Who would have guessed that technology would provide the impetus for an increase in the demand for cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic procedures? We have written in our blog in the past about one aspect of this phenomenon (“The Facebook Facelift”). And as surfing Facebook becomes more mainstream, additional (and related) practices become more widespread. One of those is the “selfie.”
Of course, there is nothing new about a self-portrait. Vincent Van Gogh produced a slew of them (over 30, in fact) between 1886 and 1889. And photographer pioneer Robert Cornelius produced a daguerreotype of himself in 1839, probably one of the first photographic self-portraits. At that time, it required Cornelius to start the process, then run in front of the camera. Well, things have obviously changed, primarily with the advent of digital cameras, cell phones, iPads, Kindles, etc., etc., etc.
The term “selfie”, according to one source, emerged around 2005, although its first use may have been as early as 2002, in Australia.
Whatever the cause and the timing may be, the fact is that selfies are here to stay. And what it means for many people is that their faces are now on display more and more, not only for friends and family but also for complete strangers. The result, not surprisingly, has been a surge in the demand for cosmetic surgery and other cosmetic procedures. The list ranges from eyelid surgery to rhinoplasty (nose surgery), to facelifts, Botox®, implants, and more. Some surgeons are estimating that the number of people opting for rhinoplasty, for example, is up by 10% over the past year, and that the number of requests for eyelid surgery and hair transplants is up around 6% to 7%.
But before you rush out and decide to enhance your selfies by cosmetic surgery, remember that while you may not like how you look in a particular shot, many selfie’s offer distorted images of the photographer/subject. So just make sure that your desire for a change is based on a balanced view of how you really look. And for those who might be a bit obsessive about their selfies, and less so about their actual appearance, there are apps out there that can smooth out wrinkles, apply make-up, and make artificial changes to your photographic work.