2 Polarizing Social Media Cultures that Grow Demand for Cosmetic Surgery

For a long time running, modern society labeled cosmetic surgery as taboo.  People have made comedies surrounding the topic to capitalize off of the taboo-aesthetic the entire cosmetic industry has, from patient to doctor.  Take for example the TV shows Nip/Tuck and Botched.

Nip/Tuck makes plastic surgeons out to be highly dysfunctional people, while giving the patients a less critical reputation.  This show plays off the one doctor who is a family-man with a broken home life and the other doctor who is a highly unethical playboy.

Botched makes patients out to be dysfunctional sometimes, while the doctors are reliable and, sometimes, hilarious.  The two renowned plastic surgeons from California work on each botched plastic/cosmetic surgery their patients bring to them.  These doctors fix the mistakes of complications resulting from these botched surgeries and the viewers are influenced to think that either (1) the patients are absolutely nuts, such like this woman who wanted, quote, “basketball boobs,” or (2) the patients are deserving of the plastic surgery to fix something that is crippling their confidence, being seen as the good guys that you should feel sorry for.

1) Here is the “basketball boobs,” patient.

Alexander Simopoulos Botched 1

Pictured: This is a real-life cosplay actress who thought
her boobs needed to be bigger.
Source: Josie Griffiths at The Sun

2) Here is the “noble patient” worthy of a confidence boost.

Alexander Simopoulos Botched 2Pictured: This is a real-life patient who wanted a simple nose job.
Source: Jess Cohen of E! News

A Push for Sameness

You see on social media today a very high standard of beauty.  You constantly see makeup tutorials, showing women how to get that perfect chiseled jawline look, a contoured and highlighted face in all the right places, and a hairstyle that is voluminous and perfectly “natural” looking.  What’s really pushing people over the line between the use of makeup and cosmetic surgery is the relatively  new phenomenons of cyberbullying and online body shaming.  People ruthlessly criticize people who, according to their own personal standards, are not up to snuff.  They hide behind their screens and say things they wouldn’t dream of saying directly to someone’s face.  This culture breeds insecurity, depression, anxiety, and hopelessness.  With cosmetic surgeries now being easier than ever to alter your physical state, it’s becoming normal, for example, to get extremely brief nose or lip injections, which can easily be reversed, with little to no recovery time at a reasonable price.  “Why not just try it? It’s harmless,” social media users think.

With the incalculable, daily influx of selfies to social media profiles, which is now deeply entrenched in social media culture, comes people who hand self-criticism to themselves on a silver platter. People take multiple pictures in a row to get the camera angle that is just right enough to make them look flawless.  Then, there are easily-applied filters that can enhance the image.  People end up feeling shameful, because they do not actually look like their pictures; however, they want social acceptance so badly, even subconsciously, that they are willing to alter things just a smidge to give them the mass appeal they crave.

A Push for Uniqueness

Then, there is the culture that encourages enhancing unique features that make them stand out from the rest.  A huge reason why this is exploding on social media now is because of the modern “selfie.” Patients no longer point to magazines of paparazzi shots as their point of reference for their cosmetic goals.  No.  Patients now point to pictures of themselves when they think they look their best, as well as pictures of their friends on social media who have the look they want.

Even though it might seem like these cultures could work against each other, they are actually working alongside of each other.  These paradoxical cultures on social media, according to experts in the field, are diversifying and intensifying the demand for cosmetic surgery.  This is changing the cosmetic surgery game tremendously and requiring doctors to be hyper specific in their bodily design aesthetic on each individual patient.

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The Most Common Cosmetic Surgeries for Men and Women

Plastic surgery has been increasing in popularity since the 1980s, and many procedures are performed today without anyone outside of the operating room even knowing there has been work done. Surgeons have refined techniques over the years to provide flawless transformations for patients seeking a number of cosmetic enhancements. Men and women are both going under the knife more frequently with the following procedures.


