A recent article in the Huffington Post describes our fascination with the selfie and how it affects peoples’ desire for cosmetic surgery.
The article talks about how wanting to have an attractive avatar online and being able to take a good-looking snapshot of ourselves has fed our obsession with cosmetic surgery.
Is this a good thing?
The Argument For
Everybody wants to be happy. Studies tell us, as does common sense, that people who feel attractive and are comfortable in their own skin lead happier lives. My philosophy is that if something about your appearance bothers you and is impeding your happiness, get it fixed! When you come in for an appointment, my job is to listen to your concerns and develop a clear understanding of what bothers you. My job is then to decide if what you want is possible and safe. Your job is to decide if going through with the procedure is worth it in terms of cost, pain, downtime and risk. I can’t make that decision for you, but I can help. I can advise you by looking back on my experiences with prior patients and relating to you what I would tell my own family member if they were considering such a move (or what I would do, if you’re a guy).
Now, we can argue about how important selfies are in the context of the real world but the fact is we are a very visual society. Nowadays, its hard to not find yourself in situations where you may take photos of yourself, be it on vacation, in front of a particularly memorable plate of food or among a group of friends. In our digital world, these pics are soon destined for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or the next big social media tool (ie. Meerkat – which lets you tweet live video, apparently). Who wouldn’t want to like what’s looking back at them on the screen?
The Argument Against
The naysayer would say that there are far more important things going on in the world than what you look like or how nice your selfie is. I would argue that improving one’s appearance can have profound effects on his or her self esteem and confidence. What may seem “superficial” can actually be life-changing. On a more pragmatic note, yes there are more serious things in life to occupy your attention. So why let something about your appearance that is fixable distract attention and energy from those important things? Why not fix it and move on?
I will concede that prospective patients should keep in mind that selfies are often taken at unfortunate angles (especially if you are looking down on your computer screen) and may be taken on a device with a cheap camera, so keep that in mind before coming down too hard on yourself!
See you in the office!