Study: Selfies urging more to get plastic surgery

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A recent study shows selfies are influencing a greater number of people to undergo cosmetic procedures, even plastic surgery. (WLS)

A recent study shows selfies are influencing a greater number of people to undergo cosmetic procedures, even plastic surgery.

We used to see ourselves in pictures only occasionally, but mobile technology has given us instant photo feedback and social networking has invited a new level of scrutiny.

"I think I look good," said Brittany Pekla. "I mean, I don't think I look ugly. But there's things I'd like to fix."

Pelka says she feels pressure to do whatever it takes to look young. The 28-year-old spa coordinator has been injecting her face with Botox and fillers since she was 22.

"I literally had my entire forehead done, my eyes and I also had some fillers done in my laugh lines and I also had my lips done," she said.

Pelka's doctor, Oak Brook plastic surgeon Dr. Jay Dutton, says non-invasive injectables are less intimidating than permanent surgical procedures. And he isn't at all surprised by a recent survey showing social media has contributed to the rising popularity of what he does.

"I have had patients absolutely say I just my face is out there 100 times a day I want to change it," Dr. Dutton said.

Another one of his patients, 39-year-old Maureen Barry, says social media puts a spotlight on changes she might not otherwise notice.

"You see yourself and you start to notice things like, 'Oh, I feel like my lips are so thin,' or, 'I feel like my face is starting to get, like, really thin,'" she said. "I wanted to find a way to put some plump in there."

Therapist Mallory Rose from the Family Institute at Northwestern University says cosmetic procedures are okay, but they should be for you, not for the people who "like" how you look.

"If your sole reason for feeling happy and confident is based off the social media and the response that you're getting towards the way that you are in the social media, that to me is worrisome," Rose said.

Even Dr. Dutton will try to talk patients who are perhaps motivated to make a change for the wrong reason out of a procedure.

"My goal, always, is to make patients happy at the end of the day and why do a perfect surgery if they are not happy in general?" he said.

Also concerning, once you start to "fix" your so-called imperfections, you might not know when to stop.

"Sometimes me and my friend talked about that," Pelka said. "She's like, 'I'm worried you don't see who you are.' She's like, 'You don't see who you are and you don't see how pretty you are.' She's like, 'I don't feel you need to do all that.'"

Both of the women we spoke with started to make cosmetic changes to their faces at a young age.

Rose encouraged parents to set a good example by limiting your use of social sites in front of your kids and posting photos to share them with others, not to seek affirmation.
Related Topics:
healthselfiecosmetic surgeryplastic surgeryu.s. & world
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