Will social media impact on cosmetic surgery in 2015?
2014 saw a drop in cosmetic surgeries, but some predict that social media will see it rise again
In early 2015, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) announced that cosmetic surgery in the UK had decreased by 9% for the first time in over 10 years. The BAAPS acknowledged that this was positive as it meant that the public were becoming more educated about surgery, no longer seeing it as just a quick fix. However The Telegraph believes the slump may have been caused by a “post-austerity boom” correcting itself, with patients unwilling to pay for expensive surgeries.
The Telegraph also reported that Key Note, a market intelligence agency, expects cosmetic surgery to rise in 2015 and continue to increase in coming years due to an ageing population and spread of social media ‘selfies’.
Smaller procedures, such as facelifts and eye surgery, have remained much the same, but tummy tucks and nose jobs reduced significantly, with breast augmentation decreasing by 23 percent.
However, breast augmentation was still the most popular procedure and surgical liposuction actually increased by 10%. So although 2014 saw a fall in cosmetic surgery overall, it may also mean that the types of surgery the public want is changing.
In 2014, researchers at the University of Strathclyde, Ohio University and University of Iowa surveyed 881 female college students in the US. They found a link between time they spent on social networks and negative comparisons about body image.
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) also did a members survey in 2014 which they used to predict a rise in certain surgeries in 2015. The survey says that “people are also seeking cosmetic procedures due… a desire to look better in selfies, Instagram and other social media platforms.” President of AAFPRS, Dr Stephen S. Park said, “We live in the digital age where social media platforms capture events in real time, and we get tagged in photos that are posted online for everyone to see. Trends like the Selfie Stick make people look at their faces in a hypercritical way.”
An earlier study by the AAFPRS also revealed that one in three surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for facial procedures due to patients “being more self aware of looks in social media.”