‘Get Real’ And How It’s Combating Selfie Distortion
Have you ever taken a selfie and thought ‘Surely that’s not me?’, if you have, you’re not crazy, you’re experiencing Selfie Distortion.
Selfie distortion is a real scientific phenomenon discovered by researchers at Stanford University, California. Researchers found that selfies taken 30cms away from the face made noses look up to 30% wider than what they actually are. This explained the differences in selfie images and photos taken further away.
According to the research 1.5 metres is the optimal distance for taking pictures that don’t distort your facial features. Anything less than that causes a widening of the nose, shrinking of the lips, and distortions in other features on your face.
Since these discoveries various physicians have noticed an increase in their patients experiencing a distorted sense of self. This has contributed in major issues for patients not only setting an unrealistic expectation of beauty for themselves but also setting unrealistic expectations for their cosmetic procedures.
Patients have come into clinics specifically seeking help to improve their selfies. Since 2017 Clinics across the US have seen 55% of all patients ask for procedures to improve the way they look in their selfies.
One doesn’t often consider the negative implications that these distortions can have on mental health and self-image. These images set an unrealistic expectation for ‘beauty’ on social media platforms, contributing to a rise of patients opting for more permanent cosmetic changes without seeking experienced professional opinions.
Social Media and the increased use of filters have caused just as much distortion as the selfie in the way people perceive themselves. Filters have launched all over platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook. These filters change the face by slimming the nose, opening the eyes, enlarging the lips and clearing the complexion. Many social media users are opting to use these filters on their social networks, masking the real person behind the lens. This can cause a distorted sense of self and a dislike of their ‘real’ unfiltered photo moments.
In light of these issues the Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA) has launched a campaign determined to take action on these prevalent concerns. The ‘Get Real’ Campaign aims to educate the public on accurate information when it comes to cosmetic procedures.
This campaign focuses specifically on informing patients to consult with trained doctors who maintain high standards before undergoing or committing to a procedure.
“The CPCA recognises the importance of helping patients understand that proportion in reality is different to proportion in selfies. We are doctors who are experienced and trained to listen to our patients and their concerns while making appropriate recommendations in line with realistic expectations. We are here to guide our patients to make informed decisions to achieve a desirable outcome”, said Dr Micheal Molton, President of the CPCA.
So, where do you even start to ‘Get Real’?
Finding the right medical practitioner
Finding the right practitioner is just as important as finding a soul mate. Some of the best ways to find the perfect doctor for you is to;
- Do your research
- Talk to others who have undergone the same or similar procedures
- Check their credibility through the CPCA. You can do so here.
Cosmetic Medicine is Real Medicine that requires your safety to be prioritised. Therefore, make sure the doctor you are seeing is trained and experienced.
Have a face-to-face consultation with your treating doctor
The difference with technology based and face to face consultations are similar to googling your symptoms when you are sick versus visiting your GP. You might end up with something you didn’t ever expect you’d have if you rely on an online diagnosis.
There’s nothing better than seeing a trained professional face to face. Your features, body shape, expectations and needs are different to anyone else’s. Therefore, it is important for both you and your doctor to assess the situation in person to build a trusting long-term relationship.
Dr Gina, Cosmetic Doctor and Director of Ocean Cosmetics believes that online consultations are simply ‘not enough’.
“Performing consultations for cosmetic procedures like wrinkle relaxers over a video call is simply not enough. There are so many factors to consider prior to performing a treatment like this such as skin condition, facial proportions, facial symmetry, shape and expressions. There’s no way this can be properly and thoroughly assessed over Skype or Face-time. Most of my initial consultations go for 30 minutes assessing those factors and I consider it a risk to my reputation if I ever let those standards slip.”
Preparing for the Procedure
The level of preparation depends on the type of procedure you have decided to have. During your face-to-face consultation the physician should provide you with pre-treatment preparation instructions. For a majority of procedures, it’s important to have all the relevant information and fully understand the procedure before moving forward.
Listen to your Physician, even if you don’t like what they have to say.
Your doctor will listen to your concerns and then ask investigative questions to determine any potential underlying health concerns.
An experienced physician makes suggestions based on information you have given them in relation to your issues and concerns. They are trained in reaching the highest standards and best results, so listening to their concerns is important when it comes to meeting the dream results you are after.
Set Realistic Expectations
Set realistic expectations that will enhance what you’ve been given rather than changing who you are. Real Expectations focus on making you feel and look BETTER not different.
Overall, it is important to understand that every individuals’ expectations need to be realistic.
It’s about engaging with a cosmetic physician who will help you focus on looking better, not different and most importantly maintain realistic outcomes by always putting your patient safety first.