“Doctor, I wish I looked like Chiara Ferragni.” The social network effect in plastic surgery also passes through new models of reference: today patients visiting the plastic surgeon no longer only carry photos of actors or singers.
“More and more often in the studio I am shown images of influencers or bloggers, such as Chiara Ferragni or Chiara Biasi, as examples to be inspired by” says Pierfrancesco Bove, plastic surgeon of the surgery network Surgery of Beauty, who works in Lecce, Salerno, Naples, Rome, Milan and Verona and is a member of FIME (Italian Federation of Aesthetic Doctors).
The lifestyle of the bloggers is more of a pleasure than a well-defined physical trait: “They are beautiful girls, but not as unreachable as the movie stars,” says Bove.
Yet they have a dream life: they travel, they go to luxury hotels, they are the protagonists of photo shoots, they take part in exclusive fashion, film and television events. That’s why they are imitated, not only in the way they dress, but also in their physical appearance”.
The social network effect in the world of plastic surgery not only brings new physical models of reference, but also a growing attention to the image: “Once we looked in the mirror in the morning before going out and, if it happened, sometimes during the day – notes Bove -.
Today, with social networks, people are confronted with their appearance every hour, from different angles and in different social situations and realize how they appear to the rest of the world. The consequences of the social network effect in plastic surgery are different
One realizes details that had never been noticed: “Today it is the patients themselves who point out the asymmetries, they say to me: “Look doctor, in this picture on the right profile I have a straight nose, on the left there is a hump”. Until a few years ago it was me who showed patients the differences that inevitably exist between the right and left sides of the face and body,” explains Dr. Bove.
Thanks to photo filters, you can achieve how to change your face with a better skin texture, without dark circles and wrinkles. “An aspect that is of particular interest to forty-year-olds, who are increasingly infected by a passion for selfie,” says the plastic surgeon.
There are also apps that allow you to edit the images: “With a touch you can reshap the body profile: you can raise the B-side or make the décolleté more generous. And it’s not just women who do it: among men there’s a popular app that draws the “turtle” on their abs,” says Pierfrancesco Bove.
After seeing a better version of themselves on social media, many decide to become so in reality. In 2017, 42% of plastic surgeons who are members of the AAFPRS (American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) had patients who approached cosmetic surgery to look better in selfie, on Instagram and Snapchat.
“It is not always possible to know how much the desire to look better in the social sphere is a determining factor in the decision to undergo plastic surgery. But there is no doubt that, on more and more occasions, there is a connection,” says Bove.
What are the most requested interventions for the “social network effect”? For the face, botulinum, filler and skin treatments, but also retouching the lips and nose.
“To convince many of my patients dissatisfied with their profile to undergo rhinoplasty are the softest ways of surgery: today with smartrinoplasty, a method developed by the surgery network Beauty Surgery, the post-operative is painless, after only 4 days you remove the dressings and no longer use the much hated pads,” says Bove.
The requests to remove the bichat bubble also grew, thus making the face more worn out, while a novelty concerns the double chin, one of the defects most hated by lovers of selfie: “Until a few months ago, the only solution to redefine the contours of the face was surgical.
In May, Kybella, a puncture that dissolves excess fat, was introduced in Italy. We can bet that it will be one of the most growing operations in the near future,” says the plastic surgeon.
For the body, the must is to retouch the breast, while the buttocks had a real boom. “Smartmastoplasty, a method of surgery of beauty surgery with reduced recovery times and excellent aesthetic results, is increasingly appreciated for increasing the breast. To improve the “beauty”, i.e. the photos on the B-side, the demand for liposculpture and lipofilling or gluteal fillers has also grown,” explains Bove.