The authors say social media photo filters are altering people’s perception of beauty worldwide.
In recent years, the number of people seeking plastic surgery because they want to improve how they look in selfies has been increasing. A 2017 survey from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery sound that 55 percent of surgeons report seeing patients who mention selfies as a reason for requesting surgery, compared to 42 percent in 2015.
Fueling that trend may be the fact that selfies present a somewhat distorted view of a person’s face. Research published in March showed that the close proximity of the camera can skewed self-image.“like a funhouse mirror,” for example by making the base of the nose appear approximately 30 percent wider. Such distortions could potentially prompt prolific selfie-takers to develop a
Before the rise in the popularity of selfies, the most common complaint from people seeking rhinoplasty, commonly referred to as a nose job, was the hump of the dorsum of the nose. Now, plastic surgeons say nasal and facial asymmetry is the more common concern.
The Boston University authors warn that impact of digitally-perfected selfies may be especially harmful to young people.
They cite a recent study of adolescent girls that found that those who altered their photos more reported a higher level of concern with their bodies, and tended to overestimate their body shape and weight. The research also found that those with a dysmorphic body image tend to seek out social media as a means of validating their attractiveness. dy dissatisfaction.
The authors argue that doctors need to be aware of the implications social media can have for their patients’ self-esteem and overall health.
“It can be argued that these apps are making us lose touch with reality because we expect to look perfectly primped and filtered in real life as well. Filtered selfies especially can have harmful effects on adolescents or those with BDD because these groups may more severely internalize this beauty standard,” they write, adding that it’s important for health care providers to take this into consideration when treating and counseling patients.