In what reads like the treatment for a rejected episode of Black Mirror, the South China Morning Post is reporting that young people across Asia and Europe — and particularly in China — are getting plastic surgery to look more like the Snapchat filtered versions of themselves.
Literally dubbed “Snapchat dysmorphia,” the story says that the phenomenon is snowballing as “selfie-led social media culture plays an increasingly pervasive role in shaping the relationship we have with our appearance.”
And I do mean snowballing: “not only are the number of plastic surgery cases on the rise globally, the average age of clients has dropped, falling from 42 to 37 in western Europe.”
In China, however, is where the statistics get “particularly stark.” A 2018 report found that “22 million Chinese underwent cosmetic procedures in 2018,” with those under the age of 28 making up a resounding “54 percent of the total client base,” and 8 percent of patients were born after the year 2000(!). To put that another way: 1.76 million kids under the age of 18 underwent cosmetic procedures in one year.
The most popular procedures for young people, according to the story, were hyaluronic acid injections and double-eyelid operations, the latter of which has become “so normal that girls receive it as an 18th birthday present,” the story said.
“Influencer culture has a far bigger impact on mental health than any glossy magazine of the past would have,” one expert said, especially as the “gap between the reflection in the mirror and the image on the phone is becoming a chasm.”
You can read more about it at the South China Morning Post.