I wanted to share a fab guest post today on social media and how the effect it’s having on self esteem may be upping the numbers of those deciding to go under the knife.
The decision to get cosmetic surgery is a deeply personal one, and yet more and more people are opening up about their experiences in a very public setting. Once upon a time, cosmetic surgery was the reserve of rich and famous people and the process was very hush-hush. Struck down with a mysterious flu, the patient would disappear for a few weeks and reemerge with a new nose, a shapely chin or tighter skin around the eyes.
It was something to be vehemently denied, not flaunted. Nowadays, the process is becoming a badge of honour and unscrupulous cosmetic surgery clinics are comparing their procedures to real-life Instagram filters.
From a surgical perspective, there is something fundamentally wrong with patients showing up in a surgeon’s office with airbrushed, filtered and Photoshopped images in hand. It’s all too easy to compare ourselves to others when we look at social media.
However, the reality of what it takes to capture these images of perfection is rarely discussed. What looks like a candid moment on Instagram is rarely as it seems and there is often a great deal of staging and editing that goes into a picture. Although many of us aware well aware of this, it’s still a tempting prospect. The evidence couldn’t be clearer: more people are going under the knife because they are unhappy with the way they look on social media.
There are so many problems with this phenomenon.
Firstly, it means that we aren’t addressing the underlying causes that might send an individual in search of a cosmetic surgeon. There are often invisible illnesses at play which surgery cannot treat. Mental illness, depression and body dysmorphia are just some of the reasons that a person might seek a surgical solution to their problems. With some surgeons failing to offer sufficient counselling or even a cooling off period between the initial consultation and the procedure, these problems are only set to get worse for the patients who are suffering in silence.
It isn’t all bad news, and there are tougher restrictions coming into play, particularly in the UK. Since cosmetic surgery isn’t routinely covered on the NHS, the industry has been allowed to grow outside the confines of the heavily-scrutinised National Health Service. This is now being addressed following the PIP scandal in which women throughout the UK were fitted with implants filled with deadly, industrial-grade silicone. A review of the industry has meant that cosmetic surgery clinics are now facing tougher guidelines on how they can advertise procedures and how long they leave between a consultation and the actual surgery.
The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has also stepped in to vouch for the cosmetic surgeons who are offering unparalleled patient care. Gary Ross, a cosmetic surgeon in Manchester, is the first in the UK to be recognised for his skills in cosmetic surgery by the RCS. It is hoped that all reputable cosmetic surgeons will follow suit and this will provide some much-needed regulation for the industry.
For anyone struggling over a decision to go under the knife, it’s important to know that you aren’t alone. The RCS has developed this informational hub that will help you to make an informed decision about your procedure.
[ Author Bio ]
Rebecca Harper is a freelance writer living in London. She writes about anything from beauty to body confidence and dreams of being a staff writer for Elle one day. In her spare time, she loves exploring London in search of the perfect flat white coffee.