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Are Selfies Really To Blame For Our Generation's Self-Esteem Issues?

But first, let me delete this selfie...

The photo trend is leading to more cosmetic surgeries than ever. 

Self-portraiture is an art form that existed long before the digital era. Ancient works in which artists painted, drew and sculpted themselves are seen as artistic artefacts that provide a fascinating glimpse into how artists perceived themselves and their relationship with the world. 

When photography was first (ahem) developed, photographs used timers to shoot themselves. Granted, a large portion of that was in order to teach themselves how to use the equipment and experiment with light but these test shots are also considered to be a work of art. So why is it that the modern era of self-portraiture receives such a negative reaction? 

I've yet to meet a single woman - or man for that matter - that takes one, unfiltered photo and doesn't immediately grimace.  That said, I'm also yet to find an Instagram feed that doesn't consist of multiple selfies. Take my Instagram, for example, amongst the images of my dogs, pizza and fashion purchases, you'll find pictures of myself - mostly taken by myself.  Yet I too cringe with disgrace at the result of my selfies. 

A recent study published in JAMA Facial Plastic Surgery found that selfies actually distort your face by 30%. 

According to the research, it is not possible to take a flattering selfie unless you're 5 feet away from your lens. Anything closer (which selfies tend to be) results in a distorted image, with the nasal size appearing up to 30% larger than it actually is for men and 29% larger for women. 

Scientists say this proven distortion of physical features can also have a detrimental effect on self-esteem – not only psychologically but physically too. This has arguably led to the rise in cosmetic surgery which sees more and more people altering their appearance due to their dissatisfaction with their distorted selfies. 

For the record, there is nothing wrong with wanting plastic surgery. The issue, however, lies in the fact that these enhancements don't come cheap and with the ever-growing demand, under-qualified practitioners are cashing in. 

With overfilled lips and puffy cheeks becoming such a common sight, we can't forget that non-surgical cosmetic enhancements are still a cosmetic medical procedure. You wouldn't allow an inexperienced doctor to perform surgery on your lungs simply because it was cheaper so why does this logic apply in the cosmetics world? 

Today's generation is also spending more and more time looking at themselves on social media, so it's no wonder the number of cosmetic enhancements is on the rise. What’s more, a study by American psychologists found that the more people use social media sites, the more entrenched they become about their shortcomings.  

The bottom line? Do your research before booking in for a face-altering procedure. Or, you know, just leave your face how it is.

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