Breast Augmentation

Whether it is implants, lifts, or reductions, breast augmentations top the list as the most common cosmetic surgeries for women in the United States. Close to 300,000 women went under the knife to have their breasts augmented in 2016, and that number has been growing each year. Breast augmentations are becoming more common and look more natural as surgeons find new techniques and implant companies design better implants overall.


The number of liposuction patients rose six percent in 2016 to over 230,000 patients. The procedures are common among women of all ages and they have a quick recovery time. There are a number of reasons why women get liposuction, but the overarching reason is to achieve the body they’ve always wanted.


There used to be a negative stigma associated with nose jobs, but recent techniques have allowed the procedure to be minimally invasive with extraordinary results. Over 290,000 women had nose jobs in 2016, which is an increase of over six percent from the previous year. That trend seems to be increasing each year, and the early predictions are calling for over 300,000 women to get nose jobs in 2017.



Men and women both share a common goal in achieving a slim waistline and washboard abs. Liposuction surgeries helped them achieve that goal in 2016. Nearly 50,000 men are on their way to the body they’ve always wanted after 2016, and there’s no sign of those numbers declining this year.


More commonly referred to as breast reduction, gynecomastia is growing in popularity among men in the United States. There are a growing number of men who are open to the idea of plastic surgery, and one of the most common areas men are uncomfortable with is their breasts. It is one of the first areas to carry excess weight when there is weight gain, so it only makes sense for men to get a reduction in that area as they age.

Eyelid Surgery

Men and women are both getting more eyelid surgeries each year, but they’re much more popular for men than they are for women. While the procedure can be cosmetic, it can also be necessary to improve vision. Over 25,000 men had their eyelids cosmetically altered in 2016, and early indications point to 30,000 in 2017.

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The Millennial Botox Rush

Botox has always had a stigma as the cosmetic procedure for older people, but recent studies have revealed that more young people are getting botox every year. The appeal of botox is its ability to smooth wrinkles and give a younger appearance to the skin. It has always been popular with people who already have wrinkles and are looking to bring a youthfulness to their skin.

When botox procedures became mainstream in the late 1990s, virtually nobody under the age of 35 considered the procedure. In the 20 year history of botox, its use amongst young people has steadily increased, and in 2015 over 500,000 people between the age of 19 and 35 received at least one botox injection. Between 2011 and 2015 injections skyrocketed by 41 percent. The peak of botox in young people actually came in 2005 at 588,000 procedures, and then it plummeted like most other cosmetic procedure numbers in 2006. Numbers are predicted to be back above those highs from 2006 in the next year.

Millennials are not using botox to smooth out wrinkles and make themselves younger like their parents are. Instead, they are using it as a preventative measure to avoid wrinkles altogether. Young people have discovered that getting the injections can preserve their youth much longer than they could have hoped without botox. Many think women are the only people getting botox, but that’s just not true. Many men are also getting the procedure, and the term “brotox” has been coined in many social circles to describe the procedure for men.

The trend in young people started right here in California, but it has since spread through the entire country. Many experts are attributing the enormous growth of social media sites to the parallel growth of millennial botox. The quest to take the perfect selfie is leading more young people to cosmetic surgery centers across the country. This surge has also allowed these centers to market botox to a whole new demographic of people.

The use of botox amongst younger people is a testament to how much emphasis millennials put on preventing the signs of aging. By receiving botox injections early, millennials will stay looking younger for longer.

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The Future of Breast Augmentation Surgery

Breast augmentation remains one of the most sought after cosmetic surgery procedures and for good reasons. The reasons include primary reconstruction, aesthetic breast enhancement and need to correct congenital defects such as tuberous breast deformity and micromastia. Most women who undergo aesthetic breast enhancement are drawn by the desire to improve their figure or boost their level of confidence. Statistics indicate that 1 in 20 women around the world have breast implants. There are 5 key surgical incisions that are normally performed to emplace a breast implant. These are namely: Inframammary, Transaxillary, Periolar, Transabdominal and Transumbilical incisions.

