In our society, the definition of “beautiful” is constantly evolving. This is made even more complicated by the internet, movies, and magazines. We all are familiar with Photoshop®, and I think most of us know when we see that famous actress in a magazine, she most likely has had a little “digital nip or tuck”. However, when we scroll through Facebook or Instagram and see our friends enjoying a beach vacation or birthday dinner, we expect what we see is what we get, right? Or when we watch a movie and see these eternally young actresses and actors, we assume it’s good genes and probably a little plastic surgery.
When we watch the latest action movie or space age thriller, we know digital effects are used to shape earth-shattering explosions or foreign landscapes. However, Hollywood is using these same digital techniques to shape and smooth the actors on the screen. If an actress has a pimple, it can be gone! A few extra lines around the mouth? Erased to reveal baby fresh skin. Often, these digital masters will go scene by scene to shape and sculpt the faces on the big screen.
It shouldn’t be too surprising the age-focused entertainment industry is using technology to reverse the signs of aging, but these same techniques are being used by our friends and family members. “Filters” have become practically ubiquitous in social media. Before posting a picture of a family dinner, these filters and apps can smooth wrinkles, make the skin more luminous, and contour the face. What we see is definitely not what we get!
The merits of these digital effects can be debated all day. However, we want our patients to realize social media and Hollywood don’t necessarily represent real beauty. Our mission is for all of our patients to feel and look like the most beautiful, refreshed version of themselves. We hope these altered and morphed images never distract someone from seeing and appreciating their own beauty.