'Snapchat Dysmorphia': People Seeking Plastic Surgery to Look Like Their Filtered Selfies

'Snapchat dysmorphia' is real

If you yearn for plastic surgery to make the real you resemble those enhanced photos of yourself in filtered selfies and apps like Snapchat, it's not a surgeon you need.

Plastic surgery numbers are already up in the USA, with new data released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons showing continued growth in cosmetic procedures, and the selfie phenomenon will continue to fuel its growth. BDD affects up to 2.4 percent of the population.

"With the introduction of social platforms and filters over the last five years, more and more patients come into clinics with filtered versions of themselves as the goal they want to achieve", Dr. Esho, a cosmetic doctor at The Esho Clinic, told the Independent. Sometimes, people try multiple plastic surgeries, going to "unhealthy" lengths to alter their appearance, experts say.

The paper authors argue that for those with Snapchat dysmorphia, surgery is not the best option because it actually won't make you feel better. Mental health treatment is a better remedy, they advised.

Her coauthors are Mayra Maymone (MED'14, '16), a research assistant at Vashi's laboratory, and Susruthi Rajanala (CAS'20, MED'20). "Now, it is not just celebrities propagating beauty standards; it is a classmate, a coworker, or a friend", they write.

Studies have found that teen girls who alter their social media photos tend to be more concerned with their body appearance, and those with dysmorphic body image use social media for validation, according to the authors of a report published August 2 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

According to researchers from Boston University School of Medicine's Department of Dermatology, who wrote the study, 55 percent of surgeons reported seeing patients who requested surgery to improve their appearance according to their filtered selfies - a phenomenon for which they coined the phrase "Snapchat dysmorphia".

Back in the old days, people would get to a plastic surgeon's office with photos of celebrities showing them specific features.

The study authors considered that the widespread edited photos may reduce self-esteem in people, and may trigger body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), which makes people focus for hours on physical blemishes that do not really exist. "This is an alarming trend because those filtered selfies often present an unattainable look and are blurring the line of reality and fantasy for these patients", the report read.

They recommend therapy, medications, and an "empathetic and nonjudgmental approach by the clinician". Everyone-from famous supermodels to your aunt-is using it....

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