How much influence do celebrities have on plastic surgery? Well, I’m probably not going very far out on a limb to say that, yes, celebrities do indeed have a huge impact on plastic surgery (and on people’s decisions to undergo plastic surgery). But what about social media-based celebrities and YouTube personalities? What kind of impact do they have?

How Much Do Celebrities Influence Plastic Surgery Trends?

Let’s say you want to undergo a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure. Do you want that procedure for your own reasons or because a social media celebrity influenced you towards undergoing that procedure? That’s what a new study is trying to find out. And the study, conducted by a team from University College London, seems to confirm that, especially for younger women, social media stars can have an outsized impact.

In some ways, that’s nothing new. The celebrity influencer has been around since the dawn of media. (What was Helen of Troy if not a celebrity influencer… in a way.) But that doesn’t mean we should take the scope and the intensity of modern social media celebrities less seriously.

Indeed, these days, the influencing seems like it’s coming from all around us all the time. Social media stars make a significant amount of income based on their ability to subtly (or not so subtly) plug products and behaviors on their channels. But the influence towards plastic surgery goes a little bit deeper than that. It’s more about image, self-esteem, and all those social pressures. How much influence do celebrities have on plastic surgery? Well, it kind of depends.

Social Media Stars and Social Pressure

There’s no doubt that we all feel a certain amount of pressure to look a certain way. There’s also no doubt that women feel this pressure most acutely and most intensely (with, perhaps, the most unrealistic expectations). Social media influencers tend to take the expectations embedded in a cultural milieu and amplify them–so young women are certainly being inundated with the notion that they should somehow always be young and pretty.

And that can translate into some serious body dysmorphic disorder. Of course, that’s nothing new–that kind of thing has been happening for decades. But there is something relatively intense about the way it happens on social media.

Modern children don’t really get much of a break from the messages they see on YouTube. And YouTube has a habit of curating popular (rather than wholesome) content via its algorithms. There could be lots of great content your child never sees–instead, the YouTube algorithm may feed them a steady diet of popular videos that undercut their self-esteem and self-worth.

How Does This Lead to Plastic Surgery?

The primary way this leads to plastic surgery is via the creation of areas of discomfort. That is, maybe you kind of don’t like your nose. But after a while, maybe you start to see yourself as less attractive because of your nose. It’s a small distinction, but an important one.

Now, the question of whether you should undergo a plastic surgery procedure is one that is incredibly private and individualized. In other words, if you feel self-conscious about an area of your body, plastic surgery or a cosmetic procedure could be a viable answer for you. But knowing where your discomfort comes from–knowing what causes it in the first place–can help you achieve better results.

Because you’ll actually know what you’re looking to achieve. And that can be exceptionally important when it comes to planning a plastic surgery procedure. This is not to suggest that plastic surgery is a viable treatment option for body dysmorphic disorder–in fact, most surgeons works as hard as possible to ensure that they do not operate on anyone with untreated body dysmorphic disorder.

Should I Resist Celebrity Influence?

Celebrities certainly have the ability to influence our way of thinking, whether we like it or not. That influence tends to work better—and to have a stronger hold—when we aren’t aware of it so much. In that sense, simply being aware of the degree of influence these social media and YouTube gurus exert can be a strong defense mechanism.
But it would be oversimplifying things to say that you could somehow insulate yourself against these influences. They’re too profound. Even severing your connection to YouTube, for example, won’t protect you from the influence of social media stars.
That’s not to say that there aren’t things you can do. It’s not so much about innoculating yourself against celebrity influence as it is about being aware of the influence and recognizing that it might not be legitimate to who you are as a person. In other words, just because a celebrity is beautiful in a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the only way to be beautiful (if that makes sense). And if you’re going to undergo a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure, you should be making decisions based on your idea of beauty and not someone else’s (no matter how popular they might be).

About the Author: Dan Voltz has been writing about plastic and cosmetic surgery procedures for well over four years. He’s always chatting with surgeons about the next up-and-coming cosmetic trends.

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