Medical professionals are voicing concern about a growing trend of patients seeking cosmetic surgery simply to look more like the filtered pictures they post on social media.
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine’s Department of Dermatology wrote an article published by a peer-reviewed medical journal this month that touches on the “alarming trend” of people requesting surgical procedures to make their facial structures as appealing as their selfies.
The trend is referred to as “Snapchat dysmorphia” and has been on the incline in recent years with the development of social media filters that incorporate photo-editing technologies similar to ones used to glorify models and celebrities on magazine covers.
Although some filters can be used to smooth skin, enhance lips and whiten teeth in photographs, the report claims that the trend is alarming because “filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients.”
The researchers warned that the use of these filters can have an impact on a person’s self-esteem and even make a person “feel inadequate for not looking a certain way in the real world.”
The researchers note that the filters might also “act as a trigger” that causes the development of body dysmorphic disorder, where a person fixates on a nonexistent or minor flaw in their appearance.
The report comes after a 2017 American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that 55 percent of surgeons reported having patients mention social media pictures as their reason for requesting surgery. That’s up from 42 percent who said the same in 2015.
Joseph Casey Guthrie, a psychiatrist with Christian Medical & Dental Associations, told The Christian Post that the increase in patients including selfies as a reason for plastic surgery is “concerning.”
“A preoccupation with a perceived flaw in one’s physical appearance may be a sign of a condition known as body dysmorphic disorder, particularly if an individual experiences significant distress, which may include seeking surgery to change their appearance to mimic their digital image,” he stated. “As adolescents and young children become increasingly enmeshed in social media and digital forms of socialization, their sense of self-worth may become more dependent on how their digital personas are perceived by others.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith