The ‘Selfie’ Generation & Plastic Surgery
Plastic surgery is often associated with aging, and older women and men trying to recapture youth, but With advertisements and celebrities bombarding the media with symmetrical and smooth faces, the “selfie” generation is looking for ways to slow the aging process and to improve their physical appearance.
A member survey conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, revealed that 64 percent of their surgeons saw an increase in injectable treatments or cosmetic surgery for patients less than 30 years of age. This large increase is often attributed to celebrities bombarding social media with an endless stream of enhanced and re-touched personal selfies. Additionally, millennials are more comfortable with the idea of plastic surgery than older generations, as the idea of cosmetic tweaks has become less taboo. Many surgeons have found that the top procedures popular for women in this age group are injectables such as Botox and fillers, butt augmentation, and liposuction.
According to the new 2015 data from the American Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) Statistics Report, minimally invasive cosmetic procedures are the most popular, with Botox the number one choice with 6,757,198 procedures done in 2015, a 759% increase from 2000. Soft tissue fillers was another popular choice with 2,440,724 procedures done in 2015, a 6% increase from the previous year. Botox and fillers are often used as a preventative solution to wrinkles for younger patients, because it is a lot easier to prevent a problem from happening than to correct the problem once it has occurred.
Millennial and Surgical Procedures
For surgical procedures for women, breast augmentation is still the most popular surgery, however, smaller breasts are gaining popularity, and this procedure dropped 2% in the number of procedures from the previous year. Buns are in, and more than ever there is a demand from women seeking more curvaceous figures. According to a report of trends by RealSelf, butt augmentation had the highest concentration of RealSelf millennial users (ages 18-35) in 2015, accounting for 53% of all traffic to pages associated with that procedure. The ASAP Statistics Report shows the number of butt augmentation procedures increased 28% in 2015 from 2014. This large jump in popularity is often accredited to celebrities flaunting their fuller rear ends, such as television star Kim Kardashian and musicians such as J-Lo and Nicki Minaj.
Another popular surgical procedure for millennials is liposuction. The ASAP Statistics Report shows an increase of 5% in liposuctions from the previous year, with 222,061 procedures. It is important to note that liposuction is not a weight-loss procedure, but can be beneficial for younger patients who are physically active yet have stubborn pockets of fat that are unable to be addressed through diet and exercise alone.
Cosmetic surgery is not just popular among the ladies; men are part of the increase in millennials seeking to improve their looks and appear younger. The most popular procedure men opt for is breast reduction surgery to treat gynecomastia (over-developed or enlarged breasts in men). According to ASPS, breast reduction surgery increased 5% from 2014, a growth of 35% from 2000. For the first time, men accounted for more than 40 percent of breast reconstruction procedures in 2015. This procedure is often performed to make a difference in the lives of young men who face genetic challenges with the size and shape of their breasts.
Millennials are confident, self-expressive, and open to change, leading to a generation that is more accepting of plastic surgery. Regardless of which procedure a patient of any age desires, it is important as a surgeon to speak with the patient about what they can expect from certain procedures. It is not uncommon to turn away patients who have unrealistic expectations, and expect to look exactly like celebrities do in their selfies. However, millennials are often more knowledgeable and do the most research before a consultation. It is not only about finding the right surgeon, but also about which cosmetic treatments and procedures are safe and right for them.