Can You SnapChat Your Way to Your Perfect Face?

Surgeons have been noticing a new trend: patients who are Snapchatting to a perfect face. This usually involves using the built-in SnapChat filters to remove lines, wrinkles, or imperfections, then showing that filtered image to a surgeon as a model for what the patient wants to achieve. In some ways, this is a useful tool (for both patients and surgeons) but there are some definite drawbacks.

According to many cosmetic surgeons, more and more people are coming in with a Snapchat filter as their guide to success. It seems patients these days are snapchatting to a perfect face. Okay, okay, no face is perfect (indeed, most cosmetic surgeons are interested only in what’s perfect for you, and that’s a big difference).

Is SnapChatting Your Way to a Perfect Face Possible… or Desirable?

Cosmetic surgery has always been influenced by social media, sometimes quite heavily. But this is certainly a new trend. A patient will come in and ask to have a nose like the one the filter gives him. Or skin as perfect as the filter provides for her.

In some cases, these requests are unrealistic. In other cases, this type of individualized “previewing” (I’m using quotes because SnapChat is not always a preview, so take the word with a grain of salt) can lead to dramatically better results. That’s because it allows the patients to more effectively communicate the results they want. So people really are SnapChatting to a perfect face (at least for them) in a way.

What is SnapChat?

It might be useful to take just a minute to describe what, exactly, SnapChat is. One of the newer social media services out there, SnapChat’s primary appeal is that messages will disappear after a set number of time. If you send a message to a friend on SnapChat (usually in the form of a photo), that photo can be displayed for a certain number of seconds (let’s say six) and then it disappears. It is not saved to either phone (functionally, anyway–you should always be cautious with any image you send over the internet in any way).

The idea is that SnapChat uses photos to send messages, and those photos disappear, so everything is transitory. It’s almost more like a conversation. There are some add ons to it that encourage people to post stories as well. That’s essentially what SnapChat is. In order to improve the experiences, SnapChat introduced a significant number of filters. Some of these filters allow you to put puppy ears on your head or something like that.

But other filters are designed to get hide imperfections. For an app that is undoubtedly going to feature a lot of selfies, this is probably a smart move.

What Does SnapChat Do for Cosmetic Surgery?

It might not be immediately apparent what the connection between SnapChat and cosmetic surgery might be. That’s okay–we didn’t get it at first either. Heck, neigher did most surgeons! It wasn’t until patients started taking out their phones that we all started to get it.

It’s often difficult to preview your results. If you’re going in for a Non Surgical Nose Job, for example, you can certainly articulate what you want. But you and your surgeon will (to a certain degree) be using your imaginations when discussing the results.

This can lead to everyone being on different pages, as it were, even if you’re using some kind of model to discuss what the results might look like. But when a patient uses a selfie–an image of his or her own face–the conversation is much more rooted in the concrete. A surgeon will be able to look at the patient’s nose, check the image, and determine if those results are realistically possible.

In other words, it provides an incredibly valuable previewing tool with very low cost.

The Dangers of SnapChatting to a Perfect Face

We’re not going to spend a lot of time getting into the general dangers of SnapChat (and there are some, most of which include sending sensitive images). But there are some drawbacks to the relationship between SnapChat and cosmetic surgery:

  • In some cases, SnapChat filters can lead patients to develop unrealistic expectations
  • SnapChat filters also cannot translate any discomfort that might come from plastic or cosmetic surgery procedures
  • Patients who rely too much on SnapChat filters to do the talking don’t always adequately express their actual opinions and thoughts

The primary danger, however, is that you might start to become fixated on a goal that is not achievable very easily. For example, a filter can easily change every aspect of your face, making your nose smaller and your eyes bigger, your skin ever more perfect. But achieving that kind of change through surgery would be quite problematic.

That’s why discussions with your surgeon are so important. Whether you’re looking to achieve results with a non surgical nose job or with its surgical counterpart, it’s important to talk over what you want to transform and how you want to do it. Every good procedure, whether your SnapChatting to a perfect face or pursuing things the good old fashioned way, begins with a lengthy consultation!

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