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Maybe She’s Born With It? What You Should Know About The Latest Plastic Surgery Craze

Happy Friday, friends!!

Today, we're going to talk about a trending topic that's kind of heavy.

It sounds crazy, doesn’t it?

While there are some days that we feel beautiful, there may be other days where we don’t feel so beautiful, and there are definitely days where we wish we didn’t have to go on Instagram and be confronted with a seemingly unending feed of swimsuit models.

But going under the knife to compete with some of the seemingly “perfect” women we see on social media?

Do people really go that far?

Well, according to the study I mentioned, they do.

In fact, many studies point to growth in plastic surgery since the popularity of social media, although it’s difficult to measure precisely since many parts of the field are unregulated.

A study by Shape Magazine and SheKnows found that 42 percent of women reported that social media made them feel less confident in their looks.

Maybe you’ve witnessed the effects of social media on your confidence first hand.

Maybe you’ve even considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure like Botox or lip injections after seeing one of your favorite Instagram stars talk candidly about the procedures she’s undergone.

Or, maybe you’ve noticed that you’ve been putting more pressure on yourself to look “perfect” lately and you’re not quite sure why.

Here’s a hint: it probably has something to do with what you’re consuming on social media!

While increasing pressures to be “perfect” and an uptick in cosmetic surgery might sound scary, don’t worry, I’m here for you.

Keep on reading to learn a little bit more about how we got here, where we’re going, and why at the end of the day, the only “critic” you should want to please is yourself.

How Social Media Can Mess With Your Head

We all have felt the negative effects of seeing an image of someone who looks “perfect” – whether on Facebook or in a fashion magazine.

But, the reason social media has led to a surge in plastic surgery goes deeper than simply comparing ourselves to what we see on our newsfeeds.

Because not only can we compare ourselves to our favorite Instagram star, we can also download apps that allow us to smooth out our skin, whittle down our waistlines, boost our booty, and even whiten our teeth and the whites of our eyes.

And if we do edit our photos in this way, we may notice that we get more likes, or comments, or followers than we did on our unedited photos.

Unfortunately, this feeling can lead to us feeling like the “real” us isn’t worthy of the attention that the edited version of ourselves receives on social media.

And, if you think these negative influences affect your thinking, imagine the effects they have on young girls.

According to BBC, a study by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics found that girls as young as nine play iPhone games with titles such as, “Plastic Surgery Princess,” “Little Skin Doctor,” and “Pimp My Face.”

We may worry about our daughters or nieces or little sisters seeing violent images on TV, but can images of perfection and plastic surgery have even more harmful effects?

And, how can we control what they see on social media?

Well, the best thing we can do as mothers and female role models is to set the best example in our own lives, which I’m here to help you do!

When Influencers Don’t Influence You Positively

We all have good days and bad days when it comes to our self-confidence level, but have you ever stopped to think about how your social media diet contributes to how you feel about yourself?

If you don’t know what I mean by a “social media diet,” I mean the things you read, watch, and view on the Internet.

This can be anything from blog posts (Hi! Like this one!) to YouTube videos to Instagram photos.

While many of us simply click on whatever pops up in our Facebook feed and interests us, we do have some control over what we see, believe it or not.

In fact, social networks like Facebook and Instagram use their algorithm to show you more of what you “like.”

How can you use this to your advantage?

Well, think of your social media diet the way you think of your regular diet (you know, the one that involves what you put into your body).

When you eat fruits, vegetables, and whole foods, you feel better about yourself, don’t you?

Your social media diet, when curated properly, can have the same effect.

If you consume the right things from the Internet, you can leave your laptop feeling great about yourself rather than feeling like you need to wear more makeup or have fewer wrinkles.

Use the power of your “like” to like posts that empower you, make you feel good about yourself, and teach you the things you want to learn more about.

If you find yourself staring a little too long at a photo that makes you wonder if your lips are too thin or your breasts are too small, consider unfollowing that account – or even blocking their posts from your newsfeed!

Chances are, social media is where you go to have fun and spend your spare time.

Don’t you want to leave social media feeling like the beautiful person that I know you are?

Why You Should Never Compare Yourself To What You See On Social Media

While so many influencers and social media celebrities try to make themselves and their lives feel perfect, you may have also seen so-called “ex-influencers” in the news before, or influencers that base their page on being “real” rather than staged and scripted.

Remember Essena O’Neill?

If you don’t, don’t worry, I’ll sum it up.

Essena was an influencer who got paid to post photos and promote brands.

She had over 1 million followers and regularly posted bikini pics and flawless selfies.

But, in November of 2015, she made headlines for telling the truth about her “perfect” Instagram feed.

She re-captioned her photos to unleash the truth about how she felt while taking photos.

While her photos showed all smiles and what some of us might consider “perfection,” Essena revealed that she really felt hungry, anxious, and emotionally drained from trying to appear perfect all the time.

She also mentioned how so many of her photos were either edited or angled perfectly to make her look a certain way, not to mention all the makeup she used in photos that were supposed to make her look like she “woke up like this.”

While Essena may be in the minority when it comes to influencers and Instagram models who reveal the truth behind their seemingly perfect social media accounts, that doesn’t mean she’s the only one who has engaged in less than truthful behavior for the camera.

