Best Cosmetic Surgeons

Transgender Surgery Shows Increasing Trend.

Transgender surgery is a topic we have covered regularly in this blog.  Today we look at a very interesting study from Germany on the quality of life (QoL) experienced by transgender patients after their operations.  We also examine the latest trends in transgender surgery around the world.


Scientists have developed a transgender-specific questionnaire, which confirms for the first time that gender surgery substantially improves lifestyle for the majority of patients. The report shows that 80% of male-to-female clients perceived themselves as females post-surgery. However, the quality of life of transgender people is still noticeably less than the general population.

Many transgender individuals request gender reassignment surgery, but formerly there only existed information on overall aspects of health-related quality of life (QoL) and non-validated surveys about the improvement of QoL. A team at the university hospital in Essen, Germany, led by Dr. Jochen Hess, followed 156 patients for an average of more than 6 years following surgery. They established and confirmed the new Essen Transgender Quality of Life Inventory, which is the first methodology to specifically consider transgender QoL.

They found that there was a high overall level of satisfaction with the outcomes of surgery. When comparing the QoL of the last four weeks with the QoL during the time of publicly identifying as transgendered there was a highly significant rise on all subscales of the ETL as well as for the global score indicating a large improvement of QoL in the course of the transitioning process.

Increasing awareness about transgender problems will influence sex reassignment surgery market forecast globally, along with positive government regulations associated with gender transition. Broadening patient universe with an inclination towards transforming sex from female to male and vice-versa will result in raising the amount of sex reassignment procedures.

Over the past few years, the number of such patients has escalated nearly four times. For instance, as per the recent data by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in excess of 3,000 trans masculine and trans feminine surgeries were conducted in 2016. The rise in the number of gender transition procedures will boost industry growth in the coming years. Sex reassignment surgery market size is forecast to surpass USD 1.5 billion in value by 2026 globally.

Increased number of resources and availability of gender reassignment surgical centres is attracting more transgender population to undergo the knife. As per a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, gender reassignment surgery lowers the risk of anxiety, depression or suicidal behaviour in transgenders along with imparting long term mental health benefits to them. Rising knowledge pertaining to solutions for transgender issues will encourage sex reassignment surgeries.


Enhanced number of useful resources and accessibility of gender reassignment medical centres is drawing in more transgender population to undergo the scalpel. According to a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, gender reassignment surgery reduces the threat of stress and anxiety, depression or suicidal behaviour in transgenders along with imparting long term mental health gains to them. Rising expertise pertaining to solutions for transgender issues will encourage sex reassignment surgeries.

Basing on to recent research studies, the quantity of gender confirmation surgeries from male to female is 3 times more than female to male surgeries. In 2019, male to female sex reassignment surgery represented revenue of over USD 184.6 million. The growth can be attributed to the rise in medical insurance coverage for male to female fender reassignment procedures along with the accessibility of expert viewpoints on the medical necessity of gender transition.

Increasing the effectiveness of gender transition surgeries is encouraging more community with gender issues to opt for these solutions. The female to male surgeries is divided into chest, genital and facial, operations. The genital surgery encompasses the surgical procedures like phalloplasty and hysterectomy that aids in transitioning female genitals into male genitals.

Male to female surgeries are bifurcated into breast, genital and facial procedures. The genital surgery is further divided into orchiectomy, vaginoplasty and phallectomy. These surgeries are carried out for restructuring the male genitals into female genitals by altering function as well as appearance.

So we hope that when the world has passed through the heavy restrictions of COVID-19 and medical tourism can restart that the transgender community will be able to profit from government encouragement and increasing medical expertise..

‘Rich Family Face’ is Latest Trend As ‘Family Outing’ Takes New Meaning.

rich family face
Hey, let's all get redrawn!!!

When Dr Andrew Jacono speaks, the cosmetic surgery world listens.   Jacono has star quality and has been the ‘face of the facelift ‘ for some time now.  This is the man who gave us the ‘Park Avenue Face' which is a more geographically defined version of the ‘rich girls' face‘ and the title of one of his best selling books.  So when Jacono points to a trend in cosmetic surgery,  – the ‘Rich Family' Face pundits like myself sit up and take note.

