In a POPSUGAR article titled, “Is Cyberbullying Behind the Rise in Cosmetic Surgery?” Dr. Jason Emer and Dr. Akshay Sanan provided their perspectives on the effects of modern social influences on healthy and unhealthy motivations for changing one’s appearance.
New Challenges for Patients and Providers
The internet and social media have undeniably played leading roles in accelerating shifts in public perception of the aesthetics industry. Dr. Sanan points out that some of these changes are worth celebrating, such as the dismantling of social stigmas around cosmetic enhancement. Another advantage is the wealth of easily accessible resources available to patients to help them make educated choices for achieving their aesthetic goals.
However, it’s alarmingly easy for patients to get so caught up in their modern, digitally dominated lives that they lose sight of themselves. Instead, they see themselves through the eyes of those who react to their photos and fill their comment sections. For young people who have been online their whole lives, psychological stress and self-esteem struggles can develop earlier than ever as a result.
Constantly comparing oneself to influencers and celebrities can lead to a flawed perception in which the only way to be attractive is to become a copy of someone else. This mindset can lead to excessive and/or ill-advised cosmetic treatments. Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan see this issue manifest frequently in patients who are adamant about getting the latest trending cosmetic treatment, often to their own detriment.
Compassion and Candid Conversations in Cosmetic Surgery Consultations
Children and adults have been victims of bullying due to their appearance since long before Instagram and TikTok. It is nothing new for Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan to assess whether a patient is seeking treatment for his or her own, carefully-considered reasons. In fact, the importance of this aspect of a patient’s consultation should not be overlooked.
During the consultation process, Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan take the time to ensure that patients have realistic expectations for the physical and emotional results of a cosmetic treatment. They stress that aesthetic procedures should not be pursued as a means of validation or acceptance through conforming to someone else’s standards of beauty. Such motivation often leads to regret, especially if the appearance was permanently altered via plastic surgery.
Navigating the Effects of Online Influences
Coping with the shame, pain, anger, and embarrassment of cyberbullying is not easy, nor is it simple to revise your beliefs about your appearance after years of building a false concept of yourself. Dr. Emer and other cosmetic treatment providers have found value in advocating therapy in cases where patients seeking enhancement may be suffering from depression or other conditions.
Providers like Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan understand and empathize with patients who feel a sense of urgency to have a procedure due to modern social pressures and the culture around viral beauty trends. However, in their professional experience, it is worth postponing cosmetic enhancement until you are able to accept yourself as you are and to be honest about what you hope to gain from altering your appearance.
Connect with Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan
Choosing a caring, experienced provider is important for anyone considering non-surgical or surgical enhancement. Dr. Emer and Dr. Sanan are recognized as top providers of cosmetic treatments in Beverly Hills and are dedicated to the well-being of their patients. You can contact Dr. Emer’s medical practice to schedule a consultation with Dr. Emer or Dr. Sanan.
Dr. Emer is a board-certified cosmetic dermatologist who provides comprehensive skincare services and minimally-invasive facial and body sculpting treatments. Dr. Sanan is a double-board certified facial plastic surgeon who provides reconstructive and cosmetic procedures for the face and neck.