Millennials are more likely to post plastic surgery on social media

It's now common knowledge millennials are the crowned rulers of social media. 

Also known as Generation Y, the typical 18 to 34-year-old crowd has grown alongside the digital age. It's second nature for many millennials to update their lives on multiple social networks.

Social media provides a place where people can share every intimate part of their life, one post at a time. There's not much that's off-limits, from the intriguing to the mundane, even the offensive.

With so many details about people's lives floating around the internet, it's not surprising plastic surgery procedures are also openly revealed and discussed on social media.

Millennials lead the way for candid posts about plastic surgery. From posting about their surgery journey- snapping selfies in the waiting room- to showing off photos of obvious body changes, there is little shame associated with the decision to go under the knife for beauty.

Plastic surgery overall has skyrocketed in the U.S. over the past 19 years from about 1.6 million total procedures in 1997, to nearly 13 million in 2015, according to the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

The ASAPS is an organization made up of plastic surgeons certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery who focus on aesthetic surgery rather than reconstructive surgery. The group works on providing research and education on plastic surgery.

ASAPS data found Americans spent $13.5 billion on combined surgical and nonsurgical procedures in 2015. That's a $1.5 billion increase since 2014. A nonsurgical procedures refers to services such as Botox or lip fillers as opposed to breast augmentation or liposuction.

Just over the past five years, cosmetic procedures have increased 39 percent in the U.S. 

Millennials account for nearly 18 percent of all procedures done in 2015, according to the ASAPS. They may not be the age group with the most procedures done, but it's still a large group.

Although many patients still remain hushed about their plastic surgery, Dr. Daniel C. Mills, the President of the ASAPS, said sharing on social media is common inside plastic surgery centers and hospitals.

"The number of millennials willing to do that is a lot more than any age group," Mills said. "They're just used to it."

Mills explained that for millennials, it's not about whether or not to share a post about their plastic surgery, it's what social platform to post it on. 

"They're just much more open about it on social media," Mills said. "They've grown up with it."

Social media can also play a major role in encouraging or inspiring a person to surgically enhance their body. 

With nearly 78 million followers on Instagram, Kylie Jenner, famous member of the Kardashian family, is one of social media's reigning queens.

The 19-year-old launched a media frenzy in 2015, when she admitted to having lip injections to create her now sought-after lips.

There may be no proven scientific correlation between Kylie's lips and millennial plastic surgery, but according to the ASAPS, lip fillers, formally known as hyaluronic acids or collagen, saw a 27 percent increase in 2015 with more than two million procedures performed.

These filler enhancements ranked as the third most popular nonsurgical procedure for millennials in 2015, following hair laser removal and Botox, according to ASAPS data.

"It is fascinating," Mills said. "To see somebody's lips on social media and come in and say, 'I want this', even if it doesn't look natural,"

Although social media is relatively new to the world, the idea of looking to celebrities for beauty standards is an old practice, according to Mills.

"If you really think about it, that's been the trend forever." Mills said. "Before social media, there was movies."

Mills explained in the past, people would see legendary Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe and Liz Taylor, who had work done, and want to look like them.

"It used to be a secret on how you could continue to look so young, now everyone talks about it." Mills said.

Many millennials have their front-facing cameras ready for their not-so-secret beauty enhancements when going in to see a plastic surgeon, even for a basic consultation.

Dr. Wayne Yamahata is Sacramento-based board-certified plastic surgeon who sees the trend in the Capitol City.

"I'll knock on the door and find them taking selfies or in front of mirrors taking pictures with friends," Yamahata said.

Yamahata said he has patients who talk about their surgeries on Facebook, although not all of them post photos of the procedures. He also explained there are even websites allowing patients to post photos and reviews for others to read and see.

"The Millennial generation is much more open to these things," Yamahata said. "It's not something we used to see in the past but we also didn't have internet in the past."

Millennials may love to brag about their plastic surgery, but those social media posts come at a cost.

The average cost of a hyaluronic acid treatment in the U.S. is $591, according to the ASAPS. Lip fillers are temporary, meaning it isn't a one time cost.

ASAPS data shows breast augmentation was the most popular surgical cosmetic procedure for millennials in 2015. The surgery will set a patient back an average of about $4000 for silicone gel implants and $3500 for saline implants.

Copyright 2016 KXTV


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