American plastic surgeons are seeing a 31 per cent increase in patients who are obsessed with how they look across social media platforms, writes Time's Alexandra Sifferlin.
In other words, people aren't just rendered insecure by flawless celebrities any more: their self-esteem is also annihilated by Facefriends pouting seductively in perfectly posed selfies.
New findings from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery suggest "social media is leading consumers to have a more self-critical eye."
"We live in a very visual world and have come to expect that we will be Googled or Facebooked even before actually meeting someone socially or professionally," academy member Dr. Sam Rizk told Time. "Between high definition television, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, how you look in photos and video clips has definitely become a driver for all cosmetic procedures, from Botox to neck lifts."
The survey polled 752 facial plastic surgeons on current trends in cosmetic surgery. The most popular procedures include facelifts, nose jobs and increasingly, blepharoplasty, otherwise known as eyelid surgery. Botox also remains a favourite, with preferred targets being foreheads (42 per cent), cheeks (35 per cent) and lips (18 per cent). (Some 13 million Americans got Botoxed and 1.6 million underwent facelifts and nose jobs last year, according to numbers released recently by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.)
Although women made up the bulk of the plastic surgery demographic, men were jumping in on the Botox, their numbers skyrocketing by 27 per cent from 2011.
"Men often turn to aesthetic treatments to remain competitive in the work force, keep up with their partners or if they are single, stay in the dating game," academy president Robert Kellman said in a release.
Maybe just shoot your selfies from above instead?
Aside from Facebook, "Milestone events were also a driving factor, and aside from weddings, which hold the number one spot, high school reunions topped the charts as the event most likely to be an impetus for surgery," read the academy's release.
Somewhat depressingly, the academy also noted a spike in "female family procedures as a bonding experience," with a 16 per cent increase in mother-daughter procedures and a 12 per cent increase in sister-sister visits. How about a gauze-free trip to the mall instead?