We've become a culture obsessed with selfies. They litter social media feeds, and we spend hours pouring over and scrutinizing our own photos more than those of friends. This “selfie” awareness has gone so far as to create an entire economy—selfie-enhanced cameras and accessories, selfie make-up guides, and so on—but it has gone further. Some are going under the knife for the sake of creating a better selfie.

Patricia Reaney of Reuters reports on the recent trend found in a poll by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), which surveyed 2,700 of its members. The response showed an uptick in patient requests to look better on their social media pages. The poll states that there has been a 10 percent increase in rhinoplasties (aka nose jobs), 7 percent jump in hair transplants, and 6 percent rise in eyelid surgery in 2013 over 2012.

Dr. Sam Rizk, a plastic surgeon, has a practice in Manhattan and can corroborate the polls findings. He has personally noticed a 25 percent increase over the past couple years—a significant jump that's hard to ignore. Many of them come in with an iPhone album full of selfies. Images that Rizk sees as a distorted sense of self, at best.

"We all will have something wrong with us on a selfie image. I refuse a significant proportion of patients with selfies because I believe it is not a real image of what they actually look like in person."

It's becoming an obsession for a lot of people who have near-unlimited places to store and see all these photos, and easy means to keep snapping them. So, it's understandable when Rizk sees clients that flip through 100s of dissatisfied photos of themselves. We no longer glance in the mirror in the morning and a few times throughout the day--we relive every pimple, bad pose, and off posture in our social media albums.

"Too many selfies indicate a self obsession and a certain level of insecurity that most teenagers have. It just makes it worse. Now they can see themselves in 100 images a day on Facebook and Instagram."

The selfie culture has given way to online guides and videos that advise on how best to hold your camera, pose, and do your make-up to create the best version of yourself. Likewise, manufacturers and developers are happy to help create products to hide blemishes and wrinkles, build phones with better front-facing cameras, and so on. One could say that the selfie economy has enabled us to only take more, store more, read about it more. But Ramy Gafni, a New York make-up artist, doesn't believe you should go to extremes to change yourself completely:

"You want to enhance your features, perfect your features but not necessarily change your features into something they are not.”

The idea of "love yourself" is hard to come by when every outlet from beauty magazines to tech news outlets only confirm your dissatisfaction and provide tips on how to make yourself(ie) better.

Read more at Reuters

Photo Credit: Jayme Burrows/Shutterstock