Plastic surgery is no longer predominantly used to fight signs of aging. According to annual survey results from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 64 percent of plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in cosmetic surgery procedures in patients under age 30. “The teen and young adult years are a highly impressionable time and the more consumers are inundated with celebrity images via social media, the more they want to replicate the enhanced, re-touched images that are passed off as reality,” Edwin Williams III, President of the AAFPRS, said in a press release. “We are seeing a younger demographic than ever before seeking consultations and treatments with facial plastic surgeons all over the country.” The organization credits the Kardashians and social media as major influencers in destigmatizing and glamorizing plastic surgery to a younger audience. This isn’t just a phenomenon in the United States. In November 2015, a UK cosmetic surgery brand, Transform, told the Daily Mail that they had seen a 73 percent increase in Kardashian-related surgery requests since 2007.
According to the survey, 74 percent of patients requested “natural-looking” rhinoplasty (nose jobs) and 71 percent of patients wanted eyelid surgery to look “less tired.” More than half of the surgeons surveyed noted that patients wanted cosmetic surgery to remain “competitive” in the workplace.
Women under 30, however, are not the only ones looking to Hollywood for cosmetic beauty ideals — 82 percent of plastic surgeons surveyed said that all patients, regardless of age, cited celebrities as a major influence in their treatment decisions in 2015. “The prevalence of non-invasive procedures like lasers, peels and injections are making it even more appealing for young people to dip their toe into aesthetic enhancements before aging is even a concern,” Williams says. “However, younger patients should be advised to be careful not to go overboard too soon with injections. In fact, some procedures like overly plumped lips and a frozen forehead can actually age you beyond your years.” The AAFPRS also cited deal aggregators like Groupon, which offer Botox coupons regularly, and non-clinical sites like gyms and salons which offer peels and injections, as reasons for the increased commonality of cosmetic procedures in our daily lives.
“Celebrities change their looks all the time, so which version are you trying to look like?” Plastic surgeon Terry Dubrow, MD, and star of E’s Botched told Yahoo Beauty in October 2015. In September 2015, 18-year-old Kylie Jenner finally admitted to The New York Times for getting lip fillers in her teens. I still do Juvéderm for my lips. I go to Dr. Ourian in Beverly Hills,” she said. He’s the best, and he’s super natural about it. I was going to somebody before, and it was just looking crazy.” Jenner even advised those who are interested in following in her footsteps to “go for a filler that lasts only two to four months.” While you have to go back for the treatment, you also have the option to stop, she noted — perhaps as a subtle precaution for her 40 million Instagram fans.