The Selfie Generation
“Selfie” pictures have quickly become the new norm, replacing group friend shots or photos with family as the go-to pose on social media sites like Facebook and Snapchat, but arguably made most popular on Instagram.
As in now-faded sites like MySpace and YouTube, the average user can become a “celebrity” on Instagram with enough “liked” photos and followers. All that is needed is some flattering selfies, and voila!– you are now a model!
A recent study conducted by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that one in three plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for procedures due to patients (specifically, female patients under age 30) being more self-aware of their looks on social media. The non-invasive medspa treatments have quickly gained in popularity due to the selfie image with both men and women.
There is even a trend of women requesting hand lift surgery to take the perfect engagement ring close-up selfie. Additionally, a recent article in Glamour magazine found that the increase in plastic surgery patients is directly related to women wanting to look better on social media and turning to cosmetic surgery to achieve the perfect selfie.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the influence that Kim Kardashian, the selfie queen of this generation (like it or not) has had on the selfie movement: the pop culture celeb has upwards of 20 million followers on Instagram and, since the inception of her reality show and ensuing fame on social media sites, has truly popularized the art of taking selfies and taken this generation with her.
What was once viewed as oddly vain or even sad (all alone and no one to take your pic), is now the norm, and if you can’t take the perfect selfie, then you’re not in the social media game. And with prospective employers and romantic partners having the benefit of vetting you based on your social media profile (not to mention, a feeling of competition amongst friends), it’s no wonder that today’s young women feel they should put their best foot forward on these social media platforms, in terms of physical appearance.