“, Dr. Amirlak and co-authors write.
Rhinoplasty (rhinoplasty) is the most frequent cosmetic procedure, with more than 352,000 procedures performed in 2020, according to ASPS statistics..
New research has evaluated the effect of selfies on the appearance of facial features. Thirty volunteers were seated for a standard series of three photographs.
Two photos taken with the smartphone’s front camera at 12 and 18 inches apart – approximately the effect of taking a selfie with elbow bent (12 inches) or at arm’s length with wrist flexed (18 inches).
The third photo was taken with a digital single-lens reflex camera at a distance of 5 feet. Such standardized clinical photographs are an important part of the goal and outcome discussion between the patient and the plastic surgeon.
All photos were taken in the same location, under standard lighting conditions.
The researchers then compared measurements of facial landmarks (nose, lips, chin, and face width) between the three photos, to assess distortion introduced by the simulated selfie.
The patients also completed a questionnaire that rated how satisfied they were with their appearance in 12-inch self-portraits and clinical photographs.
The results show that the photos taken from the front-facing smartphone are significantly distorted. On average, the nose is 6.4% longer on 12-inch selfies and 4.3% longer on 18-inch selfies, compared to standard clinical shots.
The length of the chin on the 12-inch selfie was also reduced by 12%, resulting in a significant 17% increase in the nose-to-chin length ratio. Selfies also make the base of the nose appear wider than the width of the face.
Distortions caused by selfies were also reflected by patients’ evaluations of their facial appearance. Consistent with clinical experience, the measured distortions were also easily apparent when the three pictures were viewed side by side.
Plastic surgeons have expressed concern that facial disfigurement when taking selfies and the influence of social media could affect mental health, especially at a time when teen rates are high Suicide and depression are on the rise.
This study further supports concerns that selfies may negatively affect facial appearance. People need to raise awareness of how misperceptions about selfies can affect their requirement for rhinoplasty, self-image, and subsequent depression and anxiety.