Surge in Cosmetic Surgery in the Age of Selfies-An Infographic

“Say cheese!” someone exclaims while holding up their iPhone, staring longingly at their own reversed image.

“Wait, Is that really my nose!” What comes next is thirty minutes of various posing, then scurrying from room to room to find just the right light. If that doesn’t work we just might end up on Google trying to find the nearest end best plastic surgeon.

That’s right, tis’ the season for self-loathing and you might not be surprised to hear: plastic surgeons have seen a significant rise in clientele. With around 41 billion selfies now posted online, self and collective scrutiny of ones looks good be the driving force behind the renaissance of plastic surgery.

From the visual report by theres been a 33% increase in plastic surgery requests. The reason: Social media. Plastic surgeons are pointing to selfies as the main culprit for these requests.

There’s no question that plastic surgery is on the rise. Just last year Americans spent $12 billion on trying to “perfect” their seeming imperfections. We’re not talking just boob jobs here. From 2012-2013 there has been a 6% increase in eyelid surgeries.

“Did you just wink at me?”

“Sorry, no.” “I just had my eyelids done.” “They’re a bit sensitive.”

With the rise of social media and selfies being driven primarily by people under 30, it’s no surprise that younger people are seeking out plastic surgery. 17 year-old Kylie Jenner is now the current queen of selfiedom with a total of 451 selfiegrams posted.

Recent studies also seem to show a link between narcissism and the social media age. Are we becoming so obsessed with our looks that our once high self-esteem is dropping?

The focus on appearance is at an all time high. Is there truly a link between social media, selfies, narcissism and plastic surgery? Do Facebook, Instagram and Tinder drive this generation to have perfect cheekbones, traffic-jam-inducing sized breasts or the greatest eyelids… hello?

“What?” “What did you say?” “Sorry, I can’t hear you.” I just had my ears worked on.”
So, with the holidays approaching, and Facebook getting ready to light up with an endless barrage of Christmas selfies, let us gather around the fireplace and bask in the soft, flickering glow of the – iPad? And say, “Cheese!”


This blog was contributed by Ashley Harris from

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

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