Dr jacono sees a trend with rich family face
Dr Andrew Jacono

Talking to Town and Country magazine recently, Dr Jacono talks about cosmetic surgery in the family context. Indeed, making the decision to have plastic or cosmetic surgery is life-changing. Whether you’re receiving plastic surgery out of medical necessity or you want to improve the way that you look or feel, there’s a chance that your life will be significantly different after you have fully recovered.

Pursuing surgery is not an easy choice, and you may feel the need to consult with other people in your life to help ensure that you are making the right decision.  This makes sense but Jacono sees it going a stage further.  He notes a trend where family members are going ‘en famille' to cosmetic surgery consultations like a group outing to the stores or the opera.

In the interview, Jacono says “Next week I’m doing a husband, a wife, and a daughter on the same day. The husband and wife are getting their face-lifts done, and the daughter is getting a rhinoplasty. I have another case coming up that’s a grandmother, a mother, and a daughter. The grandmother and mother are getting face-lifts, and the daughter, who is in her early forties, is getting her eyelids done.”  This is the ‘rich family face' in all its glory.

I have, myself known of overweight siblings (brother/sister) who have gone on slimming spas together and had used the same liposuction surgeon, but this seems to be a whole new ball game.   There is, apparently a lot about support from within the family that somehow helps recovery and strengthens family bonds.

” Support from a relative going through the same thing can make recovery easier, “People are happier because they have encouragement along the way”

Jacono  recounts that he did twin sisters’ noses, and even in the recovery room I could hear them talking through the curtain, saying, ‘You’re amazing, you did a great job.’ It was sweet.”

One can hear the conversation over Xmas dinner this year when the Vuitton face masks have been set aside.  How discussing family resemblances will focus on the delicate rhinoplasty surgery or the brow lift which might yet define a dynasty.

The only such topic at my family Xmas dinner will be who gets the ‘Parson's nose' but then we are not Park Avenue royalty.





Social Influencers & Cosmetic Surgery – Scary Video.

The all-pervasive influence of Instagram on the cosmetic surgery market is a subject I return to time and time again.    It bears repeating, social media is not your best medical opinion.  Just because a social influencer on a  TV show jetted off to Istanbul for a promotional boob job or a blast or two of botox, does not mean it is the best option for you.  Especially if you are only 18 and feeling confused and insecure.

Having a breast implant is not like going to the dentist for a hygiene appointment or for a Mani and Pedi at the local spa.  And having a casual BBL is crazy.  The Brazilian Butt Lift is potentially the most dangerous cosmetic surgery you can do since it runs the risk of serious blood clots and other unexpected side effects.   But please don't believe me.  have a look at this really good report from Channel 4 News which exposes the results of cheap plastic surgery done by wannabe social  influencers to build their ‘future.'


As more and more young people turn to social media as a way of making money in an uncertain world, health experts have warned of a rise in body dysmorphia and cosmetic surgery, including some highly risky operations.

There are some disturbing images in this report.   It might just be a Halloween post for us but for many young women, it is a nightmare that does not end on November first.   There is an addictive edge to this influencer surgery and as with any addiction you always need more to keep the buzz going.

It might just start with a filter from the app store, carefully adding fake lashes to your selfie, or smoothing out the frown lines in some rosy, flattering light. But the life of a would-be influencer is not all that its airbrushed perfection would appear. But this is just ‘gateway tweaking' – later many Insta-famous wannabes' are doing it for real.

Maybe the next surgery will get my followers up to 100k?  Wow!  What will I need to do to get 500k?  Maybe I could Vlog my 18-year-old vagina being ‘revitalised'?  Why not have height extensions put in my young legs because 5'9″ is better than 5'5″?   I can have it all videoed and the surgeon will give me an ‘influencer' discount.

surgery for social influencers

Maybe the wheelchair from the airport isn't a ‘good look' but it worked for Katie Price recently so maybe I could also fly home from Istanbul in a wheelchair and get some coverage?  The thought of that fame and the sponsorship money is so seductive, your body is your canvas, your work of art and potentially your magic money tree.

