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Social Media Use Tied to Esteem, Cosmetic Surgery Acceptance

Perceptions of cosmetic surgery may vary based on social media and photo-editing application use

FRIDAY, June 28, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Users of some social media platforms and photo editing have lower self-esteem and increased acceptance of cosmetic surgery, according to a study published online June 27 in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery.

Jonlin Chen, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and colleagues conducted an online survey of 252 participants (73 percent female; mean age, 24.7 years) to assess whether self-esteem and the use of social media and photo-editing applications are associated with cosmetic surgery attitudes.

The researchers found lower self-esteem scores on the Rosenberg Self-esteem Scale among participants who reported using YouTube, WhatsApp, VSCO, and Photoshop. There were no significant differences in self-esteem scores for participants who reported using other social media and photo-editing applications. There was a positive association between social media investment and consideration of cosmetic surgery, with a higher overall score on the Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale seen in users of Tinder, Snapchat, and/or Snapchat photo filters. For users of VSCO and Instagram photo filters, there was an increased consideration of cosmetic surgery but not overall acceptance of surgery compared with nonusers.

“These findings can help guide future patient-physician discussions regarding cosmetic surgery perceptions, which vary by social media or photo editing application use,” conclude the authors.

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