The rise of social media has made us all more aware of what we look like, thanks to the growing trend of the selfie. While the word was first documented in 2002, it has gained popularity in recent years, even making the Oxford Dictionary in 2013. A selfie even stole the show this year at the Oscars, when Ellen DeGeneres took an A-Lister selfie that broke twitter with more than 2 million retweets.
While the selfie seems harmless enough, it has been linked to an increase in head lice among teens, due to the nature of people squishing their heads together to get in frame. And now a new study by The American Academy of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery has found that the selfie could account for an increase in people getting their face on, quite literally, with an increase in facial surgeries.
It showed that between 2012-2013 there was a 10 percent increase in rhino-plastic surgeries, a 7 percent increase in hair transplants, and a 6 percent increase in eyelid surgeries. It also found that one-third of surgeons saw there was an increase in facial surgery requests as people had become more aware and obsessed with their looks due to the selfie.
The selfie was even named by Oxford Dictionary as the word of the year in 2013. It is a trend that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere as people continue to snap pictures of themselves and friends.
We have all become more aware of what we look like and our potential to look better with the help of Instagram filters and catchy hashtags. But the moral of this story is don’t get too obsessed with what images our smartphones can produce at arm’s length.
Perhaps one day soon we will start taking more picture of the world around us, instead of the self-indulgent selfie. Until then, watch for head lice and think twice before making an appointment with a surgeon so you can have the perfect face for the selfie.