Instagram, Photo Editing Apps Drive Desire for Cosmetic Surgery

Study published by Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology shows that people who spend a lot of time on social media have more desires to get cosmetic surgery. In addition to that, people who spend their time on Instagram and Photo Editing Apps are also likely to want to have cosmetic surgery. The research says that the more time we spend on social media, the desire to change our appearances also increases. Medically, a term like Snapchat Dysmorphia is also recognized where the individual has a strong need to alter their body’s appearance and beautify their faces.

The study also focuses on body dysmorphia many individuals faced in Covid-19 and how they wanted to change the appearance of their faces and bodies. Neelum Vashi, the corresponder of this research, said that there was an increase in cosmetic surgeries in Covid-19 but no research has been made that showed any reason why people were getting cosmetic surgeries. This study collected data of individuals who attended ambulatory dermatology clinics in an urban hospital from October 2019 to June 2021. This timeframe was crucial to know what people thought of cosmetic surgery before and after covid.

The research gathered individuals of ages older than 18 and they had to be fluent in English and Spanish. The questions asked in the survey were approved by Boston University Medical Campus Institutional Review Board. The questions included questions about demographics, social media usage, thoughts about cosmetic surgeries and if they want to undergo such surgeries. According to the results, there was a strong connection between social media usage and the desire to get cosmetic surgeries, especially use of Instagram and Snapchat. The participants who spent more time on social media weren’t satisfied with their appearance and wanted to change how they looked.
The use of editing apps like FaceTune, Lightroom, and SnapSeed also made individuals get cosmetic surgery because these types of apps show what type of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures one should get to make their face look perfect. Individuals also watch different celebrities, influencers and beauty experts and want to look like them. Interacting with those accounts puts a sense of idealized beauty standards in the users’ minds.

The study urges cosmetic surgeries experts to communicate with their clients to find if their desire of getting cosmetic surgery is stemming from social media or not.

Spending time on Instagram and photo editing apps correlates with increased desire for cosmetic surgery.
Image: DIW-AIgen

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