Facebook and Skype propel a new surge in plastic surgery

October 8, 2012

On HD a couple of wrinkles can make you look like a Shar Pei.
On HD a couple of wrinkles can make you look like a Shar Pei.

“Social media has made self-presentation a blood sport,” according to betabeat.com. What this means is that because of Facebook photos, Twitter avatars and LinkedIn pictures, we’re showing more of ourselves to more of everyone more often and undergoing more cosmetic surgery procedures. And this is not limited to celebs and newscasters; it includes us all.

Frequent exposure due to social media is part of the problem. With now over one billion users on Facebook, it's unusual if you don't have a profile page. The other consideration is that people look better to themselves in the mirror than they do on Facebook or Skype. A renowned New York plastic surgeon tells betabeat that people come in and say, “I saw myself in the mirror, but I didn’t really notice it until I saw myself on Facebook.” He explains, “When you look in the mirror, you’re seeing the mirror image of yourself. But when you see yourself on social media, you’re seeing yourself the way the world sees you.”

Another doctor developed a new surgery called, “The FaceTime facelift” in response to the popularity of the iPhone video-chatting app FaceTime. The procedure seeks to decrease heaviness, fullness and sagging of the face and neck emphasized by the angle at which the phone is held, with the caller looking down into the camera.

Photoshop is obviously not cutting it. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, cosmetic procedures increased 82 percent between 1997 and 2011. A scalpel can do wonders when an awkwardly angled camera phone wreaks havoc with your face. Chin augmentation carves out a sharper jawline to better balance facial features, creating a cleaner profile for Facebook photos. Rhinoplasty can straighten a nose that looks crooked when you hold an iPhone at arm’s length for a FaceTime session. Wrinkles, even more noticeable with HD, can be treated with Botox; facial laxity can be fixed with a couple of incisions behind the ears and thin lips can be filled out with Botox. A prominent TV personality says that on normal TV, you can’t see her wrinkles but on HD, they stand out “like folds of origami.”

The job market has become a significant force, driving plastic surgery. You are now evaluated by your online presentation on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. An appealing online persona can be a prerequisite for landing a job. In other words, social media is now your resume.

Though a perfect face is a great calling card, it won’t land you a job or the perfect mate, so don’t act impulsively. The decision for plastic surgery or a cosmetic procedure must be carefully thought out and executed by a board certified professional in an appropriate discipline, operating out of a safe facility.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

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