We all have insecurities we’d like to correct and with the rise of social media, and particularly the popularity of selfie sharing, it’s all too easy to be hyper-critical of how you appear in your latest post. Fortunately, most photo-sharing apps such as Snapchat or Instagram come equipped to help, allowing users to conceal their insecurities using easy-to-use filters. Given the simplicity in which these apps can help users look and feel fantastic, it’s no surprise that recent research by Johns Hopkins University has found a strong link between social media users and the desire to undergo cosmetic enhancements or plastic surgery.
Selfies and Self Confidence
Filters can help people achieve the perfect look for their social channels however, for many users, editing facial features can result in feelings of inadequacy when comparing edited snaps to what they see in the mirror. More worryingly, this rise in both social media use and aesthetic enhancement has come at the same time as a rise in mental health disorders, prompting speculation that the three may be interlinked. Research published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery has been applauded by experts for highlighting the potential damage photo editing can have on the self-worth of those who use them, and how this provides the perfect breeding ground for deep-rooted insecurity. Last year, another JAMA-published survey found a rise in patients coming to surgeons with their own filtered photos as a reference, further highlighting the prevalence of this issue. With more and more young people chasing an idealised image of themselves, it is down to experienced aesthetics practitioners to help their patients deal with more than a plumped-up pout and line-free forehead.
The Rise of the Aesthetics Industry
It is undeniable that the aesthetics industry has experienced an exciting rise in prevalence over the last few years, and today, is more accessible, affordable, and profitable than ever. Whilst aesthetic enhancement, such as Botox® and dermal fillers, have previously been linked to those chasing their lost youth, much of the recent industry growth has been driven by a whole different category of patient, with recent reports finding an increase in those under the age of 30 undergoing Botox® procedures between 2010 and 2017, and a a portion of this age category opting for filler.
Despite this growth, the aesthetics industry is largely unregulated, leading to underqualified practitioners routinely performing injectable treatments. However, all practitioners have a duty of care to protect their patients, rather than complying with their every demand. This is essential when it comes to protecting the mental health of patients, helping to build a strong, positive self-image that goes beyond any tweaks that may occur as a result of aesthetics enhancement. Practitioners should always manage client’s expectations from the very beginning, steering them away from their idealistic dream appearance and towards more achievable, realistic aesthetic goals. Whilst it may initially seem counterintuitive to turn away business, taking a patient-centric approach will leave you with a happy, healthy client base who return to your clinic time and time again, knowing that they are in safe hands with a practitioner they can trust.
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