Selfies: Pleasure or obsession?
It’s one thing to you use Instagram filters to make yourself look better, but it’s another to have plastic surgery to make your face look flawless.
Believe it or not, selfies pictures are a serious business. A survey of 2,700 clinics by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery showed that one in three establishments had seen an increase in procedures on patients who want to improve their appearance on social media.
The plastic surgeon Roberto Prado says, "The photos on Instagram or Facebook often show a very different picture from reality. This can be both positive and negative because it can magnify a person’s perceived imperfections.”
Among the non-invasive procedures most regularly performed are the application of botulinum toxin into the upper third of the face; facial filler using hyaluronic acid; facial laser resurfacing to mitigate blemishes or scars, and non-surgical rhinoplasty to change the profile of the nose.
Meanwhile, the most popular surgical procedures are the blepharoplasty (eyelid), otoplasty (ear reshaping) and rhinoplasty (nose). These are all outpatient procedures, which allow for a rapid recovery and are not too expensive. Indeed, results are expected in just a couple of weeks.
Still, the specialist explained that those who come obsessed with minimal details "are advised not to undergo any surgery, since imperfections are often imperceptible and changes will be minimal."
The psychologist’s viewpoint
For the psychologist Paula Diaz, a lot of people who are recurrently uploadingselfies on social networks have personalities that show a degree of fragility, which means that they seek approval from others.
However, "one must distinguish them from that group of people who work with their image and are constantly publishing photographs of themselves.” Diaz adds: “For example, all those celebrities or influencers of certain advertising campaigns."
She explains that those who suffer from some obsession "are people who do not feel loved because they’ve been left or are going through a difficult time." Overall obsessions are linked to "successful people who seek perfection in everything, with a high sense of urgency and with more rigid routines."
She recognizes that today social networks are attracting an environment where we publish photographs or communicate things because it is a place where feelings are expressed, which allows us to feel close to certain people.
That said, many know the other side of the coin, since it is these same social networks that have become a new means of approval or rejection. Psychiatrist Gonzalo Iturra says that before publishing an image, people should reflect on why they are posting the photo and what they hope to achieve.This is because when we do not get the approval or validation we seek, frustration, anxiety and, in some cases, anger occurs. He adds that if you are the victim of abuse or bullying, this can lead to social isolation, which can be a very difficult experience, especially for teenagers.