I do not wish to rant but just because a clinic will give you free or discounted surgery it does not necessarily mean it is a good choice.  We support carefully considered, professionally performed surgery – of course, we do – but many senior UK consultants tell me that they are forever fixing shoddy, dangerous surgery on impressionable young women who dreamt of being social influencers but ended up bitterly disappointed and scarred for life.

Dolly Parton 75th Birthday Makeover – Watch Out Jolene!!!

Dolly parton

I never understood why Dolly was so worried about Jolene ‘stealing her man.'  Dolly Parton is a fabulous creation and with her planned 75th birthday makeover she is going to tower over the Jolenes of this world.

According to the Globe, Dolly Parton is planning to “splurge” on a “$2 million” plastic surgery makeover in anticipation of her 75th birthday in January. Sources for the outlet insist Parton “intends to wow the world with her new younger look” as she promotes her new Christmas album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, as well as her new Netflix flick, Dolly Parton’s Christmas On The Square, which will air late in November. A source tells the outlet,

Dolly is no stranger to the surgeon's scalpel. She has had a whole range of tweaks and surgeries over her glorious career.

Her surgeon  Dr. John Grossman has said: “She has a generous bosom, which I augmented some years ago.

“She’s had her face rejuvenated on a number of occasions, [but] not a full face- lift.”

Dolly has opened up about the inspiration behind her striking look.

Dolly told CBS Sunday Morning in September: “It is true that I look artificial, but I believe that I'm totally real.

This is a from a woman who famously said: “it costs a lot of money to look this cheap”.

During a round of quick-fire questions, she joked about her breasts after being asked: “Are they real?”

The singer retorted: “They're real expensive. They're real big.”

She told The Guardian in a 2011 interview: “If something is bagging, sagging or dragging, I'll tuck it, suck it or pluck it.”

But Dolly Parton is unique in that she can get away with all the bling and surgical modifications.  It is rarely mentioned but Dolly also had her eyelids tweaked.  the package though is blingy, camp and totally credible. As Dolly told CBS Sunday Morning in September: “It is true that I look artificial, but I believe that I'm totally real. ”   Your 75th birthday is going to quite an event! BestCosmeticsurgeons salutes you!


K-Pop and Cosmetic Surgery a Symbiotic Success Story

Over the previous twenty years, the lifestyle and visual appeals of Korean music heroes and television actors have become more and more popular around the world. The K-pop talent pool has been generating picture-perfect boy bands and porcelain princesses since the 1990s. And it's still going strong going by the popularity of bands like BTS and Blackpink and SixBomb. K-Pop and cosmetic surgery have long been entwined in this cultural explosion.

In a pair of videos called “Getting Pretty Before” and “Getting Pretty After,” members of the K-pop group SixBomb giddily went for manicures between appointments at a plastic surgeon, where their faces were prodded and poked.
“Getting Pretty After” presented them wearing pink bodysuits in an operating room, prancing out later with changed faces.

The SixBomb girls show us how it's done. 

Check out the results!! And love the choreography.!!❤️❤️👍👍

With Hallyu (Korean Wave) becoming more well-known, it's not surprising that it's not only the Korean-Americans who are loving this trend. The energy of the Korean Wave has moved outside Asia and has acquired a deep grip in public awareness in the United States, Australia and to a lesser extent in the UK. This is amongst enthusiasts of different ages, genders, and ethnic cultures.

So what is the K-pop look?   It can be summarised as doe-eyed with delicate features. A crisp jawline and willowy body. Fair skin so translucent it practically shines. A challenge for the fans of K-Pop and cosmetic surgery.

With many South Korean pop heroes meeting that description in their sleekly produced pop videos, their mass attraction has many of the country's young persons desiring to look just like them.

But in an attempt to reduce their effect in a beauty-obsessed country where cosmetic surgery is rampant, South Korea's authorities are trying to limit the superstars' visibility on television, saying they look too much alike.

“Are all the singers on television music programs twins?” the Ministry of Gender Equality and Family wrote about the stars of K-pop, as their music is known, in broadcast guidelines released this month, according to The Korea Times.

Nearly a third of South Korean women have undertaken aesthetic surgery between the ages of 19 and 29, a Gallup Korea poll has found– a trend that echoes the narrow aesthetics standards exemplified by K-pop stars.

