Before the advent of social media, patients who came in for a plastic surgery consultation typically brought in a photo of a celebrity they hoped to look like. Now, many social media applications allow users to digitally alter their appearance. Most young women these days won't post a selfie on social media unless it has been heavily edited. Luckily for them, most applications make it really easy to improve your appearance. On Instagram, you can apply a filter designed to make your skin look smoother. On Snapchat, it is as simple as swiping left or right before or after taking a photo. The service offers many awe-inspiring transformations including the famous flower crown and "puppy face" filters. Not only do these filters add a fun and quirky element to your appearance, they almost always slim the face, enlarge the eyes, and smooth the skin.
There are also countless plastic surgery applications in the marketplace designed to let you preview the effects of any procedure. I myself have fallen victim to the allure of these apps – it is incredible what they can do. What was once the sole skill set of professional Photoshop re-touchers is now easily achievable by anybody with a smartphone. Even celebrities are joining in on the fun. Many of the most popular celebrities regularly post photos with Snapchat filters on. Active social media users are becoming enamored with the possibilities of a more beautiful appearance, and are turning to the cosmetic industry to make these dreams a reality. After seeing their perfected faces and bodies in selfies, the face and body staring back from the mirror just don’t make the cut. Social media is not the only way technology is influencing the cosmetic surgery industry. In a previous blog for Beauty Smoothie, Rebecca Harper wrote about how virtual reality is revolutionizing the pain management aspect of surgery. Clearly, technology is growing and evolving faster than ever before and this has far-reaching implications for a variety of industries.
What does this mean for the cosmetic surgery industry?
This trend has obvious implications for the cosmetic surgery industry. More and more, doctors are seeing young patients bring in digitally enhanced photos of themselves instead of photos of celebrities. The number of annual surgeries continues to rise. Ensuring that your practice has a presence on visual social media applications like Instagram and Snapchat can keep you in mind when a user decides to follow through with surgery.