‘Snapchat Dysmorphia’: Seeking Selfie Perfection

Aug. 10, 2018 — The days of wanting to look like a celebrity are over, say plastic surgeons around the world. Now, more and more people want to look like themselves — a phone-edited version of themselves, that is.

The number of people taking selfies has skyrocketed in recent years. In 2016, Google Photos announced that its 200 million users had posted 24 billion selfies to the app. As of this month, the “selfie” hashtag on Instagram has more than 355 million posts. And with the inclusion of front-facing cameras on smartphones that come with photo apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facetune, users now have Photoshop-like power at their fingertips.

Last year, in an annual survey, plastic surgeons reported that 55% of their patients said their main reason for getting surgery was to make themselves look better in selfies.

According to a recent editorial in the medical journal JAMA, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine’s dermatology department report that people go to plastic surgeons requesting “fuller lips, bigger eyes, or a thinner nose” that they see in photo filters. The trend, called “Snapchat dysmorphia,” was first identified in 2015 and is now raising alarm among some plastic surgeons.

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