Some South Koreans have candidly celebrated having cosmetic surgery, chronicling their physical transformations as a rite of passage. So it seems that K-Pop and cosmetic surgery are an integral part of Korean teen life.

So what are the procedures to achieve the K-Pop and cosmetic surgery look?

k-pop and cosmetic surgery

Double eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty, better known as “double eyelid surgery,” is one of, if not the, most popular Korean cosmetic surgery. It is also very controversial. It involves reshaping the skin surrounding the eye so that a crease is created. Recipients have been accused of undergoing this procedure to look more “Western”.

Many female K-Pop stars really like the extra makeup potential this extra skin provides. It is a signature operation to the world of K-Pop.

The Oval Look

Shifting from the Euro-centric look comes the “oval face” craze. This aesthetic is distinct to Korean culture and lauded by K-pop fans. While everyone wants a slimmer appearance, this look kicks it up a notch. To achieve this look, surgeons shave down the patient’s chin to create a pointy, elfin-eared effect. This procedure is known as “v-line” surgery. Face contouring is a boom area in Korean cosmetic surgeryOur in-depth article explains the risks involved to get that ‘look'.

Anime Inspiration

Anime is a big attraction because of its freedom of expression and imagination. It provides a realm in which the consumer can escape Korea’s fast-paced lifestyle. Along with the pointed jawlines earlier mentioned, its characters are known for their dainty, high noses. Both fans and celebrities often undergo precise rhinoplasties to obtain this look. The closer one resembles these dream-like characters, perhaps the closer one is to live in their dream worlds.  Never has there been so much synergy as between K-Pop and cosmetic surgery


Lip Threading – Making your Cupid’s Bow a Thing of Beauty.


Lip filler is one of the most-searched terms on the internet since many of us are exploring ways to make our lips appear bigger on a semi-permanent basis. But it looks like there might be a new lip-enhancing procedure sweeping cosmetic clinics in the form of lip threading.  So what is this trending treatment all about?

Lip threading is also referred to a lip thread lift. This non-surgical procedure uses small dissolvable threads to level out fine lines around your mouth and increase collagen production.

lip threading
Pic Credit Flawless Medical Spa Instagram

Lip threading consists of passing “threads” through the skin to accentuate the outer edge of the lips, mainly the Cupid's bow, making lips appear more defined — unlike regular fillers, which plump the area from within.

Lip threading appeals to people who want a natural look, instead than the classic ‘pouty' look that lip fillers give.

Upper lip threading method

The process takes around 30 minutes: 15 minutes to get the area numb and 15 minutes for the procedure itself. Here's how the procedure is done:

Your cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist will make a small puncture hole at the corner of your mouth, flush with your lip line. Using a cannula (a thin tube) that's prepackaged with a thin thread, your doctor will insert the thread. The thread may also be prepackaged in a needle with a point, which would remove the need to create a puncture hole at all.

Your surgeon will then repeat this procedure on the other side of your upper lip. After each thread is placed, its end will be trimmed with a surgical scissor if there's any excess thread beyond the insertion site.

If you wish to get extra height or volume, more threads could be added. This is done by placing an already threaded cannula through the original puncture site or by making extra punctures with pointed-tip needles prepackaged with threads.

The final look you hope to achieve and the sort of thread used will determine whether this is a one-off treatment or something that you will need to book extra sessions for.

Lip threading – what are the advantages?

Lip threading provides a more natural look compared to the pouty and plump effect achieved with fillers.

This non-surgical procedure also stimulates collagen production around your lip area, which may reduce wrinkling in the future.  The advantages of collagen production are disputed by quite a few aesthetic surgeons (see below).

Is lip threading truly safe?

As with most cosmetic procedures, the safety and security of a lip thread lift will be largely determined by the expertise of your service provider. Because of that, it's imperative you use only a fully qualified cosmetic surgeon or dermatologist to carry out the procedure.  This is not suitable for doing at a local ‘pop up' spa.

lip threads
Dr Esho a leading cosmetic surgeon.