If you’re ever feeling down on yourself due to what you’re seeing on social media, you have to try to remind yourself about Essena O’Neill’s story – a story that likely applies to all influencers and celebrities in some way, shape, or form.

Just like you know that the supermodel in your favorite magazine was likely photoshopped, you have to also be aware that the majority of high-profile women on social media are also editing their photos (or, more likely, having someone else edit them for them).

This doesn’t mean that they’re trying to trick you, it actually means that they likely feel the same pressure that you feel to be perfect – even if they may look perfect to you.

This pressure that we face as women is really all-encompassing, and the best thing we can do is remember our worth and support each other in the times when we’re not feeling our best – and always!

How Attitudes Toward Plastic Surgery Are Changing

You may think that I’m against plastic surgery after reading this far into my blog post, but I’m not!

I believe that everybody is beautiful, but that it’s also important for people to be happy with themselves first and foremost.

If you’ve been self-conscious about your nose since you were a little girl and decided to get a rhinoplasty at 25 to allow yourself to truly feel comfortable and confident in your own skin, I’m happy for you!

It’s your body, and that means it’s your choice to do whatever you want with it.

I believe that the problem we’re seeing with the rise in plastic surgery is that people – women in particular – are allowing what they see on social media to dictate how they feel about themselves.

For example, maybe you were happy with your body until you started seeing a multitude of Instagram models post pictures with their bootylicious backsides.

Suddenly you find yourself thinking, I need to get to the gym and do some squats!

That’s a negative side effect of social media, and you have to remember that, as we discussed above, what you’re seeing on Instagram is likely a little farther from the truth than you realize.

That being said, we’ve also seen a changing in American attitudes towards plastic surgery.

This is evident to the plastic surgeons themselves, who have explained that they’ve noticed a change in their patients.

Once upon a time, patients went into a surgeon’s office for a consultation.

Today, many surgeons say that patients come in already knowing what they want after researching the procedures online.

Some patients even come into the office with a Facetuned (an editing app) photo showing what they want to look like post-op.

While it’s admirable to see YouTubers, bloggers, and the like being open about their plastic surgeries and educating the masses, it also seems to be making surgery seem like no big deal – which it is!

If you’re considering surgical enhancements, I recommend thinking about it and researching for at least a year.

It’s easy to get swept up in a beauty trend, but even non-permanent surgeries (like fillers or Botox) can have serious side effects, not to mention the cost!

Additionally, studies have shown that getting one surgically enhancing procedure can lead you to want more.

In fact, studies have shown that people with body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) who undergo plastic surgery do not experience improvement in their BDD symptoms.

Surprisingly, they actually continue to want procedures on the same or other body features.

It kind of goes back to that children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

If you think that changing one part of your body will make you happy, you might instead start focusing on a new body part to “fix” once you’ve undergone surgery on the initial body part you complained about!

Plastic Surgery Culture In South Korea

While American society has recently been recently changing their attitudes towards surgery, South Korea has been plastic surgery’s number one cheerleader for quite some time now.

In 2015, Business Insider dubbed South Korea the “plastic surgery capital of the world.”

Why? Because South Korea had the most plastic surgeries per capita of any country.

They had over 980,000 recorded operations in 2014 – that’s 20 procedures for every 1000 people!

South Korea’s Incheon Airport is even attempting to construct a plastic surgery center to continue to serve the hundreds of tourists who visit South Korea solely to get work done.

Some of the most popular surgeries in South Korea include eyelid surgery, facial surgeries, and body contouring.

In the US, however, the most popular procedure is breast augmentation, although Botox, upper-arm lifts, rhinoplasties, and facelifts have been increasing in popularity.

Korean doctors attribute South Korea’s crowded country and competitive society to their obsession with plastic surgery.

While Korean doctors don’t foresee the US plastic surgery market catching up to South Korea’s, you have to wonder.

After all, social media can make us feel like we’re surrounded by millions of people and that we’re in constant competition with everyone – even strangers!

Final Thoughts

To quote Christina Aguilera: "You are beautiful, no matter what they say."

While you’re likely your hardest critic, you also have the potential to be your biggest cheerleader.

That being said, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others.

If you find yourself putting you down after seeing a certain fitness blogger, or model that you follow, consider unfollowing them.

There’s an old theory that you’re the sum of the five people you spend the most time with, and I think this theory can also be applied to social media.

Are you following accounts who promote self-love, body positivity, and acceptance?

Or, are you following accounts who might promote some form of perfection or unrealistic expectations?

While you may not be able to control your confidence level right away (that takes time), you can control the daily influences on your confidence, and that starts with controlling the people you surround yourself with – or, in this case, the social media pages you visit.

Don’t get down on yourself when you catch yourself comparing yourself to others; it’s natural and we all do it.

But, take a moment and remember why you’re amazing, talented, and beautiful.

While I’m never here to judge anybody for undergoing a surgical procedure – or even considering it – I'm here to tell you that you’re radiant on the inside and the outside.

Once you convince yourself of your true beauty, it’ll get a little easier to stay confident regardless of what you face in your daily newsfeed.

Do you have any tips to stop yourself from constantly comparing yourself to others? Has the recent increase in mainstream plastic surgery changed your opinion on the practice? I’d love to hear your thoughts; share them in the comments below!

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