Is Social Media Causing Too Many To Go Under The Knife?

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.



  1. August 21, 2017 / 5:23 pm

    I think it is a very complex issue…
    Self-acceptance and love is very needed when it comes to social media. Concentrating on positives rather then negatives is the key.
    There will be always someone better looking, slimmer or wealthier but they will not be you xx
    It took me over 10 years of constant work on my mind to learn to love myself and I hope it shows !!
    Aggie xx

  2. August 21, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    Thanks for sharing this! Social media doesnt help with body confidence so this was super interesting to read!xxx

    • InvisiblyMe
      August 24, 2017 / 4:11 pm

      I’m glad I was able to share this article, and I’m glad you found it interesting too 🙂

  3. August 22, 2017 / 5:52 pm

    The UK scandal sounds terrible 🙁 Regulations, yes! I do hope though that more women will learn to love their bodies as they naturally are, rather than getting cosmetic surgeries if not necessary <3

    • InvisiblyMe
      August 24, 2017 / 4:10 pm

      Hear hear!! x

  4. August 23, 2017 / 12:24 am

    Not much has really changed. Social media is just the new form
    of fashion/ beauty magazine. When people compare themselves
    to unobtainable images there are bound to be problems. The
    beauty business is a multi-billion $ industry. It is up to parents
    to teach the value of character rather than focusing on vanity.

    • InvisiblyMe
      August 24, 2017 / 4:07 pm

      I think the way in which we define beauty and how we set ‘standards’, ideals and goals has been causing incredible damage to our self-worth, self-esteem and happiness for a long time, and it’s such a shame. You’re right, it’s a massive industry and they thrive from our insecurities. Thanks for the comment 🙂

  5. August 23, 2017 / 5:52 am

    Well I can say as somebody who just had their second neck lift revision and now has a weird scar thing coming from my neck that may take 6 months or ANOTHER revision to clear up….there is no such thing as an “easy” procedure. I have great self esteem, But I also like to look my best and I didn’t want to deal with the hereditary loose neck skin that happens early on in my family. I went in for a simple procedure under local anesthesia, that didn’t go well and then a second more complicated procedure to fix that. Ugh! I am all for those who want to do it, but learn from my mistakes and ask a ton of questions about the procedure and the healing process and never take it lightly. Celebs may make it look like they get such great results and it so easy to have surgery done, but remember they are dealing with the best of the best and they make months to heal or have revisions and we would never know.

    • InvisiblyMe
      August 24, 2017 / 4:05 pm

      I agree with asking a ton of questions and not taking such procedures lightly, especially as you never know what will happen (such as expecting one procedure, but ending up with more if it doesn’t go well). There’s certainly going to be a world of difference for the rich and famous having procedures, too. I’m really sorry you’ve struggled so much with the neck lift revision and now the scar, I really do hope that resolves rather than requiring another op. Thank you so much for sharing this and commenting.xx

  6. August 27, 2017 / 8:27 pm

    If you look at people on Instagram for example they look too polished and perfect so yeah people have a unrealistic view of themselves and want to make radical change so they look like the people they see on social media.

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