At the end of last year, The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) broke news of the influence of #SELFIES on facial plastic surgery. A whopping one in three members detailed a surge in procedures due to the way patients saw themselves on social media.
This year sees an escalation of the trend, with a growing number of young women chronicling their surgical journeys on social media with hashtags like #RhinoplastyDiary and #RhinoplastyJourney. These ladies are not only publicly admitting to their facial work, but also taking followers along for every step of the process with detailed before, during and after photos of their surgical journey. “In 2015, plastic surgery went mainstream. Blame it on reality TV, Kylie Jenner’s lips or our obsession with celebrities, but facial plastic surgery is the new normal,” says AAFPRS president Edwin Williams, M.D. “It’s no longer a big secret. It’s not ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ but ‘do ask, do tell.’”
And when it comes to Instagram… #Rhinopopularity reigns. Approximately half a million Americans go for consultations about their nose every year. “It is the central feature of the face, and changing the nose even by only a few millimeters can make a significant difference in your overall appearance," says Williams. “The rhinopopularity trend also skews across all age groups. Women are most interested in a more subtle nasal refinement with a nicely proportioned tip. Teens as young as 14 want an improvement in the way their noses look, and are asking their parents for nose jobs as graduation presents.” Still others are seeking functional correction for respiratory problems or repairing trauma, and can add a cosmetic boost at the same time.
So why the sudden surgery openness? Chalk it up to the changing (and younger) face of plastic surgery. According to the 2015 AAFPRS annual member survey results, 64 percent of AAFPRS members saw an increase in cosmetic surgery or injectable treatments in patients under age 30 last year. “The increasing influence and accessibility of photo sharing forums like RealSelf and websites like Zwivel is changing the way prospective patients approach plastic surgery,” says Williams. “It’s wonderful that consumers are taking the time to utilize these resources to educate themselves, but make sure information comes from a credible source like the AAFPRS.org.”
Social media can be a tricky space legally for medical spas. More on the legal dos and don’ts on social media from AmSpa.