Is "No Shame in Cosmetic Surgery" the Millennial Motto?
Being apart of a generation that is obsessed with appearance, I jumped at the chance to shine the importance of body image in a bright light. Dr. Alex Sobel, an award-winning, double board certified cosmetic surgeon, was kind enough to share his knowledge and experience with millennials undergoing plastic surgery.
The internet brings forth a certain openness in sharing that is unique to generation Y: many publicly post pictures of everything from big moments to minor mishaps, ask friends for personal advice on Facebook, and even share beauty secrets. What was once in the dark has been brought to life with the age of Google, blogging, and social media—and with a simple search query, the millennial generation can answer any of their questions, no matter how personal.
The exposure to a world of information has led to more inclusion, openness, and acceptance of behaviors and lifestyles that were once considered taboo, including cosmetic surgery.
A Focus on Body Positivity
There is a shift taking place, and it's a wonderful one: this is the generation of body positivity. The majority of millennial women are proud of who they are and how they look, and if there is a need to make a change, they do so without the fear of being shamed for it.
Body modification comes in many forms
Changing ourselves is a form of self expression—and making decisions about your own body can be incredibly empowering. How many people do you know with a piercing or a tattoo? This kind of body modification can be an individual's way of stating who they are and where they belong in the world, and it's becoming much more widely accepted in both social and professional circles.
But body modification isn't just a beautiful floral tattoo adorning a forearm or a sparkling nose jewel. Cosmetic enhancement is a form of body modification that is also being embraced by millennials. It is all about personal choice and ownership of one's body.
Increased exposure breeds greater acceptance
Access to the world wide web is merely seconds away at all times for most of us. We are constantly exposed to thoughts, opinions, and advice from not only our friends and family, but also celebrities, politicians, writers, and a new generation of philosophers. In terms of cosmetic surgery, it means that we are taking in a diverse set of opinions and personal accounts on a daily basis. This year alone, we've seen Kylie Jenner open up about lip fillers, Ariel Winter proudly and confidently display her breast reduction surgery scars, and Iggy Azalea speak in defense of the choice to have cosmetic surgery.
It's your choice alone
Perhaps the greatest change taking place with our generation and plastic surgery revolves around acceptance. The public conversations surrounding body positivity and maintaining control over one's body has had an impact; in general, we are much more open to it.
How would you want to live an what you want do with your existence is up to you. Others have no right to judge you or shame you if you want a tattoo, to dye your hair, or have plastic surgery. The choice is yours and yours alone.
Cosmetic Surgery Trends & Safety
While my practice, Anderson Sobel Cosmetic Surgery, and most other cosmetic practices are still predominantly composed of women aged 35-50, I have seen quite an increase in younger patients coming in for enhancement surgeries and preventative treatments—and I expect this trend to continue. My younger patients (those between 18-35) have always made up a large portion of my breast augmentation and Brazilian butt lift cases. However, I am seeing more and more younger faces for BOTOX injections, lip enhancement, and non-surgical skin treatments.
Aside from being more open and willing to pursue improvement or enhancement, millennials also seem to have another thing in common: preparedness.My younger patients often show up to their very first consultation with a surprisingly in-depth understanding of their options and what to expect. While nothing can replace the advice of a physician, it's wonderful that patients have access to such an incredible amount of information online.
Making safe choices
The best advice I can give to the newest generation of cosmetic surgery patients is to remember how important it is to take time to choose the right surgeon. Not only do you want to ensure your surgeon has the skill necessary to provide you with beautiful results, you also need to place your safety in the hands of someone with the right experience.
As cosmetic surgery becomes more prevalent and accepted, it's important that we don't lose sight of the fact that it is surgery and it is serious. Be sure to choose a surgeon who is board certified by an established organization like the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery and who has experience performing your procedure of interest.
I am thrilled to see this growing acceptance of cosmetic surgery. People are supporting each other instead of tearing each other down. The openness is truly inspiring.
What do you think of millennials choosing cosmetic surgery? Let us know in the comment section!
About Dr. Sobel: Dr. Alexander Sobel is a double board certified surgeon in cosmetic surgery and Otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery who has performed thousands of cosmetic procedures. He has been helping patients in Bellevue and Seattle feel and look their very best for years and is well-known for his exceptional bedside manner and natural-looking results.