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Sunday, September 26, 2021

People are taking a cut in 2020

The plastic surgery “Zoom boom” we least expected from COVID-19

Since the pandemic has started, there has been an increase in washing hands rigorously, eating healthier, purchasing exercise equipment and taking an interest in skin care. The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen an increased interest in plastic surgeries. People have been spending more time looking at themselves through a screen—in not the most ideal lighting—and realizing wrinkles, lines and texture that they often didn’t have the time to notice or address.

COVID-19 has given people the dangerous opportunity of too much time spent at home and inside. As people spend more time inside and on their phones scrolling through various social media platforms, personal insecurities are also likely to increase. A Huffington Post poll revealed that 60% of people who partake in social media platforms have reported that it has negatively affected their self-esteem. Fifty-one percent of participants say that social media increased insecurities about their appearance. 

As people spend more time consuming images of extremely edited, photoshopped and idealized images, insecurity increases. We begin to wonder why our faces are not perfectly symmetrical, why our stomachs aren’t as flat as an ironing board or why our skin has so many pores. It is not shocking that a plastic surgery “Zoom boom” happened after months of looking at ourselves through a screen, nitpicking every insecurity or flaw we don’t like. Since the pandemic, doctors all around the world—the U.S., Australia, the UK, South Korea and Japan—have all had an increase in bookings for both surgical and non-surgical treatments.

A survey conducted in June of 2020 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) of more than 1000 participants revealed that 49% of people who previously hadn’t had plastic surgery were interested in some form of cosmetic or dermatologic treatment. Twenty-nine percent of respondents indicated a preference for face lifts, rhinoplasties and breast augmentations. 

Another ASPS survey also showed that while plastic surgeon offices were closed, plastic surgeons continued to make use of telemedicine and virtual visits. The survey showed that the most asked for procedures  were botulinum toxin A (botox), breast augmentation, soft tissue fillers, liposuction and abdominoplasty.

Plastic surgeries like rhinoplasties usually require three to six weeks of healing time. A face lift requires at least two to three weeks for the swelling to subside. A breast augmentation takes an average of six weeks of healing time.

Most of the time the social stigma behind plastic surgery is that showing one’s swelling or bruising face to the world can be a deterrent. People prefer to keep the work they have done private. 

Limited exposure to the outside world and working from home provides people interested in any form of enhancement ample time to recover from going under the knife without ever having to let anyone know. Masks also let people hide what they don’t want the world to see and if someone has nipped or tucked something, it’s even easier to conceal. 

As we become older, some of us are able to accept and celebrate our insecurities and some of us may want to change them. Aging and beauty is subjective and forever changing in its standards. Modern medicine and plastic surgery exists not to just fan the flames of vanity but to actually give us the option to change what we do not like and be happy in the skin we live in, something many have taken advantage of in the appealing circumstances of the pandemic. 
Written by: Muhammad Tariq — arts@theaggie.org

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