Blame it on the Internet, tabloids or TV—consumers are more obsessed than ever with celebrities. We are constantly bombarded with celebrity images that have been photoshopped to perfection, and as a result, more consumers want to look like their celebrity crushes. The annual survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) shows that 13% of facial plastic surgeons surveyed saw an increase in requests for celebrity procedures in 2014, up from 3% in 2013 and 7% in 2012.
The annual survey goes out to a select group of the organization’s 2,500 members to uncover the latest trends in facial plastic surgery. So who was most wanted in 2014? Angelina Jolie’s lips and cheekbones came in first, Beyonce’s facial structure, Kim Kardashian’s eyes and jawline, Brad Pitt’s nose and Natalie Portman’s nose topped the list of coveted celebrity features.
‘Some people are attracted to the power, fame and attention that being a celebrity brings,’ says Stephen S. Park, MD, FACS, president of the AAFPRS. ‘It’s important to remember that simply changing your appearance will not give you the same level of recognition. Celebrity photos are so often re-touched that their images are distorted which can result in unrealistic expectations that propel consumers to seek excessive or extreme surgeries.’
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE IS HERE TO STAY
Last year there was a surge in self-awareness and an increase in requests for aesthetic procedures (especially in the under 30 set) sired by ‘selfies’. And this shows no sign of declining. In fact, the selfie stick—an extendable metal rod that attaches to a smartphone and allows for a wider shots and higher angles—was among the must-have gifts of this past holiday season.
What’s more, the trend of using video clips instead of still images on social media is fueling more wrinkle-conscious consumers. Dynamic wrinkles that occur only when we are talking, smiling or laughing will be more visible to friends and fans. According to Cisco, 80% of all consumer Internet traffic will be video by 2018. Dr. Park states, ‘Unlike still photography, video cannot be photoshopped to reduce a double chin or edit out a bump on a nose. One of the best methods to soften dynamic wrinkles is by having neuromodulator injections, as in BOTOX® or Dysport or Xeomin. The 2014 statistics showed that the desire for these treatments is stronger than ever and growing every year.’
Skin Cancer and reconstructive surgery
The incidence of skin cancer continues to grow, especially in younger people. In fact, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, making reconstructive procedures, such as skin grafts and flaps, increasingly common in this rapidly growing segment of the industry.
A staggering 87% of facial plastic surgeons surveyed see patients for reconstructive work related to skin cancer. In 2014, the nose (68%) was the most common site on the face for skin cancer facial reconstruction followed by cheeks (16%), ears (6%) and forehead (4%). Overall the top reconstructive surgeries performed were nasal reconstruction (48%), skin cancer and Mohs surgery (33%), scar revision (10%), and facial trauma surgery (2%).
‘Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery are beginning to merge,’ says Dr. Park. ‘Patients desire a beautiful, natural-looking result, but there is also a functional component to a lot of what we do. Nearly half of our members saw an increase in patients seeking reconstructive nasal surgery to correct a problem that arose from a prior cosmetic rhinoplasty. Expectations are high to combine form and function.’
Corrective facelifts, eyelids and brow lifts were also popular reconstructive procedures last year.
Who’s getting what
Women continue to be the driving force for facial plastic surgery and make up 82% of all surgical and non-surgical procedures performed in 2014. Wanting to maintain a youthful, vibrant appearance, the most common cosmetic surgical procedures undergone by women are rhinoplasties, followed by facelifts, blepharoplasties and laser skin resurfacing.
Not surprising, the most common non-surgical cosmetic procedures among women are BOTOX® (Dysport and Xeomin) injections, hyaluronic acid fillers, non-ablative skin resurfacing and peels or microdermabrasion treatments.
Whether it’s to remain relevant in the work force or look as good as they feel, more men are embracing non-surgical treatments. Among male patients, the most common procedures are BOTOX®, hyaluronic acid and rhinoplasty.
Rhinoplasty remains the most requested surgical procedure for both sexes for the fifth consecutive year.
In 2014, facelifts, browlifts, and blepharoplasty were most performed on adults over the age of 55. Rhinoplasty was most performed on those between the ages of 22 and 34 while BOTOX® was most performed on adults age 35 and 55. Filler or fat injections, peels and lasers were most likely performed on those age 35 and older.