In a world full of celebrities, image-conscious influencers, Kylie Jenners and Kylie Jenner wannabes, it’s no surprise that people are seeking the “perfection” of a Snapchat filter off of the screen.
Kylie Jenner, the world’s second most followed of the Kardashian Jenner clan (with 78.7 million Instagram followers and counting), has lips that seem to dominate the beauty world. After much speculation, Jenner finally admitted to her lip injections, spawning a legion of copycats and lip admirers around the world (who would then go-on to buy her highly-coveted Kylie Lip Kits, too).
After Jenner’s lip filler confession, The Independent reported that one UK clinic experienced an astounding “70% rise in lip filler enquiries.” Furthermore, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that there’s a lip implant procedure done about every 19 minutes. That’s an increase of 48 per cent since 2000. “We live in the age of the selfie, and because we see images of ourselves almost constantly on social media, we’re much more aware of how our lips look,” says Vice-Chairman of Surgery at University of Chicago Medical Center, David H. Song.
Dr. Simon Ourian, the surgeon behind Jenner’s Juviderm injections, tells ET, “For a long time people wanted to have Jessica Alba’s lips. Now it’s Kylie Jenner’s lips, Kim Kardashian’s butt.” Even beauty editors like Kaylin Pound admit to succumbing to the Kylie-effect. In an age when the Kardashians saturate every social media channel, it’s not that surprising.
— Kaylin Pound (@kaylin_pound) May 16, 2016
According to Elle, Dara Liotta, MD, a plastic surgeon based in Manhattan, claims there has definitely been an increase of internet personalities in her clientele. “My clients can’t afford downtime. They’re snapchatting, constantly on Instagram. So it’s a little botox, a little filler, tiny surgeries,” she says. In fact, Liotta had one of her clients from Saudi Arabia Snapchat her Kybella (that’s when you remove fat from below the chin) experience. And these famous Snapchatters garner a lot of faith from their fans. “Immediately after that I had people flying in from Kuwait to get Kybella,” says Liotta. “I would say to them, ‘Don’t you have somebody who does this in Saudi Arabia or Kuwait?’ and they would say, ‘Yes, but I trust her, I’m coming here because she was here.”
Furthermore, individuals are now taking Instagram and Snapchat photos of themselves to doctors in order to get that favourite filtered selfie look IRL. “People are bringing in pictures of themselves taken at a favorite angle or filtered, and saying they want to look like that,” says New York City-based plastic surgeon Dr. Elie Levine to the New York Daily News.
Edwin Williams III, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, says teens and young adults are sadly inundated with celebrity images at a highly impressionable time. “They want to replicate the enhanced, re-touched images that are passed off as reality,” he says. With the average kid getting their own smartphone at ten, this surge sadly isn’t all that shocking. Williams admits that the demographic seeking consultations and treatments is younger than ever.
The world of social media can be a frightening place. It’s not all bad. Many popular influencers don’t necessarily fit the traditional beauty standards of mainstream media, thus promoting a more diverse definition of beauty. On the flip side, social media is heavily edited, providing a constant stream of imagery that isn’t exactly easy to obtain. When even the very celebrities we admire cave in to the pressures of looking flawless and are caught red-handed editing their own personal posts, what hope is there for us mere mortals?