The well known UK surgeon Dr Esho says in an interview, “This is a medical procedure and all medical procedures will carry risk, but within the correct, experienced medical professional's hands, this can be a safe procedure,” he says. “I pioneered something known as the ‘Cupid’s bow lift,' where small threads are used to lift and define the Cupid’s bow.”

If the procedure isn't done properly, your lips may appear lopsided. You may also see visible threads after the procedure is complete. Scarring may also result.

There are, however, 2 sides to the story.  Some cosmetic surgeons are unconvinced by the threading procedure.  According to a leading plastic surgeon, Dr. Ben Talei, lip threading is a substantial “don’t-do” procedure.  saying that lip threading is an old process that fell out of favour years ago but has been re-introduced with the advent of dissolvable threads.  As for the collagen production argument, Dr Talel says ”  Patients are forming fibrosis, which is a type of scarring where type I and type III collagen are interchanged in a very negative way. ”

More common side effects of lip threading include:.

A temporary pulling or tugging sensation while smiling, eating, or talking.
minor swelling or bruising. Also slight asymmetry due to swelling, which should subside within 2 weeks.

How much does lip threading cost?

Lip threading costs are largely determined by how many threads are used and where you live. In general, you should expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,500 for one to three lip threading sessions.

You do, however, have to consider the pros and cons of lip threading and whether it will work better for you than fillers.   This is something that you need to discuss with your surgeon since I am not qualified to give a medical opinion.



Non-Surgical BBL is Trending – Sculptra Moves From Face to Butt.

Non Surgical Bbl Is Trending Sculptra Moves From Face To Butt

For women seeking a perfectly formed, full voluptuous butt the BBL has been the goto procedure for some years now. But along with the increased number of women choosing this surgery, there has been a significant number of women getting unwelcome side effects.

In a standard surgical BBL, fat is harvested with gentle liposuction from another area of your body with excess, such as love handles, thighs, waist, or back. Once harvested, it is purified, and the fat cells carefully injected at various levels into your buttocks to create a rounder, more voluptuous bottom.

Unfortunately, Injecting fat into the buttock can easily lead to serious problems if done incorrectly. These include a fat embolism when fat enters the bloodstream and blocks a blood vessel. In the lungs, for example, it blocks oxygen from entering the bloodstream, while in the brain it can cause a stroke – both can be fatal.

The volume of fat is also important. Most surgeons consider 300ml – slightly less than a can of Coke – to be a safe amount. However, some more experienced surgeons use a much larger volume of fat that may be measured in litres.  If it is performed correctly and all goes fine with the patient then the results can be quite spectacular and add a sexy sway to your body.

But with the risks inherent in the traditional procedures clinics have been promoting other options.

Surgical BBL

In a surgical butt lift, silicone implants are placed in the buttocks to create more volume. Some slimmer, fit patients do not have sufficient excess fat to harvest and will require implants to create a more attractive butt.

Non-Surgical BBL

A non-surgical butt lift is another option available in the market place. Basically, It involves adding volume and lift to the buttocks with dermal fillers.

BBLThe main providers of these fillers are  Sculptra, which is a  poly L-lactic acid that boosts your rear by stimulating your body’s own collagen production. Other fillers can also be used for this procedure, but Sculptra is usually best suited for buttock augmentation because you can get a fairly significant augmentation without actually using much of the product.  This treatment involves the use of Sculptra injections at targeted areas under the skin. This thickens the skin and stimulates deep collagen growth, resulting in a firmer feeling and more voluptuous buttocks. Sculptra started its therapeutic life at the other end of the body to plump out the face.  As far as I know, the FDA has yet to approve Sculptra for regions other than the face  but surgeons are certainly using it for non-surgical BBL.

So how much does a Scultra-style BBL cost?

A minor butt lift will take four vials of Sculptra. To see more dramatic results, you'll need more of the ingredient. That puts the average range for this procedure between $4,000 and $7,000. This is way cheaper than a traditional BBL and removes many of the accompanying risks.  On the other hand it is not a permanent fix.  Most patients enjoy the results of a Sculptra non-surgical BBL for up to two years, though some have reported benefits that last much longer. Touch-up injections will most likely be required to prolong the effects of your treatment.

