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Cosmetic surgery is an option that millions of Americans choose to satisfy the perception of a better appearance and better overall sense of well-being. As Dr. Robert C. Silich, one of the leading plastic surgeons in New York City says of the human appearance, “beauty is unique.” Yet the reason more Americans are getting plastic surgery for some might be baffling. According to The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstruction Surgery Inc, “there is a 31% increase in requests for surgery as a result of social media photo sharing.”

You might be asking; how does Social Media influence someone’s decision to have plastic surgery? A research study done in Berlin, “reported that scanning Friend’s Facebook pages and photos can trigger feelings of envy and even loneliness.” Now you might be asking, do the way we look really mean all that much in American society? The Berlin study also revealed that “while breast augmentation remains the most popular cosmetic surgery procedure, surgeons are seeing a rise in the upper-arm lift procedure.”

And yes, women still make-up “the most likely candidates for facial plastic surgery, accounting for 80% of all surgical as well as non-surgical procedures last year.” Plastic surgeons say “women want arms like Michelle Obama” and Noses like Kate Middleton.The correlation between photos on Social Media and the rise in plastic surgery speaks to a social psychology as a direct result of the social media form. “According to Dr. Sam Rizk, an AAFPRS member and director of Manhattan Facial Plastic Surgery, a lot of men and women who are executives or high profile are in the public eye. Their photos get taken all the time and they never know where they may end up.” This reveals another correlation; a percentage of those getting plastic surgery as related to Facebook photo sharing are business professionals who are in the business of looking their best.

Who else is concerned with looking good? Although women still make up the majority of those getting surgery, “among men facelifts saw the biggest gains, with a 14% percent increase between 2009-10, largely among men in their 50’s and 60”s.” The numbers seem to point at the Baby-Boomer male crowd as members of the vanity club.

So, is plastic surgery the ticket? In a new study a group of surgeons asked a group of medical students “to estimate the ages of patients in before-and-after pictures, and the results suggest that facial surgery reduces a person’s outward age by about six to eight years, depending on the extent of the procedure.” Some might think opting for surgery not worth the cost, yet many are and especially with the rise of Social Media.


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