Don’t trust selfies
Image Credit: Ador Bustamante

A survey of members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons last year found that social media was driving more plastic surgery requests than any other social influence: more than TV, movies or magazine photography. People are simply spending more time looking at themselves.

But selfies also mislead people about how they look.

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People do not want to be old. They do not want to look old rather than being old, says an expert Image Credit: Ador Bustamante

Smartphone cameras get better each year, but photos taken at arm’s length or closer often produce a “fish eye” effect: Whatever’s at the centre of the photo is bigger, and things on the periphery are smaller.

The self-taken photograph is warping the confidence of many younger people in unsettling ways.

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Most of the images are focused on face due to the power of the selfie stick. Image Credit: Ador Bustamante

Don’t trust a selfie and here’s why:

One of the first things I do in a consultation is take a photograph from a reasonable distance, with professional lighting.

This has persuaded hundreds of my potential patients that there’s no reason for surgery. One young woman, on whom I’d already performed a rhinoplasty, forwarded me a selfie, along with a note saying that her eyebrows sagged in an unflattering way.

She included a photo of Kylie Jenner and said she wanted her eyebrows to look like Jenner’s. But she was taking her selfie from an unusually high angle.

I persuaded her to look at some standard photographs before moving forward, and she decided not to have the work done.

- Dr Daria Hamrah is a facial cosmetic surgeon at Nova Surgicare in McLean, Virginia.