A mother of three is using cosmetic treatments to reproduce the online version of herself – created using photo-enhancing smartphone apps.
According to the Mirror, London mum Lucy O’Grady, 42, is so used to seeing the digitally tweaked images that she no long recognises the person in the mirror.
Marc Pacifico, consultant plastic surgeon and Comparethetreatment expert, cites increasing public awareness – thanks to social media – and greater affordability as two drivers in our increasing desire to see face- and body-enhancing aesthetic procedures.
He says: ‘There is a possibility that selfies have given rise to a wave of people seeing their faces in a different way, and noticing features less obvious when looking in the mirror. This may lead them to enquire about whether they can alter certain areas of concern.’
However, he cautions against seeking cosmetic treatment with unrealistic expectations.
He says: ‘There has been an impact from the software apps that allow people to alter their photos, which seems to be leading to an upward spiralling of expectations in looks and appearance.’
‘But, it is important for a plastic surgeon to be honest, realistic and show clear “before and after” photographs of their own work to illustrate what is achievable.’
London ‘lip queen’ Dr Rita Rakus comments: ‘We live in a world now where everything is digital or photographed and that makes us more aware of how we look and how our looks make us feel.’
And cosmetic dentist Rahul Doshi confirms that patients are now coming in with selfies as evidence for cosmetic dental treatments.
He says: ‘Selfies are an important influence as patients have more of them taken than conventional photos.
‘Exposure to an increasing number of smile makeovers online has also increased the emotional desire to look better, so the net result is increase in cosmetic demand.
He adds: ‘Whether it is simple cosmetic dental treatments they are seeking or a more complex course of orthodontics, all options should be explained to patients with the advantages, disadvantage and limitations of options, so the patient has all the information to make their own choice and decision.’
According to consultant plastic surgeon Rajiv Grover, former president of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, ordinarily a smartphone camera lens can add anything up to seven years to the appearance of those of us over the age of 40, especially coupled with the angle at which we take photos that make the skin on our neck and our jowls look saggy.
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