TORONTO – The art of picking a Facebook profile picture is a delicate one.
The photo must be flattering – taken from the right angle, from the right distance, and profile your best features accordingly. But, what if you think your nose is a bit too big, or all you can concentrate on is what you believe to be a saggy chin?
Those very thoughts are fueling the latest plastic surgery fad in India.
Dubbed the “Facebook facelift,” the trend sees young social media users going under the knife in hopes to enhance their appearance in their “selfies.”
According to a YouTube video posted by media startup Vocativ, Facebook users are undergoing everything from rhinoplasty and chin augmentations, to laser skin treatments and chemical peels, all in order to impress their Facebook friends.
“If you don’t look good on Facebook then how will you make contacts,” reads the translation of one of the women in the video.
Social media and online dating have become very popular in India; some even searching for their prospective spouses online.
“Facebook facelifts are not exactly facelifts – they are relatively minor procedures that people in their 20s and 30s get done to improve their pictures on social media,” said plastic surgeon Dr. Ajay Kashyap in the YouTube video.
One woman in the video mentions that she had a chemical peel to lighten her complexion; another woman who said she underwent laser surgery to reduce the bumps on her forehead said, “I’m getting a lot of marriage proposals since the stitch marks were fixed.”
Men, on the other hand are more likely to opt for chin augmentation surgeries.
Dr. Anip Dhir explains that this comes in handy when video chatting, because as the person talks, imperfections in their chin structure will be more obvious.
“When they realize that they need to do something to improve the qualities of the pictures, doing photoshop is not enough,” said Dr. Kashyap in the video.
India has long been considered one of the pioneers in plastic surgery.
Nose jobs, known in the medical world as rhinoplasty, were first developed in the country and many Indian surgeons have contributed to advancements in plastic surgery procedures.
“We are very much accepting of looking good through so called artificial means,” said Dr. Kashyap.
According to an article about the trend by Gulf News, young women mostly opted for nose jobs, lip injections, or brow lifts, while some men requested laser treatments to remove unwanted hair.