Social Media Dysmorphia & Plastic Surgery After WLS 3

Social Media Dysmorphia & Plastic Surgery After WLS

February 12, 2020

There are a variety of different perspectives and stereotypes associated with plastic surgery, both positive and negative, that have evolved over the past decade. It used to be something kept secret and had an enormous amount of shame stigma associated with it. However, once the Hollywood elite began revealing their surgical procedures, it caught on like wildfire, and now your everyday PTA mom is having a full body makeover done over the summer break. Make sure to be savvy when it comes to falling for the social media dysmorphia & plastic surgery after WLS!

Combat Social Media Dysmorphia

Information to Consider When Researching a Plastic Surgeon

Goals and philosophy: As you research plastic surgeons after weight loss surgery, find out what the surgeon's goals and philosophy are for their patients. As an example, at our plastic surgery center, we believe that plastic surgery is the empowerment of our patients’ self-expression, help them to achieve their goals, have the results they want.

Beautiful results: Many patients researching a plastic surgeon have their unique goals and their idea of what is beautiful to them. As you interview plastic surgeons, make sure you don’t feel judged and ask to see their results. Not every plastic surgeon has an artistic eye for providing the outcome patients hope to have.

Realistic expectations: One of the most significant factors is being able to deliver a patient’s ideal result, while still giving them clear expectations of how plastic surgery can realistically help to achieve those results. In a consultation with a plastic surgeon, make sure that you’re on the same page with your plastic surgeon. Check to see if the point you’re at in your weight loss is a good time for plastic surgery or if the plastic surgeon believes it isn’t in your best interests to have plastic surgery, either physically or mentally.

A caring plastic surgeon will tell you what you can expect and if plastic surgery is the right avenue for you.

One of the most concerning issues that I see in patients is if they low self-esteem, self-worth, or a skewed view of themselves. This leads to unrealistic expectations of what plastic surgery can do for them. Unfortunately, due to social media, patients can have a body dysmorphic idea of plastic surgery. Remember, what you see on social media is often not real.

Social Media Dysmorphia

Social media has fueled unrealistic expectations. Because of the widespread use of Photoshop, Facetuning, filters, and even tricks of the trade like perfect posing and only featuring the highlights of people’s lives, people don't have an accurate depiction of the results. People are now comparing their average days and beautifully flawed bodies to these fake airbrushed snapshots of stranger’s lives.

Another factor of social media is that it has given us the ability to connect with our favorite celebrities and follow their daily lives to the point that we feel like we know them. Unfortunately, we are also now comparing ourselves to the richest people in the world. These people usually have an entire glam squad, personal chef, fitness trainer, and social media team to make them appear flawless. In reality, they’re just people too.

Social media apps have caught on to this dangerous desire to be flawless in the hopes of keeping up with the status quo of beauty and have created filters to instantly make your photos and videos look like an “Instagram Baddie.”

Social Media Has Altered The Perspective Of What Is Sexy

Sex has been used as a tool for marketing since the beginning of time; however, social media has altered the perspective of what is sexy. The “Instagram Baddie” is a look that young people are striving for now. It consists of airbrushed skin, huge eyes, big lips, a tiny nose, a snatched waist, and voluptuous curves.

In one swipe of your screen and a few Facetuning edits, you are now transformed into society’s status of beauty. It’s all fun and games until the filter comes off, and you no longer see your real face and body as beautiful.

We are now creating these looks through the power of technology that is not attainable in reality. This leads to a very scary issue of not being able to achieve happiness anymore. Though plastic surgery can be a great tool in reclaiming one’s confidence, it is not magic that can deliver the fabricated results that you see on many of your favorite influencers' pages.

The Unhealthy Need for Photoshopped Bodies

These unrealistic expectations and the unhealthy need for photoshopped bodies is leading people to take extreme measures such as going overseas to receive plastic surgery from unqualified doctors. Unfortunately, many of the famous Instagram doctors are promoting unethical practices by also Photoshopping their results to drive business.

It is critical that you do your research and see a board-certified plastic surgeon that follows safe guidelines and post real results. Usually, when it looks too good to be true, it is.

There is hope moving forward. Plastic surgeons and the community are now starting to realize this epidemic of social media through sources such as Instagram versus reality comparison photos that people are featuring. Since the consumers drive what they want to see, Instagram is following their lead by creating age restrictions on certain pages and taking steps in removing the use of filters.

New body positive pages featuring unedited photos are popping up every day, and now celebrities are even speaking out against being Photoshopped on the covers of magazines. Society is now demanding that the curtain is pulled back to prevent from unattainable results and entering into a more authentic world with healthier views of beauty.

As you consider plastic surgeons, check out their thoughts on social media posts that push unachievable results and unsafe practices. Ultimately, it is your body and the results that are realistic for you.

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Matthew Nykiel


Dr. Matthew Nykiel is one of a handful of surgeons who completed a Cosmetic Fellowship. His cosmetic fellowship is prestigious because it is endorsed by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAP). Dr. Nykiel was previously a member of the Stanford University Plastic Surgery Faculty & is Stanford University Alumni. Dr. Matthew Nykiel is most often recognized as a member of the Dr. Miami Squad. He has been a member of the squad since 2017 and makes appearances on his shows/snaps. Dr. Nykiel operates Butts By Design® in Newport Beach & Upland, CA.