We are learning more and more about people who have a “selfie” obsession. We know that people taking selfies are at greater risk of having serious, and even fatal, accidents because they are oblivious to their surroundings while they are taking pictures of themselves on streets or, say, at the edge of the Grand Canyon. We’ve also seen evidence that people who take selfies are so self-absorbed that they don’t show the decency and sensitivity you typically would expect from a fellow human being.
Now new research is indicating what seems like a pretty obvious conclusion: people who take selfies are more likely to undergo plastic surgery. The connection is even stronger if the selfies are taken with filters, or if the posters regularly take down selfie postings that they later conclude aren’t very flattering. Cosmetic surgeons are reporting that members of the selfie crowd are coming to their offices with selfies where the features have been digitally altered and asked the doctor to change their appearance to match the altered image.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise, I suppose, that people who take selfies are narcissistic and are interested in changing their appearance to try to reach their own definition of personal perfection. After all, if you spend your time constantly looking at your own pouting face, you’re bound to notice a few imperfections to be cleaned up. The selfie-obsessed also tend to compare their selfies with the countless other selfies that appear on social media feeds and find their looks wanting.
As one of the plastic surgeons quoted in the article linked above notes, that’s not healthy behavior. It’s the kind of behavior that those of us who don’t take selfies, and indeed don’t particularly like to have their photos taken at all, just can’t understand.
But we’ll have to, because the selfie epidemic seems to be getting worse, not better. Researchers estimate that 650 million selfies are posted every day on social media. That’s a lot of potential plastic surgery.