Selfie Nation: How Does Social Media Influence
Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and other social networks play key roles in most
Americans’ daily routines, which is reflected in recent data.
According to Pew Research Center, nearly 70 percent of Americans currently use social
media. Pew Research Center also indicated Millennials, i.e. individuals born after 1980, use
social networks at higher levels than all other demographic groups – a trend that appears
likely to continue in the foreseeable future.
Social media empowers Millennials to share information, engage with news content and
entertain themselves like never before. However, social media may be driving an increase in
cosmetic procedures among Millennials as well.
Analyzing the Link Between Social Media and
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) “2015 Plastic Surgery Statistics Report”
provided insights into the following cosmetic plastic surgery demographic trends:
– 64,000 surgical procedures were performed on individuals between the ages of 13
and 19 years old, up 1 percent year over year.
– 249,000 surgical procedures were performed on individuals between the ages of 20
and 29 years old, a 1 percent increase from 2014.
– 365,000 surgical procedures were performed on individuals between the ages of 30
and 39 years old, a 2 percent year-over-year increase.
There is a strong correlation between social media and the way people view themselves,
regardless of age. Today, social media has far-flung effects on the way a person is viewed
by others, as well as his or her self-confidence. It may even lead a person to pursue plastic
surgery more adamantly than he or she would in the past.
Social media has brought about an unprecedented wave of digital “self-love” reflected in
selfies and other social images. People can use social apps to filter their personal images so
they can create one-of-a-kind self-images that are instantly shareable online. Individuals can
also take advantage of various social apps to dictate how they are perceived by others – for
better or worse.
For example, consider what may happen if a person has a bad hair day at work or school. In
the past, a bad hair day might have been a minor problem. Because at the end of a bad hair
day, an individual could forget about the incident and move forward from it.
In a social media-driven world, however, one person’s bad hair day can immediately be
shared with millions of people worldwide. Social media makes it simple for people to
connect with one another from any device, at any location and at any time. Thus, if a person
suffers a bad hair day at work or school, anyone can snap a photo on a smartphone or
tablet and share it via social media. And once this image is live on the internet, it likely will
stay there forever.
Conversely, social media sometimes leads people to take additional steps to ensure that
they look their best at all times. Yet allocating significant time and energy to apply makeup
to cover up even minor facial wrinkles and blemishes may prove to be difficult. Plus, the
costs associated with doing so may add up quickly.
Social media has transformed the way that people interact with one another and the world
around them, along with changed the way that people perceive cosmetic surgery. Whereas
plastic surgery was previously viewed by some people in a negative light, it now presents a
great option for a person to look his or her best on social media.
Plastic surgery often helps people correct facial wrinkles and other blemishes and prevent
them from recurring. It also makes it tough for people to spot facial imperfections and share
them with others online.
At the same time, cosmetic surgery can help a person bolster his or her self-confidence. For
instance, a person who feels good about his or her appearance may be more likely than
ever before to share selfies on Instagram, Facebook and other social networks. As the
social likes and shares accumulate, this individual may feel more confident in his or her
appearance than ever before.
Celebrities Increasingly Embrace Plastic Surgery
The stigma once associated with plastic surgery has disappeared, thanks in large part to
celebrities who are upfront and honest about their recent decisions to undergo cosmetic
procedures. Some of the celebrities who have used plastic surgery to enhance their
– Kaley Cuoco: Actress Kaley Cuoco may be best-known for her role as Penny on the
hit TV comedy “The Big Bang Theory.” Meanwhile, Cuoco told Redbook that a
decision to get breast implants earlier in her acting career proved to be one of “the
best” decisions she has ever made.
– Lisa Kudrow: “Friends” actress Lisa Kudrow received a nose job when she was a
teenager, according to The Saturday Evening Post. The procedure was “life-altering,”
Kudrow stated, as it helped her improve her facial appearance.
– Betty White: “Golden Girls” star Betty White underwent an eyelid rejuvenation
procedure in 1976, she told People. White said she “scolded herself” when she first
received the procedure, but she’s now glad that she received the surgery.
– Kylie Jenner: TV personality and model Kylie Jenner originally received lip fillers in
2015. She also started a vlog in 2018 detailing her “lip filler journey.”
– Christine Brinkley: Actress Christine Brinkley told People in 2017 that she
underwent ultherapy, which uses ultrasound technology to lift and tighten the skin.
With ultherapy, Brinkley has lifted her skin and reduced visible signs of aging on her
– Robin Wright: Actress Robin Wright told The Telegraph in 2014 that she
receives Botox treatments twice a year. Botox treats fine lines, wrinkles and furrows
caused by excess muscle movements in the face.
– Jillian Michaels: Fitness trainer and TV personality Jillian Michaels
underwent rhinoplasty surgery at age 16. Michaels said the procedure helped
reshape her nose and boost her self-confidence.
– Kelly Ripa: TV personality Kelly Ripa told Elle in 2013 that she receives Botox
treatments on her eyelid skin approximately every seven months.
As the aforementioned examples show, celebrities of all ages are sometimes willing to
undergo plastic surgery to bolster their appearance. But celebrities are just one of several
groups of individuals who may consider plastic surgery in the hopes of looking their best
both now and in the future. In fact, cosmetic surgery today represents a viable option for
many individuals, including Millennials.