Inframammary incision is one of the most preferred types of surgical incisions. Under this procedure, incision is made in the infra-mammary fold, an area below the breast. The procedure involves emplacing silicone gel implants. To produce optimal breast enhancement results, surgeons may blend a number of conventional techniques with new breast augmentation approaches. Before a breast implant patient undergoes surgery, she is first evaluated to establish the most appropriate surgical procedure and treatment plan. Several breast implant surgery for women have been approved by the FDA, they include IDEAL, saline, gummy bear and silicone gel implants. The FDA approved Gummy Bear Implants or Allergen 410 cohesive gel breast implant in February 2013.

IDEAL is a type of saline implant that is resistant to the undesired rippling effect. The implant is increasingly becoming popular because it also promises a more natural look. One other popular breast implant is the B-Lite implant, which uses microsphere technology. This implant is designed to decrease the amount of tear and wear of the implant after augmentation. The technology is yet to be approved in the US. Breast implants have come a long way and been a subject of much gossip, especially in Hollywood circles. In 1992, the FDA placed a moratorium on their use, but this was lifted in 2006 after new safety rules were implemented. Advances in breast augmentation treatment have also brought numerous state-of-the-art visual technologies,

The technologies have done a lot to boost patient confidence. Today, a surgeon can use 3D simulation device such as the Oculus Rift 3D Imaging glass or Vectra 3D to show patient’s how the breast job will look like after augmentation. Looking into the future of breast implant, many researchers point to stem cell technology as the next frontier in breast augmentation. Using stem cells, immature stem cells can be coached to transform into cells of any desired organ. Scientists also believe using stem cell to enlarge breast could potentially reduce rising cases of breast cancer. Case in point, a woman who has undergone a mastectomy to cure or reduce breast cancer could re-grow a healthy breast using the stem cell harvested from her body fat.

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Be An Informed Surgical Patient – Questions to Ask Your Plastic Surgeon Before You Say Yes

“Nip and Tuck” rolls off the tongue like the phrase, “What would you like for dessert?”

Plastic surgery is a little more serious than it appears, and anyone planning on a little bodily remodels needs to ask the right questions and receive the best answers to their questions.

Openly discussing the following questions with your plastic surgeon, and receiving the correct answers will lower your anxiety and stress level creating a healthier outlook for a smooth and easy recovery. The last thing you want to do before surgery is become emotionally stressed and anxious over any surgical procedure.

It is always advisable to receive a personal recommendation from a friend or a physician’s patient where you can openly discuss likes and dislikes about the procedures.

Listed below are the initial, primary questions you should ask your plastic surgeon before you say YES and pick a date.

  • Where did you study for your medical degree, and how long have you been certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
  • Is the procedure we are discussing one that you often perform, and with record success?
  • What are the potential risks or complications with this procedure, and is it normal to feel anticipation before surgery?
  • How long will the procedure take, and is it performed as an outpatient procedure or will I be in the hospital overnight or longer?
  • Do you have hospital privileges were you would be performing the surgery? I ask this in case something goes wrong, I would not want to be transferred to another doctor unfamiliar with my medical history.
  • Alternatively, will this procedure be scheduled to be performed as an outpatient ambulatory facility?
  • Is there anything I need to do to prepare for surgery, such as a special diet, stop taking aspirin, etc.
  • How long is the recovery period expected to last? I need to know for planning purposes.
  • Will I need any assistance at home after surgery, or will I be able to manage my daily activities on my own?
  • What anesthesia do you recommend for this particular procedure if I will need more than a local, and does the anesthesia have any side effects I should be concerned about?
  • Do you expect to complete the plastic surgery in one procedure or will I need to return for a second treatment?
  • Are there serious risks with this surgery?

Whether your surgery is optional or mandatory, it is comforting to have information on your surgeon’s skills, background, and practice. Surgical skills are of utmost importance, but bedside manner is also ranked high on the scale of selecting a physician to perform plastic surgery.

Be prepared for your surgery, so your recovery will be a more comfortable experience.

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Cosmetic Surgery for Men

In the past few years, the number of men getting plastic surgery has increased, nearly 100 percent in the last 15 years. It’s a common misconception that women are the only ones who have plastic surgery done, but that’s not the case.