And unlike any surgical procedure, the non-surgical butt lift doesn’t really have downtime. You might get a little sore but that’s it. Apart from heavy Gym workouts, you can return to normal active life pretty much immediately.  This is a ‘trending procedure' this autumn.


Cosmetic Surgery and Happiness , Our Pixellated Lives.


A passage from Matt Haig’s memoir ‘Reasons to Stay Alive‘ got me thinking this morning. “The world is increasingly designed to depress us. Happiness isn’t very good for the economy. If we were happy with what we had, why would we need more?”

cosmetic surgery covid

How do advertising agencies sell an anti-ageing moisturizer? They make their target audience worry about ageing. How do you get people to vote for a political party? You make them worry about immigration. How do you get them to buy insurance? By making them worry about everything that could possibly go wrong. How do you get them to have cosmetic surgery? By highlighting their physical flaws. How do you get them to watch a TV show? By making them worry about missing out. How do you get them to buy a new smartphone? By making them feel like they are being left behind in the technology stakes.

“To be calm becomes a kind of revolutionary act. To be happy with your own non-upgraded existence. To be comfortable with our messy, human selves, would not be good for business.”

So it is with our world of cosmetic surgery enhancement. Having our physical flaws pointed out to us is the strongest marketing tool out there.  And, to have those flaws remarked on by your peer group, whether at college or in the office set down a call for action. The COVID pandemic has brought this to the foreground in our lives.  Previously it was only celebrities and people with a public persona who felt a daily need to look at their best.  Now we are all TV stars on our Zoom meetings and Facetime chats.

Whilst we can filter our static Instagram images and Facebook profile pics we are in the full glare of the camera when we are out there on Zoom or facetime.  We are pixellated every week of our working life and the young generation are pixellated on their distance learning courses.

pixellated life

Imagine you are an 18-year-old student just starting in university and you are locked down in your student room.   The first time most of your fellow students will meet you is in a virtual lecture space rather than over a casual drink at a ‘freshers' evening.   How insecure will that make you feel?  So, stuck in your lonely student room with just your laptop for company you are subjected to perfectly curated images of women of your generation who have sculpted their faces and torsos to Photoshop perfection.   Their youthful faces are not stuck in some kind of weird ‘Botox freeze'  that your parents joked about.  No, they look like you, just better Implicit in many of the postings is the subliminal message that this could be you.

Not only can you enjoy pain-free, uncomplicated cosmetic tweaks you can finance them with low-cost loans.

Rather than obsessing over what we perceive as flaws, maybe for once, we could appreciate the wrinkle or the grey hair that we see on our Zoom screens. It's a revolutionary act to notice those tiny moments of beauty so we can stop stuffing the pockets of beauty brands and plastic surgeons and those pesky social influencersCosmetic surgery and happiness – is this an oxymoron?  Can cosmetic surgery bring real happiness or are we just chasing a marketeer's dream? Which is, after all, a pretty revolutionary thought from a cosmetic surgery site.

Influencer James Charles Talks About Cosmetic Surgery With Naomi Campbell.

james charles
Influencer James Charles Talks About Cosmetic Surgery With Naomi Campbell


All the cosmetic surgery celebrity chat this week is about the new look Khloe Kardashian and the endlessly attention-seeking Katie Price with her ‘deformed boobs' and her vow to keep going forever on her cosmetic surgery ‘journey.    As Katie Price explained to the UK media  ‘Last year I had my boobs done abroad and basically one of my boobs looked deformed so yet again I went back to the B Clinic, Dr Plovier. ‘And don’t know why I went anywhere else when he’s done an amazing job before on my boobs and he’s the one who looked after me during my Big Brother stint so he’s rectified it and my boobs look absolutely amazing now.’

Well, Katie, whilst we are all relieved that your boobs are all happy and perky again I preferred watching Naomi Campbell's quality interview with James Charles on her ‘No Filter‘ Youtube channel.

