We all know students love apps like Instagram and Snapchat, but their filters and special effects distort images and lead to unrealistic expectations of how a person should look. Board Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Rady Rahban believes social media is driving more students to want to go under the knife and he has to be very careful about who he operates on.
Unrealistic Beauty Standards
Aesthetic icons are nothing new. From Cleopatra to Bella Hadid, from James Dean to Justin Beiber, there will always be people looked at as the “standard” for beauty. But with high definition cameras in phones and apps that allow you to reshape your body in the photo, Dr. Rahban says the beauty standard is becoming more and more unattainable. People have always wanted to look their best and change things they don’t see as attractive. But what happens when a student wants to adjust their body based on a heavily photoshopped image they see online?
So many users post images that are heavily doctored to completely transform how a person looks. There are apps, like Facetune, that actually allow you to distort your face and body through filters before you even take the picture. Young students then go to doctors like Dr. Rahban, sometimes without their parents knowing, to ask to look like their favorite celebrities and social media influencers. Some want to look exactly like a photoshopped or altered image. But Dr. Rahban says the look these students desire is actually unattainable.
Impact of Social Media
Dr. Rahban doesn’t allow people to bring social media images into his practice. He says he focuses on helping people look like the best versions of themselves, instead of like an unrealistic photo.
Unrealistic social media photos can lead to low self esteem and poor body image. As a parent, it’s important to help your students be happy and love who they are. If your student has expressed an unhealthy sense of body image or has asked to change their nose, chest, or some other area, know that it’s okay to talk with them about these issues.
There’s a fine line, Dr. Rahban says, between having a healthy sense of self and wanting to make an adjustment versus having low self esteem and wanting to look like someone else.
For more information about plastic surgery in general and about Dr. Rahban, you can listen to his podcast, Plastic Surgery Uncensored.
At Smart Social, we teach students how to be Light, Bright, and Polite on their phones and on social media so they can one day shine online. We know how important it is for students to feel good, both on the outside and the inside. Talk to your students about their self worth and help them see themselves for the beautiful and wonderful people they truly are.