04.07 2019 12:09h


A new study shares interesting findings
Social Media, Cosmetic Surgery

We have all been in that situation where we’re tempted to send a Snap with a filter rather than use our raw, unedited face.

It's way easier to choose the version of us with clearer skin, bigger eyes, a smaller nose and fuller lips. 

However the effects of digital filters may extend further than simply changing our appearance online temporarily.

A new study finds that we may be inclined to feel more comfortable with physically altering how we look.

Yes, we mean plastic surgery.

Doctors and researchers from John Hopkins University recently published a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association investigating the correlation between the use of social media and photo editing apps, and self-esteem and acceptance of cosmetic surgery.

The study could not be more relevant in this digital age amidst a series of other investigations looking into how selfies and the ability to edit pictures affects body dysmorphia and dissatisfaction. 

The common thread seems to be that after media exposure users were more unhappy with their own image, and this experiment is no different.

252 young adults participated and were asked a series of questions linked to their social media usage, if they edited their photos – if so, then how, and using which platform – and their self-perception.

Between users of photo-editing applications and non-users, the study found no significant difference in terms of attitudes towards cosmetic surgery.

This may be because now editing photos online is so engrained in our culture that it doesn’t have as much of an impact on viewers.

However, the study did find a difference between users of social media networks, such as Instagram, Snapchat and Tinder, and non-users. 

Users of these apps demonstrated higher acceptance rates of going under the knife.

While the study sheds light on an association between these two factors it’s important to remember that using social media doesn’t inherently cause the desire to undergo plastic surgery. 

Also, the study is only representative of a certain age demographic in the United States so cannot be taken to be true for social media users across the board.

As the report states, the findings could aid “future patient-physician discussions regarding cosmetic surgery perceptions.”

In an ideal world, if a plastic surgeon feels as though a patient’s desire to change their appearance stems largely from pressure from social media, they could recommend that they consult a mental health professional before undergoing such a serious change.

However, with so many cosmetic surgeons on social media these days, the findings could provide the groundwork for new ways for doctors to market their services...

What do you think about the study? Let us know in the comments below.

Written by Anushé Samee.


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