ANTONIA HORLICK WRITES—In the past decade, cosmetic surgery worldwide has become more popular than ever. With the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, young people have become more self-conscious about their looks. They live in a self-obsessed world of Snapchat and Instagram, which both have selfie filters that alter their faces so as to appear more symmetrical, remove acne scars, or even flawless.

In addition to these filters, apps such as Face Tune have come on the market, allowing people to edit their pictures by changing the shape and appearance of their faces. As a result, no one really looks like themselves on social media anymore.

The most worrisome result of the selfie and social media age is “Snapchat Dysmorphia,” a term coined in a 2018 paper published by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), in an article entitled  “Facial Plastic Surgery Viewpoint by Boston University Researchers.” The term refers to the trend to seek cosmetic surgery so as to look more like one’s filtered or doctored photos. Not surprisingly, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the only organization that collects data on the number of cosmetic surgeries to occur worldwide per year, found that in 2017, cosmetic procedures world-wide increased by 4% from 2016.

Snapchat Dysmorphia is not just a western phenomenon. According to the South China Morning Post, millions of Generation Z Chinese (those born after 1990) are going under the knife. High school graduates are starting before University, in the belief that altering their appearances will increase their chances of falling in love as well as getting well-paid jobs after graduation. The report notes that, in 2018, 22 million Chinese citizens underwent cosmetic procedures; 54% of patients were under age 28, and teenagers accounted for 8%.

Though there is a growing number of male clients, it is primarily women—who face the most pressure to be good-looking on the job and in the dating market—who turn to plastic surgery. A consultant in the field surnamed Ding says that “the most popular procedures include blackhead removal, pore minimizing treatment, and eyelid and double eyelid surgery”.

Plastic surgeon Shi Chengfang notes that “since 2016, fatigue with the abundance of [internet celebrity faces] in the entertainment industry has given rise to a more diverse range of “templates” such as the “supermodel face,” with longer eyes and a chiseled jawline, or the “world-weary face,” with more droopy eyes and an aloof look.

Another concern is that the plastic surgery industry is attracting for-profit “doctors” who are usually less educated, less experienced in cosmetic surgery, unlicensed, and tend to dramatically change patients’ faces. Many licensed doctors warn patients about the dangers of seeking such “cheap” cosmetic surgery rather than enhancing natural beauty.

A 2017 report conducted by cosmetic surgery app GengMei notes that in China there were 60,000 unlicensed clinics and 150,000 unlicensed doctors— six and ten times as many as their legal equivalents. Obviously, health and safety standards are often poor and patients under such care are putting their lives at risk. With the top procedure in China being eyelid augmentation, unlicensed doctors are administering anesthesia and placing their patients’ lives in danger.

Clearly, regulations must be put forth to police Chinese cosmetic surgeons. More importantly,  society needs to stop propelling the notion that plastic surgery transforms not just your actual face, but the face of your future, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Close-up of Chinese Woman Undergoing Eyelid Surgery

 

In the past decade, cosmetic surgery worldwide has become more popular than ever. With the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, young people have become more self-conscious about their looks. They live in a self-obsessed world of Snapchat and Instagram, which both have selfie filters that alter their faces so as to appear more symmetrical, remove acne scars, or even flawless.

 

In addition to these filters, apps such as Face Tune have come on the market, allowing people to edit their pictures by changing the shape and appearance of their faces. As a result, no one really looks like themselves on social media anymore.

 

The most worrisome result of the selfie and social media age is “Snapchat Dysmorphia,” a term coined in a 2018paper published by JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), in an article entitled  “Facial Plastic Surgery Viewpoint by Boston University Researchers.” The term refers to the trend to seek cosmetic surgery so as to look more like one’s filtered or doctored photos. Not surprisingly, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the only organization that collects data on the number of cosmetic surgeries to occur worldwide per year, found that in 2017, cosmetic procedures world-wide increased by 4% from 2016.

 

Snapchat Dysmorphia is not just a western phenomenon. According to the South China Morning Post, millions of Generation Z Chinese (those born after 1990) are going under the knife. High school graduates are starting before University, in the belief that altering their appearances will increase their chances of falling in love as well as getting well-paid jobs after graduation. The report notes that, in 2018, 22 million Chinese citizens underwent cosmetic procedures; 54% of patients were under age 28, and teenagers accounted for 8%.

 

Though there is a growing number of male clients, it is primarily women—who face the most pressure to be good-looking on the job and in the dating market—who turn to plastic surgery. A consultant in the field surnamed Ding says that “the most popular procedures include blackhead removal, pore minimizing treatment, and eyelid and double eyelid surgery”.

 

Plastic surgeon Shi Chengfang notes that“since 2016, fatigue with the abundance of [internet celebrity faces] in the entertainment industry has given rise to a more diverse range of “templates” such as the “supermodel face,” with longer eyes and a chiseled jawline, or the “world-weary face,” with more droopy eyes and an aloof look.”

 

Photo of diverse range of facial augmentation options for Chinese Citizens seeking Plastic Surgery

 

Another concern is that the plastic surgery industry is attracting for-profit “doctors” who are usually less educated, less experienced in cosmetic surgery, unlicensed, and tend to dramatically change patients’ faces. Many licensed doctors warn patients about the dangers of seeking such “cheap” cosmetic surgery rather than enhancing natural beauty.

 

A 2017 reportconducted by cosmetic surgery app GengMei notes that in China there were 60,000 unlicensed clinics and 150,000 unlicensed doctors— six and ten times as many as their legal equivalents. Obviously, health and safety standards are often poor and patients under such care are putting their lives at risk. With the top procedure in China being eyelid augmentation, unlicensed doctors are administering anesthesia and placing their patients’ lives in danger.

 

Clearly, regulations must be put forth to police Chinese cosmetic surgeons. More importantly,  society needs to stop propelling the notion that plastic surgery transforms not just your actual face, but

Print Friendly, PDF & Email