Though women do make up the majority of plastic surgery patients, more and more men are receiving plastic surgery for various reasons. These reasons may be professional or personal, but there is a higher pressure on men to look good in order to succeed in life, so plastic surgery is the easiest solution for this problem. Here are the top plastic surgery procedures for men.

Cosmetic surgery for men


This surgery is fairly simple and very common for men and women. For men, it’s important that you see a plastic surgeon who understands the importance of keeping your face in proportion and not making your nose too small, or changing it too much so it no longer looks appropriate with the rest of your face. It’s common to have this procedure done along with a jaw augmentation to make sure your facial features stay in proportion with one another.

Jaw augmentation

A jaw augmentation is done to enhance the jawline and give it a more masculine look. Professionally, men who appear more masculine and assertive have a higher chance of success in the business world, so it’s a desirable surgery if want your career to benefit from the kind of plastic surgery you have done.


Liposuction is a fairly common procedure that’s generally done for men around the abdomen. The point of liposuction is to suck out the fat in specific areas, like the abdomen. By getting rid of this fat, it makes the abs more pronounced and gives the patient a sculpted look that would be difficult to achieve otherwise. Recovery is relatively fast, though it’s important to avoid strenuous activity for around a month.


For men and women, gravity can be quite detrimental to their appearance. As you age, your body naturally begins dropping, but plastic surgery can help change that, especially around your face. For men, they usually focus on getting neck and eyelid lifts, to give their faces a more youthful and brighter appearance.


Related post: ” Cosmetic Surgery Benefits: 5 Ways Cosmetic Surgery is Used Unexpectedly

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The History of Plastic Surgery

Over the last few years, plastic surgery has increased in popularity to an enormous degree and a number of surgeries performed continues to rise. People receive plastic surgery for various reasons, from a simple desire to like the way they look more to repairing serious deformities or injuries and making their lives easier. While everyone knows what plastic surgery is, it’s much less common to find people who know the extensive history of it, stretching back thousands of years!


In ancient Asia, certain types of plastic surgeries, like rhinoplasties, were fairly common. There was a healer in India known as Sushruta who is considered one of the very first cosmetic surgeons in the world. He was the first person to perform skin grafts, taking skin from another section of the body, often the arm, and using it to reconstruct the nose. He wrote a book, written around the sixth century BC, that clearly details his cosmetic procedures. Rhinoplasties gained popularity in India, often performed on people who had lost their nose, either because of a natural deformity, injury, or attack.


Cosmetic surgery for a broken nose is mentioned in the Edwin Smith papyrus, a text dating back to the Old Kingdom of Egypt between 3000 and 2500 BC. This papyrus was found and translated, then made its way to Europe much later, as did the writings of Sushruta and other ancient medical texts from Asia.


Around first century BC, Roman physicians began experimenting with plastic surgery on gladiators who experienced severe injuries during combat. The Roman cultured highly valued the human form and adamantly believed in a physical ideal. Aulus Cornelius Celsus wrote “De Medicina,” a text that discusses surgical techniques such as facial reconstructions and breast augmentations.


Once the Roman Empire fell and the Church became the highest power for most of Europe, plastic surgeries were rarely performed, because Church doctrine forbade alterations to the body.


In the beginning of the 1900s, plastic surgery once more gained popularity. Significant advancements were made during the two world wars, particularly WWI. With the invention of anesthesia in the mid-1800s, operations could be performed with considerably less pain, though large risks were involved and the procedures were usually only done to fix a medical or severe cosmetic issue, such as loss of facial features due to war. After WWI, American doctors who from the war began using their newfound knowledge with the public, which led to the beginning of purely cosmetic plastic surgeries performed on people who were unhappy with their natural look.

During the 1900s, plastic surgery became established in hospitals and universities, and the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS) was eventually created. Now, over 14 million plastic surgeries are performed each year in the United States, with cosmetic surgeries rising in popularity in many other countries as well.

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