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.
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.