James Charles talked all things plastic surgery in a revealing new interview with supermodel Naomi Campbell. The makeup mogul sat down with the OG model for a virtual chat on her YouTube channel on October 6 and revealed just how much cosmetic work he’s had done to his face. “I have lip filler. I have Botox. I’m very open about it,” the YouTuber began. “I don’t have too much of it, but for me, my dad has literally the worst forehead wrinkles you could literally imagine on anybody ever. So for me, my Botox was very much just preventative, because my dad and I have a very, very similar face.”

James Charles is everything an influencer should be, interesting, chatty and physically captivating.   That he could equal if not ‘outshine' Naomi is a trick that would be beyond most other Youtubers or Instagrammers.

The beauty guru, who is no stranger to scandal, made headlines when he underwent two surgeries in May. He joked that he got an “ass reduction,” but later shot down the rumours, tweeting, “it has come to my attention that people actually believed that my surgery yesterday was an ass reduction…. baby… I would never get rid of this thicker than a snicker juicy caboose.” Cool comment from a cool celeb.




Digital Wellbeing Lab. Google Promotes a Healthier Relationship With Our Selfies.



Selfies and google

When you take a selfie you may be one of the millions of people that then go on to edit your face; high cheekbones, bright eyes and clear skin are all edits that you can perform with one of the many facial edits apps available today. However, this desire to look ‘better’ is causing repeated and significant harm to people who feel that they do not measure up. The good news is that Google and its digital wellbeing lab is trying to do something about it!

The Google Digital Wellbeing Lab

Google recognises that we often use our phones in a way that is detrimental to our health and wellbeing and has set up their Digital Wellbeing Lab to help us develop a healthier relationship with our tech. One of the latest things to come out of the lab is a new way to use selfies, and they are updating their phones to reflect these exciting changes.

This project has been in the pipeline now since 2019 after a shocking report shared that more than 70% of people sought cosmetic procedures to change their look so that they could produce better-looking selfies. This percentage had risen by a massive 15% in just one year!

The Selfie Conundrum

In the vast majority of countries, selfies are used as a form of self-expression, and people use editing tools to help show themselves in a way that they feel is acceptable. Sadly, many young people explain that they have suffered at the hands of bullies because of the way they look in their photos, leaving more of us feeling concerned at the effect of selfies on the mental health of others.

What Has Google Done To Selfies?

digital wellbeing

By producing new guidelines, Google aims to help people enjoy a healthier relationship with their selfies. Firstly, they have made it an expectation that all retouching options should be turned off as a matter f course, with users needing to activate them to be able to use them.

Next, they have removed any instances where there is language or icons that refer to a judgment of your looks. For example, by removing terms such as ‘slimming’, ‘correction’ and more, they hope to help users to have a healthier outlook. To replace these judgmental terms, they have replaced them all with a single ‘face retouching’ term. They have also taken away any filters that refer to them as being natural and switched them up to be called ‘subtle’.

When it came to considering the iconography that was being used, Google has made changes to reflect their new ethos. The new icons provide a more technical look, with users being reminded that they are accessing tools to change their looks in comparison to the old version that hinted at a promise to look better if you press the button.

What About Other Companies?

These new guidelines are only in use by Google, and they hope that others will take their lead and amend their policies accordingly. To date only Snap has taken the changes and offered their own version; they will not ever add a filter when you first enter the app, and they have also worked to change the language choices they use so that people are not being told that their tools will beautify them.

Whether or not other companies will heed this action remains to be seen. Still, when you consider that more than two-thirds of all photos taken on smart devices use the front camera, then you begin to really gain an insight into the magnitude of the problem.

Do These Changes Go Far Enough?

Many critics feel that these changes are just paying lip service to concerns about how much pressure people feel to look good and suggest that the real answer is to remove the ability to edit photos in this way. Google’s response to this demand is that it is not appropriate for them to remove people’s choice in using the different functions available. They see their role as being a neutral bystander that does not actively encourage you to change the way you look.

The Final Say

In a world that is consumed by the relationship with technology and portraying the best version of yourself through social media, we are left wondering whether the changes go far enough to support a real change in the wellbeing of users all over the world?

While this step is a welcome move by Google and its digital wellbeing initiative, the reality appears to be that it is not enough to provide a meaningful change and that to achieve that, we all need to join in an honest conversation about the pitfalls of being able to change the way we look on a screen.