procedures performed since 2000. The apparent inspiration behind the emerging trend was First Lady Michelle Obama's enviable arms, with 31% of women alluding to her triceps as inspiration. So, is social media making us get more plastic surgery? Or, could the trend perhaps be tied to the cosmetic industry's continually improving techniques and a growing acceptance of plastic surgery in the mainstream? Still, it's hard to imagine that the influx of butt implants has nothing to do with the continually trending derriere of Kim Kardashian on Twitter.
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