Aesthetic surgery and Social Network: a growing combination
di Maria Serena Patriarca
Are you very “social”? You will probably be more prone to cosmetic surgery too. In a world where influencers play an increasingly predominant and sometimes questionable role, this seems to be the trend of the moment, at least based on a study by Johns Hopkins University in the United States United, a prestigious private college founded in 1876 in Baltimore, Maryland. That Instagram, Snapchat and Tinder are now rampant on the net and are “enjoyed” not only by the very young, but also by a more mature audience, is a fact at an international level.
The American research in question is interesting because it highlights how users of mainly photographic social networks (Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok and Tinder above all) are more inclined to aesthetic retouching interventions than those who frequent other types of social networks where the part “Image” is less impactful (think of Facebook or Twitter, for example). The study was based on a survey that sampled 252 participants over the age of 18 (average age 25), in which the trend was evident in the users most present on photographic imprinting social networks.
The cause-effect relationship of this phenomenon is still to be explored, but it is certainly a trend that must be “watched”, especially for parents who have pre-adolescent or adolescent children. Indeed, in the global hi-tech image civilization, the obsession with photographic filters that dominate Snapchat, Instagram as well as other face retouching apps contributes to the fact that many users of social networks are almost slaves to their appearance, and perhaps for this type of people photographic filters alone are not enough. This is why the propensity to turn to cosmetic surgery tweaks in real life, without excessive second thoughts.
On the basis of interviews carried out by scholars from the US Johns Hopkins, users who live most daily and with familiarity on social media have revealed that they feel more favorable to aesthetic and surgical “tweaks” than those who keep their lives away from the social media spotlight.
The risk is – however – to want to look more and more like “ avatar ” images made on the computer, and at the same time move away from the aesthetic canons of real beauty in flesh and blood. The research also revealed that the web-surfers most present on Tinder, YouTube (where videos are the undisputed protagonists) and Snapchat have declared in higher percentages that they are inclined to cosmetic surgery practices for themselves and the others. Surprisingly, the fans of Instagram and VSCO have instead expressed some perplexities about it, in the sense that they would be willing to consider cosmetic surgery for themselves, but fundamentally distrust the practice in general for those who do not promote their face on a daily basis. social. Facebook and WhatsApp users, on the other hand, did not show any greater propensity for cosmetic surgery than the rest of the common population.
In a parallel or virtual world, in which by now people have often become slaves of “ likes ” and “ followers “, the data revealed by the interviews with plastic surgeons is curious. Baltimore, who said they had received numerous patients showing their hand-edited selfies on their smartphones, and who wanted to be “retouched” just like the filtered photos brought to the doctor’s office. The study does not actually suggest a cause-and-effect relationship between the two phenomena, but a simple correlation.
In other words, the abuse of virtual filters does not necessarily make the idea of modifying their own or others’ characteristics permanently more acceptable or desirable in users; simply, those who are more used to undergoing digital changes and join social networks where they are literally evaluated through hearts and match , have fewer hesitations and prejudices towards surgical practice. The problem, however, was posed by other studies, in one of which the majority of plastic surgeons interviewed claimed to have received one or more patients with hand-edited selfies, who asked to be retouched exactly like the filtered photos brought into the study.