Lots of millennials are taking the major step of opting for plastic surgery these days. Procedures that offer fuller lips and sleek noses have become popular among celebrities like Kylie Jenner and, as a result, twentysomethings are inundated with these images. In 2015, 82 percent of members of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery cited celebrities as a major source of inspiration for their patients. So it should come as no surprise that women use them as examples for the look they hope to embody.
Overall rates for cosmetic procedures among millennials have also grown exponentially. The AAFPRS reported a staggering 64 percent spike in cosmetic surgery and injectable treatments in patients under the age of 20. In 2015, according to reports by the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 12.7 million combined surgical and nonsurgical procedures were performed in the United States. Racial and ethnic minorities accounted for 25 percent of all procedures, with Latinos making up 9.7 percent of patients.
While cosmetic procedures were once reserved for the wealthy elite, they have now become affordable for a lot of young women thanks to deal aggregation sites like Groupon. Many of the services the site offers include face lifts and body contouring treatments for just one third of the original cost. These types of procedures are now making their way into local spas and wellness centers. Potential patients are also turning to apps like Zwivel, which offer virtual cosmetic consultations with professional surgeons based on things like budget and location, making things that much more convenient. “The number of available providers, lower costs and the less-invasive nature of these procedures obviously appeal to a much broader range of patients,” said American Society of Plastic Surgeons president Dr. David H. Song.
Among the popular non-surgical procedures out there, lip injections are the most requested for millennial women. According to AAFPRS president Dr. Edwin Williams, Restylane Silk and Juvederm (forms of hyaluronic acid) made lip injections mainstream after earning FDA approval last year. Breast augmentation, rhinoplasty, and liposuction also ranked highly.
In an interview with Medscape, Williams cited social media and selfies as driving forces behind the decision to undergo plastic surgery.
“They see their photos in ways they haven't before . . . For example, a photo will be taken and posted either on Facebook or elsewhere. At that point, folks no longer have control of their photos, and it brings to light some of the things that are bothering them — for example, if someone has a poorly balanced nose or a nose that has a large bump, [and a photo taken at an unflattering angle] shows up somewhere unexpectedly.”
As gratifying as plastic surgery can be, patients do wish they could take back their decisions at times, just ask popular beauty vlogger DulceCandy, who shared her plastic surgery story almost three years ago and then last year, opened up about her regrets. In an interview with E! News, Adrienne Bailon opened up about her struggles with breast augmentation. “When I was 19 years old, I actually did get breast implants. Probably one of my greatest regrets because I went from having an insecurity that I didn't have big breasts to now looking like a porn star, and I was like, this is not great. I ended up taking them out, so now it looks like I breastfed a small village which is not so exciting," she said.
As plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures become more common than ever among millennials, it seems like the trend shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With so many options available on the market and the industry lending itself to more affordable procedures, consumers have a lot to consider. Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference, but no one should feel like they have to run out and change something about themselves in an effort to keep up with social media or celebrities. After all, beauty starts within and the best procedure a person can undergo is learning how to love themselves.